I got an interview for a position a bit outside my degree

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by CrayolaCrayon, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. CrayolaCrayon

    CrayolaCrayon Companion

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    Jul 28, 2010

    I got a call today from a private school in the neighborhood that specializes in the education of children with autism. I have an interview Monday morning for a teacher's aide position. The classrooms at the school are small with only 6 students in a room, so I am expecting the students to be on the more severe end of the spectrum. While I am excited to interview, there is a part of me that is wondering if accepting the job (if offered) would be the right thing to do.

    My certification is in Elementary Education. Special Education is not what I see myself doing in the long term but it is something I would enjoy getting some experience in. Ever since my nephew was diagnosed with a genetic disorder, I have felt a desire to help out other children who have special needs and this is an opportunity to do so. Is it okay to take a job at a place and in a field that I don't see myself in for the long run?

    I live in NYC where there are no positions for new teachers to enter the classroom, even as substitutes. It would seem like a no-brainer to take whatever job in the field of education that I can get. However, I keep reading about how teacher's aide positions are great if you want to be in the field of special education; what about if you're an elementary education teacher and your goal is to have your own general education classroom? Does it look good in a principals eyes to have special education experience or is it detrimental because it would make me look like I don't know what I want?

    It's almost like I'm worried that if I enter the field of special education, even as a teacher's aide, I may find it harder to land a job in a general education classroom later. I'm not sure exactly why I think that. Please give me your opinion and/or experiences!

    Knock some sense into me! I think I'm being a nut. :dizzy:
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 28, 2010

    Experience in a sped setting is very beneficial for 'general' ed classroom teachers. There is a move towards more and more inclusion in regular ed classes...as a classroom teacher, you will have students with a variety of needs, learning styles, classifications in your room. Having the experience of working in a special ed classroom will give you insight on how to differentiate learning, modify instruction and meet kids' needs to facilitate learning for all. If anything, such experience makes you more valuable as a candidate!
    Good luck.
     
  4. collteach

    collteach Comrade

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    Jul 28, 2010

    Just wanted to share my story. The best experience I have had as a teacher was taking a long-term sub position for a teacher assistant in a Kindergarten classroom that was 50% regular ed/50% special ed. The students I worked with the most had moderate/severe special needs. It was a tough job. I was only there for the last 3 months of the school year, but I gained so much. That was in 2002, and since then, I have had an inclusion classroom every year. Some years I had mild-moderate, mainly learning disabilities and things. Other years (like this one coming up) I had the moderate-severe inclusion classroom. I feel that I am able to be more confident in my ability to teach ALL students because I have had true, hands-on experience in that area. I have done the "dirty" work like changing diapers, feeding students, being attacked by students who lash out because they know no other way...but I have also worked with those students on academics. I will NEVER forget the day one of my autistic students was able to finally put together a puzzle we had been working on for weeks. She just beamed! The special ed teacher was in awe (this was a skill very much outside what she was expected to be able to do at this time) and I was so moved and excited to be a part of it!

    I have never had the desire to pursue special education certification, mainly because I do not want to be the one who has to do all the paperwork...haha! I feel like I get the better end of the deal because I get to work with the students as the "general ed teacher" without having to spend hours on the paperwork :)
     
  5. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    Jul 28, 2010

    I worked as a para in a multiple disabled classroom for two years. It enabled me to get home in time to get my youngest daughter off the bus. It was a very rewarding position. I became very close to the students, and we learned from each other.

    When I was ready to return to teaching, I was able to land a job right away.
     
  6. PCdiva

    PCdiva Connoisseur

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    Jul 28, 2010

    I agree! The only thing you need to be careful with is that while subbing counts as "teaching time" towards your professional certification, Teaching Assistant time does not...that being said, I would take the TA position in a heart beat. While in a regular classroom, many of my students had IEP's and received services. If your area does not have consistent subbing jobs around then this is absolutely valuable...and what would be the alternative for you anyway, working retail? I say take it!
     

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