any help for someone in college in this field?

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by mandagap06, May 15, 2008.

  1. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    May 15, 2008

    Hi! I am a college student at a community college in my area. My major is Special Education all the way! I hope to transfer to a 4yr college in my area after I am done with the basics. I have had about 5 classes total so far 2 of which were remideal(sp?) courses. I work as a sub for elem classes and special needs classes only in my area. I really feel led to work with special needs children but the thought of the IEP's I have heard about and just the stress factor of lesson plans since they are much different with special needs classes, workin with the OT,and just all those involved with the kids scares me a bit. I worked while in Highschool as a "student helper" it was an elective we could take and we helped the teacher and aides any way they needed. Also, we were an extra hand on field trips for them. I have also been to many special olympic events as a helper and Sub. To get to do the 2 things I love most: Teach and be around special needs children is just going to be the best. I have always said I want a job that I can get up in the mornings and be ready and excited to go to work. I have that now and feel I will have that when I graduate also. I love subing. Any tips for while I am in college and when I start would be wonderful! I would be grateful!Thanks !
     
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  3. positiveautism

    positiveautism Comrade

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    May 19, 2008

    Since you're subbing, you have some idea of what you'll be working with. Your district will also probably assign you a mentor teacher who will help you your first year, or you can seek out another teacher for guidance.

    You might also want to consider a private school for children with special needs. You might have less paperwork in this environment.

    For resources that may help you, I'd like to suggest my website (can you tell I'm biased? :) It has lesson plans, games, data sheets and more. www.PositivelyAutism.com

    Good luck!
     
  4. bcblue

    bcblue Comrade

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    May 19, 2008

    As far as while you're in college--keep both eyes wide open, and whenever you see something you really like, write it down. Keep a notebook of good ideas, so that when you need them, you can look back and have a place to start. When you are observing or subbing in a classroom, see if you can get the teacher to show you not just what is being done, but HOW. Especially, try to learn as much about the various assistive technology as you can. The more experience you have the better, b/c often when you are actually the teacher, they hand you a tool and say "here figure it out." Get the lesson in how while you can!! (Example: my cooperating teacher when I student taught taught me a lot of tricks with Boardmaker, IntelliKeys, and voice output communication and various switch devices. This was good b/c in my first classroom, the equipment was all there, with minimal to no instructions around and very few people in my building who knew how to use it. Boy was I glad for that cooperating teacher!)
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2008
  5. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    May 19, 2008

    Thanks guys keep the advice coming if you think of more! I am thankful for anything and everything!
     
  6. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

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    May 22, 2008

    Hello Mandagap. :) I just finished student teaching! It was a loooong road but I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel and it's really exciting. I know it's hard, but try not to worry about IEP meetings and paperwork. By the time you're done with student teaching, you'll feel a lot more comfortable with those aspects. You'll also feel a lot more comfortable with planning. My biggest worry right now, going in to a new job, is curriculum planning and behavior management. So while you're helping out in classrooms, make copies of anything you think you might use. For example, if you're working in a classroom that uses some sort of star reward chart, make a copy of it and stash it away for when you're ready to start your new classroom. You THINK you'll remember it, but trust me, by the end of four years, you can't remember exactly how that plan worked anymore! Also, make copies of generic resource books when you can. During student teaching, I was a copy-making MANIAC. Just trying to build up classroom resources so I don't go in there empty-handed. My district has no money so it's pretty much all on me and whatever is left over in the classroom when I take it over.

    Oh and don't worry about lesson plans. In college they make you use specific formats so you get to know all of the different parts of a lesson. But when I student taught, I basically just made a schedule of what I was going to teach and when and that was it. I might make a list of materials and get all my stuff together before-hand but I'm not going to type out a five-page lesson plan for each thing - good lord! LOL
     
  7. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    May 23, 2008

    Thanks for the advice. I can not copy anything tho cuz in my area we need a teacher pin # to even use the copier and it goes off how many copies they get for the year which is not many. (not sure the #)
     
  8. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

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    May 23, 2008

    Oh no! I've seen that done at different schools. Well, hopefully you'll help out at a school that will let you get by with making some copies at some point.
     
  9. Teacher2Be123

    Teacher2Be123 Companion

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    May 23, 2008

    I'm currently in college for special education too. My best advice came from my last placement the teacher told me "There is a lot they don't teach you in college so make sure you make the best of your placements." In college they don't teach you how to do a lot of things and you have to learn them on your own. Take time in your placements to start to get a feel for how certain things are done (or how not to do them). They don't teach you in college how to plan out the year, how to run reading groups (at least my really didn't), how to talk to parents (!!!! big one!!!!).

    Also, I have started a folder on my jump drive of random handouts, charts, graphic organizers, etc. You never know when you will need one for a lesson plan you are writing for college, a placement or when you graduate and get a job.
     
  10. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    May 24, 2008

    Teachertobe123,
    One sugestion (andBTW thank you for yours I will take it to with me for sure)substitute teach. I am now and it is getting me ready with my feet in the door. It will get you into special ed classrooms to learn/listen to stuff. I think it should be a requirement that everyone sub before while in school to teach.
     
  11. Teacher2Be123

    Teacher2Be123 Companion

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    May 24, 2008

    it's hard around here to substitute teach. I know when I graduate that I will probably take a year and sub
     
  12. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    May 25, 2008

    Teacher2be123,
    How is it hard to sub in your area? In my area as long as you go through the process to sub and your background check is clean they will put you on the list they have. Its then up to the schools to call you I had no trouble getting calls. There has been days where I wouldn't get called all week and some I had to say I can't work this day. Some days I got 5calls or more for one day. I just go with which one called me 1st you know .
     
  13. Teacher2Be123

    Teacher2Be123 Companion

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    May 26, 2008

    Manda, it's more because of my college classes . I go to school 8-12 every day so I really can't sub for a full day. I'm to scared to put myself on a sub list and them call me for a full day when I have classes and it make myself look bad.
     
  14. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    May 27, 2008

    Teacher to be,
    If you only go to class like a few days a week then on your the sub list it would have like can only sub x days. So they know if its monday and you don't sub mondays they won't call you. Or if they do you can always say like I have I don't sub mondays.
     

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