How do I become a Special Ed. Teacher?

Discussion in 'Student & Preservice Teachers' started by Joannetmj, Dec 29, 2007.

  1. Joannetmj

    Joannetmj Rookie

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    Dec 29, 2007

    Okay, I suppose you may think this is an odd question. But it's a serious one.

    I'm from Malaysia, and just finished my SPM(equivalent to the British GCSE). In Malaysia, the field of Special Education has not really explored.. yet. Hence, my problem in seeking information regarding Special Education.

    I've no idea how to get about it. What courses do I take? How do I start? Where can I go with a degree/Masters/whatsoever it's called in Special Education?

    Bear in mind that I'm in Malaysia.. I've been reading the posts in this forum and am impressed with the facilities that schools enjoy in more developed countries.

    I am aware that I may have to go overseas to pursue this ambition of mine, and will face financial constraints if I am forced to do so. Are there any scholarships out there for Special Education?

    There is a single government scholarship in Malaysia that I am aware of, that specialises in Special Education. So far, that is my only option, I can only hope for excellent results(SPM results are released in March 2008) in SPM. Still, excellent results does not guarantee me the scholarship, considering my country's policies.

    I would really love to get involved in Special Education in my working life.. so I'll appreciate any help and advice given. :)
     
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  3. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Dec 29, 2007

    Hello Joann,

    I guess it all depends on whether you plan to continue living and teaching in Malaysia, or if you plan to take your profession somewhere else.

    Each state in the U.S. has its own rules as far as certification, and endorsement for special ed. Some states are recipicoal, being that if you pass one state's requirements, you may be able to work for a period of time in that new state, after you pass a new state test.

    I would think that such a great investment would carry a lot of questions and concerns. You may wish to study abroad for a few years, work and get experience, and then return home. Some schools offer online programs, but you would not receive certification without student teaching or field base hours.

    So, alot depends on your ultimate goals...

    Do you wish to continue working and living at home, or if you want to learn more to expand your horizons in another land?

    Give us some parameters...so we can better steer you in the right direction!
     
  4. Joannetmj

    Joannetmj Rookie

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    Jan 1, 2008

    I won't mind studying overseas, but my ultimate aim would be to help the students in Malaysia.. it's here that they really need help, seeing students with learning disabilities rarely get the help they need. Here there's so much I can help with, even if we lack facilities. Students who suffer from learning disabilities are often forced to join the 'normal' students, and end up being underachievers, outcasts, some even drop outs, labelled 'slow', 'naughty', etc. This happens due to ignorance on the parents and teachers part..

    I suppose if need be(and if I get the opportunity), I could work in some other countries for the experience and exposure, I'm sure the experience will definitely help.

    Any other parameters? Like I posted earlier, I've no idea what sort of questions to ask as I've really very little knowledge on this subject. I've asked my school counsellor about it, but she doesn't know much about it.. all she told me was I need a lot of patience.. I've asked other teachers, all about the same reply. Generally, none were encouraging me to take up Special Ed., many advised me to take up other courses such as Accounting, Economics etc.. something more 'normal' and 'financially-secure'(in my country, at least).

    But hey, I'm a stubborn person. :lol: I want to take up Special Education and I jolly well intend to find a way.

    By the way, thanks for replying, Master Pre-K. :)
     
  5. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    You're welcome, and good luck to you!
     
  6. Joannetmj

    Joannetmj Rookie

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    Jan 3, 2008

    I went to IDP(some Australian Education place, no idea what it stands for) to inquire about Special Ed. there.. the counsellor enlightened me ever so slightly..

    Will be going to MACEE(Malaysian-American Commission on Educational Exchange) to find out about Special Ed. programmes in the US soon.

    But whichever path I take... by the time I include everything, lodging, food etc... It'll come out to about Malaysian $400 000(after conversion). Which is.. not a very small amount. Which makes it a kinda impossible path to take if I'm not on scholarship. :unsure: Well, it is possible, if I choose to finish all of my parents EPF(and I mean ALL, maybe even plus a loan).. which I will not.

    Don't we all wish we're billionaires? If I'm a billionaire I'll take up all the Special Ed. courses/degrees/Masters available and start up a Special Ed. school right here in Malaysia.

    Ah.. dreams... Which are the children of an idle brain/Begot of nothing but vain fantasy.. (Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet, Act I Scene IV)

    Ok I'll quit rambling now.
     
  7. SarahJ

    SarahJ Companion

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    Jan 3, 2008

    Why don't you do a teaching degree, teach for a few years and try and implement as many 'inclusive' techniques as possible in your classroom. Then you can study part-time correspondence for a post-grad qualification in special education?
     
  8. Joannetmj

    Joannetmj Rookie

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    What do you mean by 'inclusive' techniques?

    Well, if I get a teaching degree, I will definitely not be working with special ed. kids, as I cannot apply to be placed in special ed. school without any qualification in special ed.

    Since I know what I want to work with, I figure I may as well take up a special ed. degree straight away. A part-time correspondence will also require money..

    But yes, that option is still open, only if other options fail.
     
  9. SarahJ

    SarahJ Companion

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    When I did my teaching degree, we studied special education. We covered the basics of inclusion, special ed teaching etc. What I mean is, if you can get your teaching degree and you start teaching you will be faced with children who need additional help in the classroom but not enought to be classed as special ed students. You can teach the way you would if you had special ed students - using as many different teaching techiniques as possible. Not all children learn in the same way so you should include varied teaching techniques in a classroom to reach all children.

    Here we cannot do a special ed teaching degree. You have to do your teaching degree and then specialise in special ed. The reason being is you need to know how teach in mainstream and understand normal child development before you can understand and teach special ed. I also feel that you need to have experience with mainstream children before you will have the indepth understanding to teach special ed. But that's just me and my opinion...

    If you really want to do it you'll find a way. Any degree will cost money.
     
  10. Joannetmj

    Joannetmj Rookie

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    Jan 4, 2008

    *I typed a really long reply and it didn't get posted.. :| *

    Anyway, I see what you mean. That is one option.. but as a teacher in Malaysia I will need to do 10 weeks of practical training.. so I'll be getting the experience needed. Getting a teaching degree first, and then specialising in special ed. would be a cheaper option.. but my parents and I have decided to wait for my SPM results before we decide anything.. Meanwhile I thought I'll do some researching.. and I've got 2 months to kill anyway, till results are released. Hehehe.

    Yes, any degree will cost money.. but an overseas one will cost even more.. at the rate the exchange rate is going anyway.
     
  11. SarahJ

    SarahJ Companion

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    Jan 4, 2008

    Student/Practical teaching is very different to the real thing :) But it does give you some experience. We do 25 weeks prac teaching spread out over 4yrs.

    All the best with your results and with your decision.
     
  12. Joannetmj

    Joannetmj Rookie

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    Jan 4, 2008

    Practical teaching is different from the real thing? How?? :help:

    I will be volunteering in some centres soon.. really don't know what to expect..

    I would love to apply to be a temporary teacher for the next 2 months in my previous school, but I've got to be at least 18 for that job. :mad:

    Thanks for your advice, SarahJ. :hugs:
     
  13. SarahJ

    SarahJ Companion

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    Its always different when you have your own classroom. No matter how much freedom you get, when I was doing prac teaching most of the teachers were great but when I was filling in for teachers absent it was totally different 'vibe' or feeling in the classroom.

    Good luck with your temp teaching and volunteering :) Enjoy
     
  14. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Jan 4, 2008

    sorry to hijack, but Sarah are you near Kenya?? I have been watching the news..and I believe you are the first poster I've seen here from Africa!

    Are things okay where you are?? Any plans to relocate for you??? I know the news always makes situations look 10 times worse...
     
  15. SarahJ

    SarahJ Companion

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    Hi. No, I'm in South Africa so not near Kenya. We're getting a lot of refugees from Zimbabwe though. Things are really bad there too.
     
  16. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    oh.. I see... Duh... you think I would read before asking...I should know north from south!

    hope things get better soon...
     
  17. Joannetmj

    Joannetmj Rookie

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    Jan 16, 2008

    Teachers absent? Here the trainee teachers take over a teacher's class for a period of time.. not really replacing 'absent' teachers.. The teachers choose a couple of classes to 'give up' for 10 weeks.. the kinder ones allow trainee teachers to take over the better classes.. the mean ones.. :lol:

    I've been volunteering in a Down Sydrome centre.. it's been an awesome experience, but.. my parents and teachers feel it's a waste for me.. to help special kids draw straight lines, circles, singing songs..

    I've always been a straight A student during my schooling days.. teachers tell me my 'potential' will be 'less wasted' if I were to enter some 'brainier' profession.. stuff like accounting, economics, commerce.. whatsoever.. mind you, I've absolutely no interest in that.. I did well in school for those subjects because I had to.. but for a lifetime.. :unsure:

    So I'm confused now. I mean, before I volunteered, yeah everyone told me that but I just :whistle:.. now after volunteering I see that anyone with enough patience can help young kids with special needs.. since I've been given enough brains perhaps I should pursue something higher? That can help special kids even more??

    Perhaps I should consider being a therapist, maybe speech, etc..? Really confused.. :help:

    Choosing your career and all is supposed to be an exciting thing. Not confusing. :down:
     
  18. Joannetmj

    Joannetmj Rookie

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    Mar 28, 2008

    Received my results..

    I've revived this thread again.. since I've received my results.

    I still want to pursue a career relating to special education..

    I got 12A1s in my SPM(Our Malaysian exam that 5th formers take.. something like O Levels I suppose).

    Anyway, I've applied for a TESL(Teaching English as a Second Language) overseas teaching scholarship. If I get it I'll do my foundation in Malaysia, then 3 years in the UK.

    Then I'm hoping to do a Masters in Special Ed. after getting my degree. I will be more flexible that way..

    Hopefully I get that scholarship.. otherwise I'll have to take a slower and less assured path in Malaysia itself..

    Or give up my special ed. dream. :( At this point it seems so easy to give that up, considering that most of the scholarships offered are for accounting, economics, business.. not special ed, nor education in general. With my 12A1s I most likely can secure a scholarship for one of these degrees.. but I doubt I'll feel happy.

    :help:

    Just expressing some anxiety.. I know no one here can help me secure that scholarship.. hahaha.
     
  19. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Mar 28, 2008

    many local organizations..chapters that is, will offer scholarships. for example: NAEYC has local chapters and students can apply for scholarships. I found that the big-wig places are like the Publisher's Clearning House sweepstakes, a million in one chances! but the small town, local businesses, churches, your job, they have scholarships too! you have to keep looking! they're are out there! and contrary to popular belief, you don't have to be 16 to get them! keep trying
     
  20. Joannetmj

    Joannetmj Rookie

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    I'm in Malaysia.. they do offer scholarships, but nothing to do with education. I suppose we're still a developing nation, so the 'important' ones are medicine, engineering, accounting, economics, business.. That's about the standard scholarships that companies/organizations offer.

    Only the Ministry of Education offers education, so lets hope I get that one.

    Thanks :) I am still looking around,but time is running out. Deadlines are closer and closer as the SPM results was released on the 12th of March, in fact most prestigious scholarships offered are already past the deadline for applications.
     
  21. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Mar 29, 2008

  22. Joannetmj

    Joannetmj Rookie

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    Mar 29, 2008

    RainStorm, thanks a lot =)

    I've just gone to the Ministry of Education's forum, hopefully I get a reply there. I've lost faith in emailing government organisations, I never get a reply. Hopefully a forum will be better.

    Thanks again, will update on how things go.
     

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