Questions & Answers - Our Guestbook
What is a Learner Facilitator?
A Learner Facilitator is a professional person who accompanies and supports a child with special needs in a mainstream or special school, to facilitate the learning process for the specific child in order for the child to optimise their learning and educational experience. A trained facilitator is equipped to manage difficult and disruptive behaviours and teach the child in his/her learning environment more appropriate and positive alternative behaviours. Social skills training forms an integral part of the Learner Facilitator's function. (Please also see the page: " The Role of the Learner Facilitator")
How much should I pay my Learner Facilitator?
A trained facilitator earns between R100 and R150 to R170 per hour, depending on their costs, experience and background, and distance travelled. If a person is employed full time (the whole school morning/day) their starting salary usually is between R5 000 and R6 500 to R 7 500.. These are suggested salaries for Facilitators in Cape Town. Salaries in Johannesburg are generally somewhat higher and therefore these suggested salaries should be adjusted accordingly. Hourly rates between R120 and R180 and full time between R6 000.00 and R7 500.00.
Hoeveel werksure behels 'n week?
‘n Gemiddelde week behels gewoonlik 5 na 6 ure per dag, daarom so tussen 25 en dertig ure per week.
Wat se agtergrond het Leerder Fasiliteerders?
Die realiteit is dat daar ongelukkig geen liggaam tans bestaan wat 'n standaard vir fasiliteerders stel, of beheer of monitor nie. Daar is so 'n groot tekort aan fasiliteerders tans, sodat elke "jan rap en sy maat" wel deesdae fasiliteer (sonder dat hulle enige opleiding of agtergrond het). Met LEFTNET poog ons om wel 'n standaard daar te stel en met ons gereelde maandelikse vergaderings poog ons om 'n mate van supervisie en monitering te doen.
Dis verkieslik dat leerder fasiliteerders 'n agtergrond in onderwys en/of sielkunde behoort te he. Dit impliseer egter noodwendig 'n hoer salaris, wat dikwels 'n knelpunt word aangesien nie alle ouers fasiliteerders in die eerste plek kan bekostig nie en die staat geen hulp or ondersteuning hier aanbied nie. Persone met 'n matriek en/of educare of ander opleiding vra dan dikwels minder en is meer bekostigbaar. Uit ervaring het dit geblyk dat na-skoolse kwalifikasies nie noodwendig ‘n effektiewe of doeltreffende fasiliteerder waarborg nie. Op die ou einde van die dag, hang dit van die individu af.
Word Leerder Fasiliteerders alleenlik gebruik vir Autistiese kinders of ander kinders ook?
Leerder fasiliteerders word ook vir verskeie kinders met "spesiale behoeftes" gebruik soos kinders met aandag afleibaarheid, lae intelektuele funksionerende leerders en nie net vir autistiese kinders nie. Sommige van hierdie kinders benodig dan minder intervensie en aanpassing van hulle akademiese en skolastiese werk, en meer ten opsigte van beplanning, konsentrasie en gedrag.
Are Learner Facilitators only used for Autistic children?
Learner Facilitators are also used for children with other special needs such a Attention Deficit, Physical Challenges such as Cerebral Palsy, Cognitively Challenges, Anxiety and Learning Differences. Some of these children require less intervention and modification of their academic and school work, and more with regards to planning, concentration and behaviour.
How long should a facilitator remain with a child?
Preferably not longer than 2 years since children become dependent on their facilitator. An effective facilitator works towards independence and the child functioning on their own within their school environment.
Is ‘n klaskamer assistant of klashulp dieselfde as ‘n Leerder Fasiliteerder?
Klashulpe of assistente is beslis anders en hulle opleiding sluit weereens geensins kinders met "spesiale behoeftes", gedrags- of leerprobleme in nie. Hulle opleiding en werkpligte is gerig om tipiese kinders in die klaskamer te ondersteun en van hulp vir die onderwyser/es te wees.
What are the educational requirements to be a facilitator?
Since there is no official institution or organization that overseas Learner Facilitators, there are no stipulated or required educational or tertiary qualifications. However, it is suggested and recommended by LEFTNET that the Learner Facilitator at least has a matric (grade12) or equivalent, and a comfortable and efficient command of the language of the child that they facilitate. An individual with teaching and/or psychology or related training (speech therapy, occupational therapy, edu-care) further suggests a potentially better qualified Learner Facilitator.
What is the role of the facilitator in the classroom?
The facilitator is there to facilitate the learning process and make the academic and scholastic expectations/content accessible by using the child’s special strengths and abilities and using alternative and adjusted techniques . They are there
Does a facilitator have a role during break?
Most definitely. Most children with special needs have social skills-, play skills-, language- and communication difficulties. Break time is a very good opportunity for the Learner Facilitator to teach their child those skills needed in the moment. It’s also an opportunity for the “special needs “ child to learn how to access play and socializing and sustain it functionally and effectively.
What does the LEFTNET facilitation course cover and offer?
The LEFTNET Course is a very practical, “hands on” 4 day course which endeavours to equip a delegate to effectively and practically support a child with learning differences. Course material follows a positive approach to children’s difficulties, teaching a better understanding of children that are different, effectively managing disruptive, unwanted behaviour and teaching the child the positive alternative and setting up realistic, inclusive goals and programs for the child. The basic layout follows:
1. Inclusive Education
2. Children that need Facilitation (Behaviour Characteristics)
3. The Positive Approach
4. ABC Model of Teaching & Behaviour
5. Behaviour Motivation and Principles
6. Triad of Impairment
7. Basic Behaviour Management Techniques
8. Adapting a Child’s Education to their Needs (Integration & Skills Acquisition) (IEP’s & ISP’s)
9. Helping the Special needs Child to become Independent & Self-sufficient (Self-Management)
10. Setting goals and Achieving them
11. Recording and Measuring Progress
12. Skills and Techniques to use when Managing Challenging Behaviours
13. The Role of the Facilitator
14. Working with the Teacher and the School
15. Working with the Parents
16. Effective Communication with Children
What type of accommodation should teachers make for the facilitator or the child that is facilitated?
There are many accommodations teachers and schools can make to accommodate special needs learners, here are some suggestions:
* Special needs students should typically be within close proximity to the teacher or the Learner Facilitator.·
* The teacher can set up a special area or time-out section for test taking or workstation “free of distraction” where
students can go when needed to optimise their participation and performance and enabletheir success. The
time-out area is also used for taking a breather.
* Eliminate as much clutter as possible and attempt to keep distractions to a minimum.
* Assignments can be modified and shortened
* Using visual structures (pictures) increases and boosts effecting learning. Never present instructions/directions
verbally alone, always provide visual structures, graphic organisers, written and graphic instructions too to
strengthen the instruction.
* Special needs learners should often get additional time
* Work should be organised into workable “chunks” (chains/accessible unit)
* Praise and positive reinforcement are crucial, especially when the learner is “caught doing the RIGHT thing”
What are the realistic expectations of a facilitator from the parents or teacher’s point of view?
It would depend on the child’s abilities and functioning level. Generally, the learner facilitator facilitates the learning process for the learner, assisting them in accessing information and participating in the class environment and education process. Through support, guidance and again facilitation they help the child to socialise and ultimately "fit in".
Parents should expect regular feedback
What does the LEFTNET facilitation course 2 cover ?
1. Revision of previous facets covered in the first course:
* Inclusive Education
* Children who need facilitation
Learning challenges are given more attention
* ABC Model & Analysis
* Behaviour Management Techniques-Terminology
2. More Behaviour Management Techniques
3. More Behaviour Motivations - using motivation to understand and
4. Effective Communication with Children - Improving your skills
5. Multiple Intelligences
6. Remedial work - assisting in remedial programs & setting up your
own remedial program
7. Changing worksheets
8. Individual Education Programmes (IEP)
9. Specific techniques for specific needs
10. Modifications, Accommodations & Interventions
11. Challenging behaviours
Is there a shortage of Learner Facilitators?
There is definitely a shortage of trained and effective Learner Facilitators. Though there are many individuals out there calling themselves facilitators, their results speak for themselves. Parents and schools should make sure the Learner Facilitator is trained and able to assist, facilitate and manage a special needs learner effectively when employing them. Since there are almost always disruptive and unwanted behaviours, the learner facilitator should have been trained in behaviour management.
In South Africa with the passing of White Paper 6 on Inclusive Education, the need for Learner Facilitators will increase, as this is one way to accommodate a special needs learner in a school environment. Shortages are currently experienced.
I have no teaching background. Can I become a Learner Facilitator?
Of course you can. It is true that individuals with a teaching, psychology or related backgrounds are considered more desirable as facilitators by parents and schools, but with training, professionalism and dedication you can compete on the same level. It really is about your commitment and your serious decision that this is the career for you. In my opinion, the needed requirements are the three p's : patience, persistence and passion (to work with children).
What is the role of a facilitator (a course delegate's prospective):
The facilitator is a professional role whereby reshaping the learner’s behavioural deficits into constructive behaviours that will allow the child to become self-sufficient, productive and gratified individuals. Therefore, the facilitator is an individual who teaches the child independence in the school and social environment where this independence eventually translates to the working world. The facilitator achieves these goals by showing habitual and ample patience, reinforcing positive behaviours while dousing any anxieties that may inhibit the child from achieving his/her full potential. The facilitator fosters a relationship with the child and acts as a mentor in much of the child’s academic and social environments. The facilitator has to exhibit a genuine understanding and empathy for the difficulty that the child is experiencing and therefore must approach the role of facilitating as a nurturing and compassionate role
model. - Adam Bertscher
(Please also see the page: " The Role of the Learner Facilitator" for more perspectives)
I would like to pursue teaching in a different capacity. I am extremely interested in facilitating within classrooms. How would I go about this and what are my chances of getting work in this field?
I suggest that you contact schools in your area and present them with your cv and your availability
as a Learner Facilitator.
Alternatively, I run courses through out the year and once an individual has completed the course they automatically become a member of LEFTNET (the Learner Facilitator & Tutor Network) for a year.
Membership can thereafter be renewed annually. One of the benefits of being a LEFTNET member is that all positions that come my way are forwarded to members to pursue. I myself in my private practice make use of Learner Facilitators & tutors to work with my client/children, but only the people that I've
trained. Parents and schools do seem to prefer trained Learner Facilitators.
Can I skip the first course and go directly to the second course?
The second course builds on the skills, techniques and information acquired in the first course. You do need to have completed the first course before you can register for the second course. It's the way most courses work. So sorry no, you would not be able to enter directly to level 2.
I am a qualified senior primary teacher, having completed my hdip at JCE in 1991. I have not taught for many years and have recently moved. I would be interested in becoming a learner facilitator. How can I get involved in this and where can I advertise?
There is currently no regulatory board that manages Learner Facilitators, so the field is pretty open. As a
result unfortunately, learner facilitation is not always seen as the profession it is or taken seriously.
LEFTNET has an excellent reputation in especially Cape Town and endeavours to create a standard of Learner Facilitation, where parents and schools know what to expect and what they can rely on. It creates a high, professional standard , which parents and schools trust. Therefore I am often approached by parents and schools looking for facilitators; these positions are offered to LEFTNET members. I find that parents and schools prefer a trained Learner Facilitator, since inclusive education and special needs children, their disruptive, inappropriate & unwanted behaviour and the effective management and change thereof is not readily taught as part of a tertiary education degree or diploma.
There are 3 suggestions regarding becoming a facilitator.
!. You can approach schools in your area with your CV and inform them of your availability. I would be careful about advertising, there are some strange people out there.
2. You can join an agency like Aupair at home that also do placements of facilitators
3. You can do a LEFTNET Learner Facilitator Course and automatically become a member of LEFTNET after completion for the year. There after membership can be renewed. This will allow you free access to all the LEFTNET resources and positions that are send out and placed on our website, as well as attending our regular meetings.
Would this course serve me in any way as a platform for employment?
Even though I can not guarantee you employment after completing the course, I will be putting you in contact with potential employment opportunities when they arise. I am often contacted by parents, schools and other professionals looking for facilitators and tutors. I myself make use of learner facilitators & tutors to work with the children that I see. It's up to you however, to secure a position.
Is this course more appropriate for those already working in the field?
The Learner Facilitator Course 1, as the flyer says, is designed to give individuals the basic skills to be able to function as effective learner facilitators. It is not really geared towards people in the field, although there are often working facilitators that do the course to skill themselves more effectively and leave them more empowered. Course 1 is for people with a variety of educational backgrounds who are interested in moving into this profession.
The Learner Facilitator Course 2, is a follow up course and the focus here is to enhance existing skills and abilities, and to improve your educational skills and levels of professionalism.
Does one need to have a prior qualification in child education before enrolling in this course?
No you don't. In my opinion you need the three "P" patience, persistance and passion to work with children.
Do you offer any kind of placement into facilitator positions after the course or not?
I do try to assist you in finding placement, since I often get approached by parents, schools and professionals looking for Learner Facilitators and tutors. These are also placed on our website too. I also
sometimes look for a tutor or facilitator to work with the children I see. These positions are only offered to people that I've trained and who are part of LEFTNET (The Learner Facilitator & Tutor Network). Once you've completed the course you automatically become a member of LEFTNET. Unfortunately I can
not guarantee you a position though, since that depends on you and your impression you make on the parents or schools that I put you in contact with.
I go on your website regularly for advice but would like to know from you whether the suggested R120-R180 (Johannesburg) fee per hour is on a one on one or in the classroom?
Yes the suggested rates are for one in one in the classroom as well. I do not differentiate between the classroom or home situation as I believe that if the tutor/facilitator is effective it requires the same amount of effort, planning and work.
I am a Physiotherapist but not practicing at the moment and looking for
something "new" to do. Just a little concerned, I am 55, does that make me less employable as a facilitator? Do you find parents or schools preferring somebody younger?
Sometimes schools and parents do prefer younger candidates but the opposite is also true. Some parents and schools prefer "older" candidates since they are more nurturing, have a better sense of
responsibility and understanding, more life experience and some children respond better to "older" facilitators. The child will always guide us to who is more suitable!
Your professional background will be an advantage.
Is there a huge different between a fulltime facilitator and home school tutor and what would it costs for a home school tutor?
If the candidate comes through LEFTNET then there is little difference between a full time learner facilitator & tutor. There might be some difference with regards to their education background. Depending on the hours, it will be between R5 000.00 and R6 500.00. Home school tutoring (one on one) is more intense and effective and therefore a shorter "school day" could be suggested.
Are Learner Facilitators paid during the school holidays and public holidays?
Full time leaner facilitators (those that work full school days 5 days a week and are on a monthly salary) usually do get paid for school holidays and public holidays. That is when they take their leave. They do not get other leave then. Learner Facilitators that are on hourly rates, do usually not get paid for school- or public holidays.
Would one be able to begin a facilitating post after course 1 or would more education be required ?
Yes you would. It give you a good and sound ground and basic skills.
How do I advertise a position or place an request on the website?
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact box on the bulletin box page to submit a request. There is a R100.00 administration fee that is required before the request is processed.
What are the course fees for 2017 for Cape Town ?