Describing the skills
Teachers should describe the skills that caregivers are going to teach their child:
- Explain why the skill is important in the academic or behavioural program of the child.
- Explicitly describe the target behaviours of the child.
- Describe the components of the academic and behavioural program.
- Present the materials that will be used to teach the child.
- Provide a period for caregivers to ask questions.
Modelling the skills to the caregivers
Teachers can provide a short video where they model the skill to be acquired, with a colleague or another child:
- Provide detailed instructions on the critical support components that the caregiver will use during the instructional sessions.
- These instructions can be presented either vocally or with text embedded in the video.
Caregiver should practice the instruction in a role-play arrangement:
- It is important that all caregivers that are going to provide the support practice the behaviour.
- If there are more than one caregiver, they can be assigned the roles of teacher and student. If there is just one, the teacher should act as the student.
The last part of the training is the provision of feedback to the caregivers after practice:
- Two types of feedback should be given – praise and corrective feedback.
- The teacher should explicitly state what the caregiver did well.
- The teacher must also identify and correct caregiver’s errors, providing further instruction on correct implementation of the skill.
- Feedback can be provided during the practice (interrupting the incorrect teaching behaviour) or after the practice.
Providing ongoing supports
The training, though important, may not be enough to ensure the correct and sustained teaching of the intended skills or behaviours by the caregivers. Therefore, teachers should plan strategies to monitor and assess the process:
- Talk frequently with the caregivers about the teaching process.
- Try to observe the caregiver’s implementation of the strategies and provide corrective feedback.
- Encourage the caregivers and try to provide constructive criticism in a supportive and empathetic way.