TC230: How students with exceptionalities help us grow as teachers

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TopCast Episode 230 - How students with exceptionalities help us grow as teachers

Teaching students with exceptionalities has a deeper effect on us than just the satisfaction and happiness of making the student learn.

Dr Erin Parkes is the founder of the Lotus Centre for Special Music Education. It’s a charitable organisation committed to providing access to music education for people with exceptionalities.

She joins us in this episode, to share more about teaching students with exceptionalities and connecting with them in lessons by having flexibility, empathy, and using key approaches that will help both student and teacher grow.

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  • [02:44] Dr Erin Parkes tells us about the Lotus Centre.
  • [04:34] The reason behind why she uses the term exceptionalities instead of special needs.
  • [08:32] A look back at the musical education of Dr Erin Parkes.
  • [10:44] The story of how teaching children with exceptionalities became an interest for her.
  • [13:58] The need for flexibility in her teaching approach for students with exceptionalities.
  • [15:47] Starting and establishing the Lotus Centre.
  • [17:56] Dr Erin Parkes talks about her current role at the Lotus Centre.
  • [19:02] Examples and suggestions for empathy-based approaches to students with behavioural disorders.
  • [23:33] The importance of tuning in to your student’s sensory needs.
  • [28:21] Using a strengths-based approach for students with exceptionalities.
  • [31:14] Understanding a multi-modality approach.
  • [32:53] The impact of COVID-19 on teachers for students with exceptionalities.
  • [35:31] Common things teachers do and how to fix it.
  • [41:30] Top 5 tips for teaching students with exceptionalities.
  • [47:02] Professional development teachers can access the institute.

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Transcript of the show

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Links Mentioned

About our Guest

TopCast Episode 230 - How students with exceptionalities help us grow as teachers

Dr Erin Parkes is the founder and Executive Director of the Lotus Centre for Special Music Education, a charitable organisation committed to providing access to music education for people with exceptionalities. 

One of her most recent accomplishments is launching the Lotus Centre Institute for professional development which provides music teachers with skills and tools to help students with exceptionalities reach their full potential. 

Aside from her role at Lotus Centre, she is an adjunct professor at the University of Ottawa, teaching courses and guiding students in special music education. She holds multiple degrees in the field of music including a PhD in Music Education from McGill University.

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