A Typical Day in a Class of Students with Developmental Disabilities

When I started my new role of supporting students with Developmental Disabilities this year, my biggest question really was about the structure of the day. Since it was my first time doing this role, I asked many other teachers who have been doing this role for a long time for advice. They shared with me how their day was structured and ideas for potential programming. I took many of their suggestions and paired them with ideas that met the needs of my students. Without the kindness of so many of my Peel colleagues, I would have been LOST! For those of you out there that will be taking on this new challenge in September, below is a typical day in our classroom to hopefully give you some ideas to get you started.

It is important to note that my schedule has changed at least 30 times since September as we worked towards the perfect fit for our students. All of our students and staff were new to our class this year and there were many things that impacted our schedule that I didn’t anticipate such as medical needs, busing schedules, integration opportunities, behavioural needs and student goals. The schedule is something that I am constantly reflecting on and am constantly tweaking as I observe my students and team in action.

A typical day in my class:


We enter the building and put our stuff in our lockers.


We have our morning meeting.

Morning meeting

We do our morning work.

Morning Work

Snack time


Gym or art



Lunch/Life skills (Today was public transit training and eating in a restaurant)


Hygiene Routine (brushing teeth, brushing hair, washing face and putting on deodorant)


Afternoon work time/social skills

Games and work

Pack up and get ready to go home


The Author

Tammy Axt

I am a teacher of students with special needs in the Peel District School Board. This is my third year in the role and I am in the middle of a steep learning curve! I am loving every minute of this new experience with my amazing and awesome students.

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