My name is MD Saif Ullah. Currently,I am working as a High School SETSS teacher
in charge of 8 Juniors and 5 seniors at the prestigious Christ the King High School.
I am a NYS certified teacher with a Dual Masters of Science in Regular & Special Education. I have a Bachelor of Science in Math and an extensive experience tutoring elementary - high school students in the fields of ELA, math (Integrated Algebra, Geometry, Algebra 2/Trigonometry etc.), chemistry and physics especially preparing them for the NYS Regents, SAT & SHSAT exams.
In my prior positions of teaching assistant, sub teacher, at-home tutor and SETSS (special education teacher support services) provider for more than 10 years with various public schools, charter schools and private catholic schools, I was responsible for assessing students’ skills and teaching/lecturing/mentoring/tutoring/proctoring & grading in various subjects like ELA, math (algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus) social studies, science (mainly chemistry & physics) etc., supervising volunteers, and maintaining records. I was also obligated to develop individualized education plans, behavior modification plans and lesson plans for students with special needs by cooperatively collaborating with classroom teachers. I have also assisted with student learning by aiding the lead teacher in maintaining appropriate level of classroom behavior and control. I have extensive experience in helping children reach their maximum academic potential in the fields of ELA, math (Algebra, Geometry and Trigonometry), chemistry & physics by modifying lesson plans through differentiated instruction to meet the needs of all children. I am very well versed in educating children in a small group as well as 1:1. I also have a rich source of experience working with a wide spectrum of students with disabilities including but not limited to ADHD, ED, LD, hearing impaired and certain physical disabilities like asthma.
I have an excellent ability to develop and maintain an effective relationship with students, teachers, parents and the rest of the school staff through effective & efficient communication skills. I am always excited to learn new specialized instructional techniques employed with students to improve their overall academic achievement, social & cognitive development which will enhance my personal educational philosophy and make me a more effective teacher.
I have had an extensive 10+ years of experience working with exceptional students (including but not limited to ADD, ADHD, ED, EBD, Physical disability etc.) in various roles like Teacher, Co-teacher, Assistant Teacher, Sub teacher, Student teacher, Volunteer, SETSS provider, 1:1 At home tutor for NCLB companies etc. I have discovered that focus is one of the most crucial factors that impact academic achievement among both exceptional and general students across all disciplines. As a result, it becomes essential for teachers to incorporate focus enhancing skills/techniques into the lesson plan to deliver quality instruction successfully to maximize the learning potential of students.
Majority of exceptional students and even some general students have built in cognitive delays which result in decreased focus leading to comprehension complications. In order to successfully tackle the focus issue among students, we need to identify the culprits/causes that lead to decreased focus among students. In my many years of experience, I have observed that there are three main factors that lead to reduced focus/concentration. First of all, internal/external environmental stimuli, secondly, lack of interest in the subject and thirdly, difficulty in understanding the academic content and finally, lack of positive reinforcements to reward proper behavior & academic accomplishment. If we can tackle these problems, I believe it’s possible to tremendously improve focus among students.
One way to improve the focus of a student would be to decrease the internal/external environmental stimuli in the classroom. We can decrease external environmental stimuli(outside noises) by using preferential seating meaning positioning the student away from excessive noises so as to minimize external distractions. In order to decrease internal environmental stimuli (distractions inside the classroom) we can position the student close to the teacher and also pair him with a good student who can serve as a role model. We can also put cards or stickers on his table with clearly stated hourly goals with simplified instructions which will serve as constant reminders and keep him focused on task. He can also follow his partner/buddy and learn proper academic habits and behavior techniques to mold himself into a good student.
Another way to enhance the concentration of a student is to incorporate the students’ interest in the topic being taught. Activating prior knowledge and making connections to what they have learned before can definitely unlock their interest. For example, if a student is reading a book and is bored, the teacher may draw a connection that helps the student relate to a character in the book by manipulating his personal, real-life and academic experience and knowledge to highlight the similarity/differences between the character and the student to enhance the interest/motivation of the student. We can also use visual texts with lots of pictures, diagrams, graphs, charts etc to improve the motivation and interest of students since a majority of them are visual learners. As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words”. Majority of the techniques discussed above can enhance comprehension in addition to improving concentration of a student.
An additional way to strengthen the focus of a student is by improving the comprehension of the topic being taught. There are various techniques that can be utilized to enhance comprehension across multiple disciplines. Graphic organizers like the K-W-L chart, compare/contrast Venn Diagrams can help students organize their ideas, represent their thoughts visually and ultimately improving understanding. Teaching them how to highlight key terms, essential information and underlining goals will help them stay focused and organized, leading to better comprehension. Teaching pupils the skills of using context clues, root words, prefix/suffix to define unfamiliar words using educated guess will help them tremendously in reading literary works across a myriad of disciplines. Power point slide shows, movies based on novels, guest speakers on a topic, field trips, using manipulative, role plays etc utilize multi-sensory, audio-visual hands on activities to invoke interests of students and give them a deeper understanding regarding the topic being taught.
A very significant but often overlooked aspect of improving focus and motivation is positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is an essential component in the continual growth and progression of a student toward academic excellence. It feels very good when your hard work is appreciated by someone, it’s as simple as that. Whenever students complete an academic task successfully, participate regularly in class, hand in homework on time, stay focused during lectures, answer an extra credit question right during classwork, show excellent behavior patterns etc, their hard work needs to praised verbally (by saying excellent, well done, good job! etc.) or physically ( a pat on the shoulder or giving them tangible objects like stickers, stars, gift cards and candies etc.) or a combination of both which keeps them focused and motivated to work even harder to get the next reward. It also sets off a chain reaction in a friendly competitive environment which motivates other students to work harder to achieve similar reinforcements.
City College of New York of the City University of New York, The
DUAL MASTERS IN REGULAR & SPECIAL EDUCATION