Calling all Special Education Teachers!!!!!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by b2teach, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. b2teach

    b2teach Rookie

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    Jul 9, 2008

    I am writing a paper for my special education graduate class and wanted to ask a few questions. Please if you have the time, please answer my questions. I need as many responses as possible.

    1. How many years have you been teaching special education?
    2. How do you accomodate special education students in your classroom? What modifications do you make to your lesson plans to suite their needs?
    3. What is your biggest challenge when educating students with disabilities?
    4.What advice would you give to a new special ed teacher?
    5. Why did you choose to teach special ed?
    6. If you could change one thing about your classroom or the special ed field; what would it be and why?


    Thanks!!!!!!B2Teach:)
     
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  3. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Jul 9, 2008

    1. How many years have you been teaching special education?

    12 years- 1 in jr high SPE, 1 at a mental hospital on the child unit, and 10 in preschool SPE.

    2. How do you accomodate special education students in your classroom? What modifications do you make to your lesson plans to suite their needs?

    We do simpler tasks. Repeat, repeat, repeat. I incorporate sign language for the non-verbal and low language students. Use a lot of hands on activities.

    3. What is your biggest challenge when educating students with disabilities? Their behaviors at times. The parents at times. You have the ones that don't give a rip and you have the ones that won't let up.

    4.What advice would you give to a new special ed teacher?

    Be flexible, be creative, be patient, be loving.

    5. Why did you choose to teach special ed?

    I have a brother with Downs and I've always been drawn to the special needs population. I've always had a thing for sign language, too, as a kid. I went into deaf education. I have my BS in SPE for the hearing impaired.

    6. If you could change one thing about your classroom or the special ed field; what would it be and why? I would actually change the regular ed. field. Now the trend tends to be inclusion and the typical regular ed teacher has little training in special ed. Most may only have the intro class they are required to take in college. (Things may be different now. I've been out since '98.) I think it should be "EDUCATION" and that includes regular and special ed. Teach us all HOW to teach and HOW to modify & accomodate so all teachers will be properly trained.
     
  4. b2teach

    b2teach Rookie

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    Jul 9, 2008

    thanks so much Special Preskoo!!!! You Rock!!!!!!!
     
  5. sblanton08

    sblanton08 Rookie

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    Jul 9, 2008

    1. How many years have you been teaching special education?
    I have been teaching for 8 years. I taught in Alaska for 7 years and Colorado for one. I teach k-3 now and have worked with k-6th.

    2. How do you accommodate special education students in your classroom? What modifications do you make to your lesson plans to suite their needs?
    It depends on the students. I use manipulative a lot. I show examples of what I am looking for. I write everything on the board so they can see the words. I provide time out areas. I provide stress ball, headphones, etc. It really depends on what the students need.

    3. What is your biggest challenge when educating students with disabilities?
    Time. There is never enough time in the day or the year to get things done.

    4. What advice would you give to a new special Ed teacher?
    Write it down. Document everything, even if you do not think it is that important.

    5. Why did you choose to teach special Ed?
    I love the kids, the variety, and the rewards of their success.

    6. If you could change one thing about your classroom or the special Ed field; what would it be and why?
    Paperwork. There is to much and it takes away from time with the students. My classroom is not big enough. Special Ed teachers are often pushed into closets if we have rooms at all.

    Hope this helps.
    Sabrina
     
  6. Ghost

    Ghost Habitué

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    Jul 9, 2008

    Hope that helps!
     
  7. Teach96

    Teach96 Comrade

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    Jul 9, 2008



    Just my :2cents: Good Luck...Stick with it!
     
  8. inhisgrip20

    inhisgrip20 Comrade

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    Jul 9, 2008

    1. How many years have you been teaching special education?
    - I've taught student with severe/profound intellectual
    disabilities for 3 years.

    2. How do you accomodate special education students in your classroom? What modifications do you make to your lesson plans to suite their needs?
    - Since I teach in a self-contained setting with only 5
    students I can accomodate for each student
    based on his/her needs. I use levels of prompts (verbal,
    gesture,modeling, partial assistance, to full assistance) to
    teach a variety of skills. I use simple sign language,
    picture symbols, and assistive devices to aid in
    communication.

    3. What is your biggest challenge when educating students with disabilities?
    - The biggest challenge has been balancing time spent on
    functional academic and life skills with the time it takes
    transitioning between activities, transferring students in
    and out of wheelchairs, changing diapers/pull-ups in the
    restroom. Sometimes it just seems like there is not
    enough time in the day to get everything done. But i
    guess every classroom has that same problem, special ed
    or not! :)

    4.What advice would you give to a new special ed teacher?
    - My advice to any new special education teacher is to first
    and foremost get formal training in the methodologies of
    teaching students with special needs. There are too
    many teachers who get in the back door without a special
    education, or much less any type of teaching degree!
    Secondly, my advice would be to stay positive and
    patient... dream big for your students but also remain
    realistic with your expectations.

    5. Why did you choose to teach special ed?
    - My mother was a special education teacher. I grew up
    learning about her students and volunteering with Special
    Olympics. While in college I had the opportunitity to work
    one-on-one with a student with profound disabilities in an
    after-school program. I loved working with him and
    decided Special Education was the career for me.

    6. If you could change one thing about your classroom or the special ed field; what would it be and why?
    - One thing I would change is the State Alternate
    Assessment our students are now required to participate
    in. I'm all for accountability but there are much better
    ways to go about holding teachers accountable than
    expecting our students with severe and profound
    disabilities to perform math, reading, writing, science, and
    social studies skills on grade level!! The assessment we
    have in place now is a waste of time and resources,
    which would be much better spent on teaching practical
    life skills that will benefit our students in the future!
    Okay, that's my 2 cents. lol
     
  9. b2teach

    b2teach Rookie

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    Jul 9, 2008

    Thanks so much for all of your input.:)
     
  10. Bubbles37

    Bubbles37 Rookie

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    Jul 12, 2008

    #3 My biggest challenge when teaching Special Education students is having enough materials in the classroom to accommodate all of my students. In addition, knowing who has what disability and then differentiating my lesson planning to fit the needs of all of my students.

    #5 I had an early investment in why I wanted o teach. I have several family members who taught. However, it was the birth of my nephew who made my career choice permanent. He was born hearing impaired and has many disabilities. I learned sign natively and used that experience in the field professionally.
     
  11. teacher333

    teacher333 Devotee

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    Jul 12, 2008

    1. How many years have you been teaching special education?

    I graduated in 1978 but have been teaching only about 10 years.

    2. How do you accomodate special education students in your classroom? What modifications do you make to your lesson plans to suite their needs?

    Extended time for completion of work; mod. of testing, whether it be less on a page, larger type, shorter written answers, word bank, fewer answer choices. While the regular ed teacher is teaching, I might write some words or phrases on the board or restate some things she has said, especially if it requires following directions.

    3. What is your biggest challenge when educating students with disabilities?

    They all need something different in the classroom at all different times. You might have 4 main reading groups, but within those groups you could have multiple levels/difficulties/skills which all need to be addressed.

    4.What advice would you give to a new special ed teacher?

    Keep your sense of humor. Always advocate for your kids. Don't be afraid to disagree with someone who does not know your kids as well as you know them.

    5. Why did you choose to teach special ed?

    I originally wanted to be a physical or occupational therapist for the handicapped, and there were few colleges who had openings for new students in my area. I knew I always wanted to teach, and felt this would be a great alternative.

    6. If you could change one thing about your classroom or the special ed field; what would it be and why?

    Inclusion is good, as long as it is understood by all, and as long as the powers that be realize sometimes it is not a one size fits all-solution. I would like to have more technology in class available to my kids, just as much as is available in any other regular ed classroom. I wish IEPs were not rewritten to reflect what programs are available, but rather written to reflect what my kids actually need.
     
  12. b2teach

    b2teach Rookie

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    Jul 14, 2008

    Thank you everyone for participating in this and helping me out. I am really ready to type up my paper now. :)
     
  13. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    Jul 15, 2008

    I know that I won't be able to answer your questions since I am not out of school with a special ed degree yet, but I want to teach these special needs kids because I think everyone should be givin a chance to learn. You may not belive it but God has blessed these kids. God uses these kids to show me that if I look at them. They have life so hard at times and many do not complain about there disabilty. I have been blessed with a healthy body and mind and sometimes take it for granted. These kids many have been in the hospital more times than I can ever dream of. These kids inspire me to want to be the best person I can be. I love using the gift of helping others. God has blessed me with the ablity to help others who can not helpthemselves. I could go on and on and on... but the point of the matter is these kids are such a blessing to me. I love it and know I am going into the right thing if I could just get a TA position in special ed while in school I would be even happier. Hopefully I can land one if not this year by next school year.
     
  14. b2teach

    b2teach Rookie

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    Jul 15, 2008

    Thank you Mandagap06 for sharing. It nice when teachers really care.
     
  15. NorskNanners

    NorskNanners Rookie

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    Jul 16, 2008

    1. How many years have you been teaching special education?

    12 years

    2. How do you accomodate special education students in your classroom? What modifications do you make to your lesson plans to suite their needs?

    Tests read to them; preferential seating; reduced list or problems; extra time; computer software; etc. as needed.

    3. What is your biggest challenge when educating students with disabilities?

    Parents who have little contact and parents who will micromanage.

    Students tested (state tests) at grade level rather than at ability level and the effects on their motivation and esteem.

    4.What advice would you give to a new special ed teacher?

    Communicate often with parents and other staff. Watch and observe. Give kids space as needed to try to regain control of self (part is just knowing the individual). Have a good sense of humor. Be kind to yourself.

    5. Why did you choose to teach special ed?

    I have worked many years with the developmentally disabled in residential facilities and homes. I love education and teaching. I want to make a difference in their lives.

    6. If you could change one thing about your classroom or the special ed field; what would it be and why?

    Do away with NCLB and help students realize that THEIR gains are something to be proud of when they work hard for it.
     

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