College Student, question about SP ED?

Discussion in 'Special Education Archives' started by dmmiller360, Oct 13, 2005.

  1. dmmiller360

    dmmiller360 Rookie

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    Oct 13, 2005

    Hi,

    I am currently in college, and trying to figure out what I would like to teach. I am a softy at heart, and would love to work with LD children. I'm not sure I could take working with severely disable children (my mother has said I'm too soft hearted, and I'm not sure emotionally I could take it, I cry at the drop of a hat). I am also thinking about teaching English in secondary school. If I wanted to teach Learning Disabled children, who are having a hard time with reading and writing, would I go for an English degree, or a Special Education degree. I am a little worried about just getting a special Ed degree as I would have no other options but to teach special Ed.

    Does anyone just teach LD students, or do you normally teach a regular English class, then maybe have one period where you are teaching LD students?

    Thank you in advance for any advice you can give me.

    Debra
     
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  3. TeachWildThings

    TeachWildThings Comrade

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    Oct 13, 2005

    It depends on what your state's certification requirements are. Contact them directly or the university. For example in CA there are no "education specific" degrees except for Masters. To teach you need a BA in anything, pass a few exams & take credential courses (often these cross over to a MA program). It varies all over the country. If you are specifically looking at reading issues your state may also have supplementary credentials for that.
     
  4. glitzern02

    glitzern02 Companion

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    Oct 14, 2005

    I know at the university that I am attending it is possible to do Secondary Ed, Special Ed, and then a content area. Although, this would take over four years to complete. As long as you take the proper exams, I am pretty sure you would be able to get certification in both your content are to teach at the secondary level and then for special ed. And you could also get a masters in reading if you are set on doing that.
     
  5. ljl64

    ljl64 New Member

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    Oct 16, 2005

    highly qualified status

    In New Jersey, you must be highly qualified in a subject area like English in addition to your special education certification. This is all part of NCLB.
     
  6. whitneybo

    whitneybo Guest

    Oct 18, 2005

    In most schools I have been in if you teach LD you teach LD all day. I was in situation where I taught Spanish 2 hours a day and taught in a resource room the rest of the day but I think that was not a good situation. Because there were students in my sped classroom who were being taught by a teacher's aide. But it probably depends on the school size and what their needs are. If you are unsure if you want to do LD forever go ahead and get your English certifcation too. But just be aware that once you go special ed it is hard to go back. I have friends that have gone as far as to have it taken off of their teaching certficate and change districts! But it is up too you! I teach 5th and 6th grade LD and I love it! But it is challenging! I too have always been a very soft hearted person so here is something else you should know: with teaching students with learning disablities also comes a lot of discipline/behavior problems so be ready to be tough!! These kids need structure and consitent discipline as well as someone they know cares. Finding a balance between the two is one of the biggest challenges I have faced in my job. But I also think that you sound like you would be good teacher for severe and profound. And that is an area that has big need for teachers...I think you can handle it better than you think...but just my opinion. There is also a big need for GOOD LD teachers...the problem is that the you really have to LOVE it to stay with it...and the burn out rate is outrageous! But you sound like you would be a great, caring teacher no matter which way you decide to go!. I hope that this post helps...and feel free to ask and more questions about anything!
    Good luck to you!
     
  7. dmmiller360

    dmmiller360 Rookie

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    Oct 18, 2005

    Thank you, everyone, for your advice. I am still early in my college career, so I do have some time to think about what I really want to do. I appreciate you taking the time to respond to me.

    Debra
     
  8. maggiedoodle

    maggiedoodle Rookie

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    Oct 19, 2005

    I don't know if you're still looking for responses, but I could relate to your position. I had always wanted to be an elementary teacher, but when I went to college I was told being SPED certified would make me more marketable. I decided to pursue a dual degree (oddly, with an english concentration). I did it just to add to my repetoire (Probably not the greatest reason!) I really thought I couldn't handle teaching students with disabilities because I worry a lot about people and cry easily too. However, when I student taught in SPED, I LOVED it. You really make a difference in kids' lives this way! The students I have worked with have all been mildly and moderately disabled. I was offered a positiion with profoundly disabled students, but I know that is an area I couldn't handle. I personally feel that SPED is better suited for the more emotionally "in-tune" people (if you will), as it requires some empathy.
    So...maybe go for it, and see if you like it. Keep something else, just in case. Good luck!
     
  9. lisap

    lisap Companion

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    Oct 30, 2005

    I got my teaching degree in Math, minor in LD. It was truly an asset in getting my job as a high school LD teacher. I do actually team teach a regular ed math class that has a high number of spec ed kids. I also teach a pull out math class. I can assume the same could be possible for English. It seems that working with spec ed kids, most have significant difficulty in English and math.
     
  10. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Nov 1, 2005

    Maybe being a Resource Specialist is a good choice for you. That's the kind of teacher I want to be. If you're at the elementary level, which is what I want, you'll be teaching all kids from grades K-5 or 6. In a nutshell, an RSP teacher works w/ a small group of kids (around the same grade level), anywhere from usually 2-7 kids at one time for anywhere from usually 30 minutes to an 1 1/2 in math and english only (no history or science). In a school day, you would have about 5-7 different groups of kids. Depending on the school, it's either a pull-out program where they leave their general classroom to work w/ you in your room or collaborative where you go into their room & work w/ certain students. I much prefer the pull-out program myself. All the kids have some kind of LD, but just by looking at them, you'd never know. I mean they're not severely disabled where they are retarded or are in wheelchairs for example. Plus you have an aide (paraprofessional) to help you work w/ them. At any one school, you are the only type of this teacher on campus, some campuses may have 2 RSP teachers or some schools might have an itinerant RSP teacher (IRSP) where they go to 2 different schools in a day.

    I have a BA in Behavioral Science & am working on a special ed mild/moderate disabilties credential. I'm also working on a multiple subjects credential in case I ever want to teach general ed. I'm also working on a MA in education, but that's not a requirement to be a resource specialist.
     
  11. zolar16

    zolar16 Rookie

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    Nov 3, 2005

    In Florida, you can choose Alternative Certification if you'd like to teach a subject area but you don't have a degree in it. I was talked out of double majoring in Psychology and Exceptional Student Education when I was a freshman, so I went ahead and got my degree in Psychology. Since Florida offers this certification option, I was able to get a job teaching right out of college, but I had the option of going on to get my doctorate right away if I wanted to get into autism research. If Virginia offers alternative certification (meaning people who do not have degrees in education can come in and get a job teaching and become certified in a short period of time), I'd go with the major you're enjoying the most, and minor in the other one, or at least take several electives in that area.

    P.S. Crying at the drop of the hat is not a bad thing. I love my students and I work really hard to do what's best for them. When somebody or something gets in the way of my mission, you bet I cry at least a little. :)
     

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