Contrary to common perception, it is relatively economical to set up a resource room in a school. While the school has to bear the cost of paying a special educator’s salary, the remaining expenses involve a one-time investment. So what does a school need to do to set up a resource room?
- Identify a room or an area of the school that can serve as a resource room.
- The room should be well-lit with good ventilation and should have child-friendly furniture. It is important the decor is attractive without being distracting.
- The room should have some storage space for teaching aids.
- Books, toys, crayons, puzzles etc. are add-ons for children to use during breaks.
Specialized teaching aids are an integral aspect of remedial education. The special education teacher can make her own teaching aids and also use readymade ones. Resource rooms function best when they have trained special educators who work in a full-time capacity.
Some researchers estimate that around 10% of school going children has a learning difficulty. This is a sizeable population and schools do a disservice if they do not address the needs of this group. Schools may also tie-up with special education organisations providing special needs services to set up a resource room on their premises. Educators must remember that the costs of not meeting the needs of children with special needs are much higher than the cost of setting up a resource. In fact, if children receive help early on, they are less likely to need supporting services in later grades. More importantly, these children feel they are as capable as others of learning.
NASET Classroom Management Series. Series I- Step-Step-Guide to Setting up Your Classroom Part III. http://www.naset.org/fileadmin/_temp_/Series_I_Part_III_Classroom_Design.pdf
(An edited version of this article first appeared in ‘In Sync with Kids’ at http://www.prayatna.org/blog)