Happy Teachers? (Long post, sorry!)

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by Bookie, Oct 27, 2006.

  1. Bookie

    Bookie Rookie

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    Oct 27, 2006

    Part of me really wants to become a teacher and I've been pursuing this goal for a while now: volunteering at schools, teaching overseas, studying for the CSET and thinking about getting my credential training application together.

    I'm coming into the game a bit later on in life, and I'd like to be a SPED teacher because it seems like they're the most in demand for the elementary school level. Plus, I like that there's an element of creative problem solving needed to help these struggling kids. I love kids and spending time with them. I'm also attracted to teaching because it involves community building and teamwork, and the steady paycheck and vacation time isn't bad either!

    But everywhere I go people unload to me about how hard it is to be a teacher; the lack of support, the bratty kids, the politicking co-workers. My mom's a teacher and she has been, ahem, *less* than supportive. Yesterday, a man overheard me talking into my cell phone about my plans and took the time to tell me about his years of teaching in an urban school board. He said he was glad his children had decided not to be teachers and he "shudders to think of them stepping into a class room".

    I think I've got a bit of an advantage because I am a bit older, so I (in theory at least) know myself a better than someone in their early 20s. But I know I'm not the most forceful/agressive personality. I like to think that if I'm proactive and work to develop trust and respect in the classroom that I won't have insurmountable behavior problems.

    I guess I'd like to hear from the happy teachers out there. Does it get any easier to cope with behaivior issues? Are you happy you made the decision to become a teacher? Are you the type who brings it all home with you or are you able to relax at the end of the day? Do you find the work load overwhelming? If so, how do you keep yourself happy?

    I really appreciate your responses!
     
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  3. ctopher

    ctopher Comrade

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    Oct 27, 2006

    Hello,

    I've been teaching for 8 years and love my job, however I've cautioned many to think long and hard before they commit to teaching. It's a thankless job and if you're not ready to play the politics game it can be difficult. My state has also passed licensing requirements with MANY hoops to jump. I'm thrilled to be grandfathered into the system since it was passed after I became a teacher.

    I don't think the behavior problems get easier because each child and situation is so different. Each year feels like starting over. However each year does add some experience and you have strategies to pick and choose from.

    My thought is that if you want to be a good teacher
    (which it sounds like you do!) it's impossible to leave the job at school. Not only will you be bringing home BAGS of stuff to do but you will bring all the emotion of the day home too.

    If it's what you want to do and you feel it with all of your being then do it. If there is any doubt I say think of something else.
     
  4. bethechange

    bethechange Comrade

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    Oct 27, 2006

    I'm in my fourth year of teaching special education - I have taught both middle school multiply handicapped and early elementary self-contained special ed in two different states. I love my job because I am passionate about the kids and I love listening to their unique perceptions of the world. I love seeing things click for them and helping them to discover how independent they can be.

    Ctopher, you hit the nail on the head when you said it is impossible to leave the job at school...If I am not planning or doing paperwork, I am constantly processing through what happened during the day, or with a particular student or family. Teaching can be both the most rewarding and heartbreaking thing you'll ever do in your life. I've been told many a time by friends and family to just let it go, but it is not always that easy. Luckily, I am young and live alone, so I am willing and able to dedicate a lot of time to the "after hours" stuff. Most of the teachers I know, though, are married and have families to take care of and I honestly do not know how they do it. So that might be something to consider before you take the plunge.

    The thing I would caution you about most, though is that it is getting harder and harder to be creative and flexible in teaching special education (probably in teaching anything, but my experience is in special education). Each student is required to have individual goals tailored to his or her unique needs. In my experience, however, instead of trusting teachers to, as you say, be creative and figure out how to address these goals, districts tend to dictate what students are taught and how they are taught it, leaving you as a teacher very litle flexibility. This is largely a response to increasing federal and state demands for increased performance, higher inclusion ratios, etc. Paperwork and caseloads are ever increasing. I have noticed more and more students with less severe needs "losing" service time or being placed in less restrictive placements because of the need to "save" spots and support for more seriously involved children. In the last four years I have been touched by many children, but two in particular stand out for me because I poured my heart and soul into getting them into placements with more support. I documented, I had people observe them, I worked with behavior specialists, autism specialists, behavioral psychologists, parents, I jumped through every hoop I was given...and still those children were denied the support that they deserved and needed to be successful. I was basically threatened with job loss by the director of special ed if I didn't "agree" with my district's "recommended placement," even though I had spent every day for the last year with the child. The families were given basically no say in the decision, which is not only heartbreaking but illegal. For someone who came into teaching believing that I could move a mountain with faith alone, it was a hard fall to fall.

    If you do choose to teach, and you are seriously interested in working with special needs students and creatively meeting their challenges, it may be worth checking into teaching in a private school? Perhaps you will be able to find one with a philosophy of education and community building similar to your own? I wish you the best of luck in your discernment process. In any case, I admire your passion and willingness to seek your own answers -- don't lose that!
     
  5. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Oct 27, 2006

    I disagree ctopher, I find teaching to be very rewarding. I am thanked everyday when my kiddos give me a big hug or tell me they love me, or when I see them LOVING school and are excited about learning. That is all the thanks I need!:love: I think the rewards of teaching come back to us tenfold .
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oct 28, 2006

    I started teaching HS math in 1980. In 2000 I quit to be home with my own young kids; I returned to my old (Catholic Jr/Sr High) school in September. I left teaching Seniors (and as dept chair); now I'm teaching 7th grade.

    I wouldn't do anything else. I love my job, I love my school, I love the kids I teach. (OK, not every kid every day, but that's to be expected.)

    Do I work hard? Sure. But I'm not afraid of a little hard work. For the most part I get to decide when my crunch periods will be-- so I didn't schedule a test the night before my sister's wedding. My administration has bent over backwards to make my return easy; I don't have any extra curricular activities this year (although I'll pick up a Sodality group when they start in January) and I'm on call for Homeroom.

    Yes, there's a lot of paperwork (and I know nothing of special ed.) But that's not a realy big deal; after a year or so you come up with a system that works for you. Likewise with the preps; at this point, math 7 is pretty much the only prep in the school I haven't had before. So if I get Precalc or Geometry or Trig next year it won't be an issue. The first year with any new prep is more work; it takes 2 or 3 years before it really becomes easy and you can see the connections from one prep to the work the kids already know and will need for next year.

    And I know I'm exceptionally lucky to be where I am. I had 2 other job offers in the spring; I called my principal (as he requested) and he hired me that day-- he let me know what I was teaching several weeks later.

    The flip side, of course, is that he values me for a reason. I have a good work ethic. I love kids. I enforce school policies. My kids learn and have no reason to run to guidance and complain. I'm willing to pick up any class that needs to be covered. I won't put down another teacher in the kid's hearning; nor will I allow them to do so near me ("You don't have to like my friends, but please don't put them down to me. I'll give you the same courtesy.")

    Anyway, I say go for it. There is no other job on the planet like teaching.
     
  7. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Oct 29, 2006

    I'm glad that this thread was started. I'm a first year sped teacher & I'm in a similar boat as you, Bookie, regarding my feelings & what I've done. I'm starting my job not quite as young as many others & I, too have dedicated a lot of schooling to be qualified to teach.

    I agree that overall, teaching is viewed as a thankless job. I mean it's rewarding when one can see that their students are learning something & improving, but overall, it's thankless. For those who are thanked on a daily basis, that's wonderful. Most kids aren't that appreciative, especially special ed kids. I'm not talking about getting gifts from students at Christmas time, I'm talking about students on an ordinary day saying, "Thanks for helping me". Teachers don't hear that nearly as often as they should.

    No school district is perfect. There's always going to be something that isn't so great. Of course some are better than others.

    Bookie, it sounds like you want to be a great teacher, but teaching may not be your true life's passion. Of course there are many teachers who absolutely LOVE teaching, but then there are others where teaching isn't many teachers' true passions, yet they've made a career out of it for whatever reason or another. Whether it be for the fairly good pay or the vacation time or something else. I mean we'd like to think that all teachers truly love their jobs, but let's face it, what other types of careers give you 2-3 months off a year? But of course one would have to halfway like working with kids or else one would be really miserable. I think many teachers tolerate the bad behavior & the other negativities of teaching.

    So, I understand that you may not be 100% for getting into the teaching field.

    At this point in my career, I'm sure I'll love it as time goes on. Will I ever be passionate about it? It's hard to say.
     
  8. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Nov 9, 2006

    I'd like to hear more peoples' thoughts about this topic. Anyone?
     
  9. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Nov 10, 2006

    I returned to teaching 6 years ago after 10 years at home with my kids and I feel like I've "come home". This is what I am meant to be doing. Am I happy every day? No. Do I get frustrated with some of the kids, the parents, the paperwork? Absolutely! Do I love my job? Without a doubt!

    This is my first year teaching Special Education. I teach grade 4-8s in the Student Support Centre, providing replacement programs in Math and English. I see 19 students every day--8 in my grade 4-6 groups and 11 (al boys) in my grade 7 and 8 group. I'm struggling to hold my head above all of the paperwork and am working way too many hours. I am dealing with the less-than-positive attitudes of my co-workers toward my students and my efforts to get the best out of them (they are primarily LD and behaviour). I have cried on more than one occasion after talking with parents, teachers or students.

    However...
    I get thanked every day in many ways--a note or phone call from a parent, the faith my administration is showing by allowing me to spread my wings and try something new, my students who trust me enough to talk to me about troubles they are having in other classes and begging me for help, an enthusiastic response to an assignment, a quick hug or smile in the hall, students asking if they can come to the Resource room when they aren't scheduled to.

    The frustrations are certainly there, but, in my opinion, the rewards can't be matched.
     
  10. la professeur

    la professeur New Member

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    Nov 10, 2006

    Special Ed

    I am a two year special ed teacher in a residential treatment facility. A career change for me late in life. Do I leave my work at the "office"? Definitely not. The kids have become a part of my life and that's okay. I love spending the day with challenging kiddos and then coming home to find more ways to engage them in learning. You gotta love being a teacher or you will not succeed. And worst of all, you won't be helping the kiddos learn and grow. I've done many things in my long, happy life but this has definitely been the most rewarding, most frustrating, most joyful time I've ever had! I hope you all find what you're looking for.
     
  11. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Nov 11, 2006

    MrsC, to get thanked in one way or another every single day is great! The other day, a new student I've been working with for only a few days came up and hugged me at recess. It felt nice. I'm glad there's always that one student who's gracious enough to show appreciation!
     
  12. hope037

    hope037 Rookie

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    Nov 13, 2006

    I totally relate to you. For one thing, I'm not young either. As a substitute teacher almost done with my master's in ed and teaching credential and mother of special ed kids, I have decided to get my special ed credential now, too.

    In my teacher program, there are lots of young girls who, after some real classroom experience, feel they wish they hadn't gone into teaching but they invested too much in their education to quit. Today's classroom is a complex and challenging work environment. Many people don't last beyond their first few years of teaching. Everything you said about teaching--frustrations and problems--is true. You need to ask yourself if, in spite of this, you still want to teach.

    It's a lot like parenting. There are many moments of sheer frustration, exhaustion, torment...But any parent will tell you that is is very much worth it. Some people are born to teach. Others feel a higher calling to enter the field. I suspect that if anyone goes into teaching for any other reason, he will not find teaching pleasant.

    Here's a tip for approaching special ed behavior challenges that might help though: Don't consider student behaviors as "problems." They have behavior issues due to their medical conditions. Helping them work through their behaviors is part of their curriculum.

    You wouldn't expect a third grader to know all of his multiplication tables at the beginning of the year. Why would we expect a special ed student to behave perfectly all at once, all the time? It takes teaching, practice, and patience during the learning process. Try not to get rattled by the behaviors. Try not to feel pressured to make giant leaps of progress with them. Steady, baby steps gets the kids to their goals.

    That's my thought anyway.

    Not to say that the very best teachers don't have their tough days. I know a lot of teachers and they come home exhausted, spent, and frustrated. But most of them love their jobs.

    A sub faces all different classrooms and some days, I just don't feel like going in. Being a sub is so different from working with the same kids every day. But once I show up and see those precious, bright faces, I love being there. I love working with the kids. Challenging kids and all.

    So my parting advice is that you really need to think deeply before jumping in, but your concerns and fears are natural. At least you know you're going in with both eyes open wide. Ask yourself, "If not teaching, what else would I want to do?"
     
  13. Giggles1100

    Giggles1100 Comrade

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    Nov 17, 2006

    I love my job and my classroom. I came backto teachign after taking off for 10 years, I will tell you if you had asked me lastthis time if I would ever go back to teachign I would have told you HECK NO! My first few years were spent In content mastery and resource english, I took what I could get I really wanted a Life skills class and could not get one. The politics were bad and my principals did not support us, nor did the district. After my kids got into school the teachign bug bit me again, I decided to give it one more try, and boy am I glad I did I got my life skills classroom, the paperwork does nto bug me ebcause before I was doing paperwork for 150 students now I just have my 4. And as for this job being thankless, I don't know about you but when I get a big old grin from one of my kids because he has figured out how to count by 5's I get all giddy inside, it also helps that the teacher before me did not do much withthe class so my parents are like "wow ______ is doing so much more this year and becoming independant" Normally parents are not thankful, I knwo I taught preschool for a while. I get more satisfaction from my students smiling and having fun than anything and seeingthem use skills I have taught them.


    I say if you find the right classroom for yourself in the right school, you will love your job and never look back.
     
  14. bnickie

    bnickie New Member

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    Dec 2, 2006

    Making it through the first year

    I went to school for 6 years to be a special education teacher and this is my first year and it is NOT EASY!!! I keep looking into master programs just to get out of it. I love working with the kids and my students (9) of them are Cognitively middle school kids and also EI kids. I love being with them and working with them but the planning that goes on leaves you no time for anything including spending time with the kids. Thank go for my Teacher Assistants!
    Everyone tells me the first year is the worst and I only pray that is the truth becuase I hate that I have always had a passion for working with kids of special needs and now that I am teaching I am miserable. GOOD LUCK!
     
  15. CanadianTeacher

    CanadianTeacher Groupie

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    I would say that next to parenting, it's probably the most challenging job you can do, yet the most rewarding. I love making those connections and thinking that something I did or said will be remembered one day years later and make a difference in a difficult decision or situation. I hate not knowing what impact I'm really having. I'm in my second year of qualified teaching, yet I supply taught at the same school the three years in a row before I became a teacher and I had a chance to experience just how much you do have an impact and are remembered by students. I have had students already come back and visit me, or I've bumped into students around town who have commented on how much they enjoyed my classes or would like me to be their teacher again. That is the real reward but if you thrive on instant gratification, teaching is probably not for you. To be happy and motivated, you have to be able to deal with all of the negatives with the thought in mind, that it all does matter what you do - you just may not know it till much (sometimes much, much) later.
     
  16. MsWilks13

    MsWilks13 Rookie

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    I began as a special ed. aid, then became certified and this is my 3rd year total, but 2nd year as a classroom & 1st grade teacher and I must agree with the other teachers when they say that teaching is rewarding, but there is lot of paperwork and it's not a "leave at 3:30" job. I stay many evenings until 6 and sometimes 7pm (I have no husband or kids either) because I feel that sometimes, that's what it takes.

    On the flip side, I would say that if I never have to step foot in CORPORATE AMERICA again, I would be okay with that. I have never had a career with such mixed emotions, but seeing my students' growth at the end of the year outweighs all the frustration I sometimes feel with the overmelming paperwork and behavior redirections.

    I love the field of education so much that I am working on being accepted into grad school to pursue special education now for the fall of 07'.
     
  17. hillsidefogo

    hillsidefogo Companion

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    Dec 3, 2006

    22 years teaching and still look forward to it.

    This is my 22nd year teaching. I taught grades 1 & 2 for the first 3 years, then did a spec. Educ, degree and taught everything is sped from multihandicapped, to remedial in primary- high school, home schooled a child on a respirator and in a special unit for a child with profound hearing loss. I loved the children and the teaching but the paperwork and 'hoops' to jump through burned me out in sped.

    I considered quitting after 13 years as a Sped teacher, I finally convinced the school board to let me out of Sped and give me a Kindergarten job. What a rejuenination!! I have loved to go to work everyday for the last 6 years. This year I'm half K and half Sped. the paperwork is still there but there is a promise of new policies soon.

    Don't get me wrong, I have had my challenges in K, children with austism, severe speech delays, severe behavior disorders, etc. but it is a challenge and a joy to help these children to gain control, to learn a new skill, to realize that you really care. There is no feeling like it when a child feels proud of something he/she has accomplished, and you helped get him/her there.

    Teaching is wonderful but the politics and paperwork is not so wonderful. You sound like you are mature enough to handle the work, like others said, just realize it is not a job you leave at the door of the school when you go home but if you love children and a job that's definitely not boring, go for it!

    You do have to commit to lots of work but you get a lot back.
     
  18. hope037

    hope037 Rookie

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    Dec 3, 2006

    Thank you for that reminder. I love children and I definitely don't want a job that's boring. There are many jobs that can be exhausting, frustrating, maddening even...but none with the rewards of teaching.:love:
     
  19. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I must be pretty fortunate because half of the time, sometime more, I'm actually out the door on the dot of the hour that I'm off.

    I sometimes wonder which is easier, teaching special ed or general ed? I don't think one is easier, they're equally difficult, it's just different things to deal w/. What do you guys think?
     
  20. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    As a first year Special Education teacher, after teaching in a classroom for the past 5 years, I can definitely say that Special Ed is not easier! (for me at least) I"m dealing with smaller numbers of students, but still see 20 every day and I have 27 on my caseload (the other 7 are having their progress monitored on modified programs in the regular classroom.) I had 27 IEPs to write at the beginning of the year and these need to be updated twice more during the year. Creating individual programs for my students and gathering the appropriate materials takes me a lot of time. I don't think my job is easier or harder, just different.
     
  21. totallybusy

    totallybusy Rookie

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    Dec 13, 2006

    I have been teaching since 1994. I taught Primary, Phys.Ed, Special Ed ( non cat. & cat.), and High School. Just call me a jack of all trades. I have presently decided to take time of with my kids for a couple years. Parentng is 110% harder than teaching. But like parenting you live it 24/7. I will go back as soon as my kids are in school full time and can't wait!
     
  22. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

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    Dec 13, 2006

    You may want to try working as a special ed. TA before deciding to teach special ed. this will give you a glimpse into the field. I was a special ed teacher for 6 years and I am subbing so I can get a Science CRedential. I left my last job because my mother was sick and I have been subbing ever since. Terry G.
     
  23. AspieTeacher

    AspieTeacher Comrade

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    Jan 10, 2007

    I am in my 8th year of teaching students with moderate-severe disabilities (autism) and I'm already becoming "burned out." I see more and more students who are in total charge of their families. They have no discipline, responsiblity, and most of all no respect. They come into my classroom because i'm the "baby-sitter" for these parents. Here is my personal opinion why I feel like i'm the "baby-sitter." I have so many different responsiblities even as a teacher of students with moderate-severe disabilities. One of the responsiblities is making sure that they are showing progress on the previous year's goal. One of the areas lacking in this field is the parents' responsiblity about what they need to do at home to follow up with what I am teaching. I have parents who given nothing but "excuses" why they can't do these things. They do not show up to parent conferences, meetings, respond to letters. At the IEP, they start to complain that the "teacher" is mean to their child because their child is whiny. Most of my students are already low functioning. I don't want to become a "baby-sitter" anymore. I'm fed up with the excuses and the lack of progress and most of all being blamed for it all. I want to work with students who are able to function without any extra training (PECS, TEACCH) because these are what the district is supposed to provide. I won't lie folks, i'm burned out. I never even thought it would come to this, but it has. A teacher should not have to spend almost 8 years of his life feeling like all he has been is an overpaid "day care worker." This is when the reality hits you in the face. I need a change. I am going to have to start looking around for a change. I'm just getting tired of being at this same place and it's not going anywhere. The students are getting more severe and less support from home. I wish all teachers would have to work with the moderate-severe population, without proper support and try to have happy face. I'll bet it will never happen. We have had a major turn-over of teachers in the last couple of years and I'm starting to see why. I'm not complaining, i'm just telling you what is reality. Reality is when you realize you're not going to change them and you'll just have to move on. I don't want to fight anymore. I love my kids, but they are getting more severe in their behavior and the parents don't care any more.

    Troy in Downey, Ca
    AspieTeacher
     
  24. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

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    Jan 11, 2007

    Troy, have you though of teaching a community based instruction class at a public school? LAUSD has a lot of those. You might also want to try the Dubnoff Center in North Hollywood. Their Living skills classess have MR students and they are not too bad. Sometimes these kids will have emotional outbursts but they are not as severe as autistic kids. Also the HELP Group in Sherman Oaks is a great school. Any way these are just suggestions. Terry G.
     
  25. bjweyant

    bjweyant Rookie

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    Jan 14, 2007

    Hi Bookie,

    This is my sixth year in SPED and there is nothing in the world that I would rather do. I did long-term position in several GenEd classes along with a stint in 7th grade science before finishing my credential and starting full time. I actually tried for a 5th grade classroom (my original credential is GenEd) but was asked if I would SPED for a year and then move into a regular classroom. I have never left this classroom.
    Is teaching difficult in todays very political climate - yes.
    Is there a lot of paperwork with special ed - yes.
    Do I have to bring work home/stay late to get things done- yes.
    Have there been times when I thought about quitting - yes.
    Am I ignored when thanks and cudos are handed out - yes.
    Would I change my decision to become a teacher - no.
    If I could go back and stay in GenEd, would I - no.

    There are rewards in this field that most people will never experience that go beyond the paycheck. Like - A child's smile when they figure out there is a relationship between the number two and those two pencils on the table. The look in a child's face when they 'get it' after struggling to learn a new concept. The tears in a parent's eyes when they talk about how their child has struggled so hard without anyone understanding and how they hated school before they came to your classroom. Now their child loves to come to school and is proud of themselves. Yes - I am rewarded almost everyday.

    It would be nice if politicians would keep their noses out of education and let us do the jobs that we are trained to do. There are hoops to jumb through that having nothing to do with being able to teach. It's all part of the changing climate in education. Teachers who started before all of this struggle with it all. Change is hard. (Especially stupid change) It is being thrown at them and they might become bitter/disheartened because of it (with good reason). THey know what it was like before all the new rules. It might be hard for them to see/share the positive aspects of teaching. THere are many.
    Take some time to observe/volunteer in a special education classroom. Part of the credentially process requires that you do a certain number of observation hours but it isn't enough really. I personally have had college students spend lots of extra hours with me so they would have a better idea of what we face. I don't know where you live, but if it is near Bakersfield - let me know. My door is always open.

    As for student behaviors - they change from year to year. I have had a 'class from hell' and a 'class from heaven'. Each student has their own unique set of problems that have to be dealt with. If you take the time to find out what they need and then work to help them achieve that - you will be fine. Behavior also has a lot to do with the support that you have at the school also. Teachers who are backed up in the office usually have fewer repeat problems in the classroom. However, that doesn't mean that we send all of our problems to the office. Sometimes we have to and support from above is very necessary.

    Don't be disheartened by what you hear from others. Investigate, ask questions, observe, pray, then make your own decision.

    Good luck. By the way - I went back to college when my son was in HS and started teaching at 46. Being older can be a great benefit.
     
  26. moving ahead

    moving ahead New Member

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    Jan 14, 2007

    Dear Bookie: I went into Special Education because I thought the demand was high. I got out of Special Education because of medical problems. First of all, I did not have the personality for it. Second of all, I have Bi-Polar Disorder which made it difficult to positive with Special Education kids all the time. I came back into education after being in business for 20 years. The adjustment was too hard for me.
    I received a M.Ed. in Special Education, but that does not mean I should be teaching it. I thought for a while I just got burned out. Yet, it was more than that for me. I did not need to be there for my own mental health. As a male, I had the most difficult Special Ed. teaching jobs. I had the kids no one else could handle. I loved the kids, but the transition from Business too the schools was too much for me. You cannot run a school classroom like you run a business.

    I am glad I am doing what is best for the students. That is staying out of the classroom for me.
     
  27. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Feb 9, 2007

    I'm brand new to not only teaching, but special ed teaching. I'm halfway through my first year & I'm resigning...from this particular district anyway. The kids weren't the problem. I'll finish up the school year, but then that's it.

    I have an MA & 2 credentials, but I don't want to be in the classroom anymore. I'm feeling pretty discouraged & frustrated right now. My current dilema is whether to try getting a job as a general ed teacher (which I have the credential for that too), work in a non-educational field, or pursue my Ph.D. In the meantime, I can return to subbing when my job is over.

    What other jobs besides teaching can one do w/ an education degree?

    - I don't want to be a principal.
    - Writing books doesn't really provide steady income.
    - I wouldn't mind teaching college level, but I don't feel I have enough experience/knowledge & what would I teach?
     
  28. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Feb 9, 2007

    This is my 3rd year teaching. While there are parts that I don't like (mainly all that paperwork ;) ) I love my job.
    Careers I've thought about if I ever retire:
    Writing or Selling for a textbook company
    Creating or Selling for a school supply company
    Teaching at the college level
    Providing Technology support for schools
    Tutoring
    Teaching professional development courses
     
  29. SpecialTexan

    SpecialTexan Rookie

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    Feb 14, 2007

    If you are looking for thanks in the traditional sense, teaching isn't the place for you. Your administrators will treat you like you are lucky to be there. They know that it is the same political game everywhere else. And the students don't think of you as a person if you do your job right...they think you have nothing better to do than call their parents on their behavior issues, and enough money to buy a case of red pens a month.

    That said, we are the most valuable resource this country has. We provide for the future more than any other service occupation out there. We give students the building blocks for their dreams. They become doctors, lawyers, business owners, presidents and even TEACHERS because of our dedication.

    So don't go into it looking for thanks. But realize that your contributions great and small make the biggest impact that you will never see. I'M PROUD TO BE A TEACHER! :D
     
  30. tchecse

    tchecse Companion

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    Feb 15, 2007

    This is my second year teaching special ed. pre-school (ages 2-5). I love my kids and my admin:) Yes-paperwork is overwhelming but I agree that once you get through the first year, you learn how to manage things-data, setting IEPS, etc. Every job has its ups and downs, but I love teaching my kids to learn through play all day!! As for being having a more "strict" personality, I tend to feel that being a more laid back person can help with the everyday challenges you will face working with sped kiddos! Also, as far as the thanks I get-between the hugs of my kids, the parent/admin compliments, and watching my kids learn to speak, walk, go potty, etc. - I feel like that is all the thanks I need! (I even have had a past parent call to say that their son with autism has been able to move into a more included setting this year and my student was able to talk to me on the phone-I will never forget that day!!!). I keep all my kid pics, parent letters, admin thank yous, etc. in a special box (and I do a yearly scrapbook) at home, so that when I am having a "remind me why I do this" day I just open the box/album and look through these things. One more thing-remember that everything-the politics, the paperwork, the not-so-nice parents are all opportunties to advocate for student with special needs. You may be the only person in that child or family's life with a passion to work with them, so please give it a try!!!
     
  31. wanateach

    wanateach Companion

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    Mar 4, 2007

    Wow,
    You all have inspired me, I sit here poo-pooing because my principal did not rehire me for next year and I did not see it coming, but reading all of the wonderful time and effort you put into your careers makes me think maybe I should get back on the horse, I was so scared, jittery and nervous for entering the field again after 15 years. It was hard this year after being spoiled by tv and food and no particular place to go-but it is a wonderful thing to meet the faces who look to you for everything-some of them do-they get absolutely nothing at home in terms of helping them to be a better person-a good person, but we are paid to help them succeed and achieve however we can.

    I bring so much home with me and work 11 hour days at times, and have a family at home, it is hard-the paperwork is numbing at times. But this is good because I am once again fired up to go see my kids tomorrow and for 3 more months. I am gonna milk it for all it is worth. It is not work, it is fun, challenging and great to work with these kids. thanks Lori L
     

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