Find ways to include special students in traditional classrooms.
What does a Mainstreaming Facilitator do?
Perhaps one of the least-known positions in education, a Mainstreaming Facilitator helps special-needs students acclimate to traditional classrooms. Many schools educate students with special needs separately to allow for additional time and special accommodations. The Mainstreaming Facilitator works with schools and Teachers to include special-needs children in mainstream – or traditional – classrooms.
As a Mainstreaming Facilitator, you work with School Administrators, Teachers, Principals, and Special Education Teachers, introducing ways for all students to work together rather than separately. Classes in education, special education, communication, psychology, child development, and sociology prepare you for your daily tasks.
Your days are rarely the same, which keeps you focused and on your toes. For example, you may assist with the inclusion of special-needs students in physical education in the morning, and then with choosing playground equipment in the afternoon. The work you do is essential to the education of all students in the district, rather than just the special-needs or traditional students. What benefits one group must not detract from the other, or your work to create an inclusive environment is pointless.
Patience and understanding are true necessities as a Mainstreaming Facilitator. When working with special-needs students, you may become frustrated at times, and you have to be able to step away and find a way to work through it. When you show these qualities, you build trust with the students, and from there, the working relationship can grow.
Don’t forget about your negotiation skills, either. You’re likely to be caught in the middle between departments, and it’s up to you to find a commonly accepted resolution.