I teach special education and no one in my family respects me for it?

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by teacher girl, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. teacher girl

    teacher girl Comrade

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    Aug 23, 2012

    ok- I love being a special ed teacher. I respect the profession-- but people in my family don't. I come from a family of teachers. They are all general education.

    Like, I passed all my teachers exams,masters degree, I'm about to student teach--I did everything they did and they have no respect for me as a "teacher"-- my aunt teaches elementary- and she said that I dont' teach " real kids" - how offensive is that? She also says I'm like an "aide" in the building and the only difference is I just get paid more-- I was upset. She was speaking about inclusion.

    So I am not alone- Special eduaction teachers are REAL teachers too--- don't you agree? WHy do you think people overlook us?
     
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  3. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Aug 23, 2012

    I'm very sorry your family feels that way.

    I wish we had a special ed teacher at our small parochial school--we would all love someone with such specialized knowledge as a resource!
     
  4. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Aug 23, 2012

    Because they're either obtuse or feeling threatened, typically...

    Hugs to you. One of the brightest women I know teaches early-intervention mod-severe special ed. This lies well outside my abilities, but I'm not about to claim that those kids don't deserve the best possible teaching just because I'm neither equipped nor inclined to provide it.
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    How utterly ridiculous!!!

    Ignorance, in all it's varied forms, is scary.
     
  6. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician Groupie

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    I have so much respect for people who teach special education because I know I could never do it. Teaching AP and high level classes is one thing, but being able to find a way to teach something to someone who has trouble learning in the traditional manner is really an admirable talent.
     
  7. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Aug 23, 2012

    POOH on them! I have spent most of my career teaching SPED. Some of the most valuable years of my career!
     
  8. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    Aug 23, 2012

    I'm sorry they feel that way.

    I don't teach special ed, but a lot of my family thinks that I have an easy and unimportant job. For a couple of years, those kinds of comments would easily upset me. But for the past year, they just don't bother me as much any more. I think I've come to realize that everyone isn't going to approve of what you do or support you, but it doesn't matter as long as you know that your job is important and that you love it.

    All of the teachers I work with, including me, have a huge amount of respect for special ed teachers. Special ed teachers are definitely real teachers, so please don't let anyone tell you otherwise!
     
  9. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Guys, for anyone who is in the midst of people who don't value what you do:

    Your job of eradicating ignorance does not extend to adults. Pity them for all they don't know. And ignore them when the subject comes up. Leave the room. Don't sit there and be belittled by people who have no idea what they're talking about.
     
  10. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Aug 23, 2012

    I'm sorry your family feels that way. I'm not the only teacher in my family, there are a few; however, they all value the work I do in special education because they know what their inclusion teachers go through.
     
  11. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 23, 2012

    Teaching any grade level or subject area is admirable.

    Teacher girl...shame on those who don't value what you do...stop looking for their approval. What really matters is the difference you make for the students you teach.:love:
     
  12. hatima

    hatima Devotee

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    Aug 23, 2012

    I am working on my master's degree in special education. One of my professors showed us this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_qGJ9svUbM

    Special education teachers are real teachers. Some people have had bad experiences with special education teachers acting like "baby siters" my sister's teachers certainly did. After graduating from undergraduate school I saw many wonderful thinks other special educaiton teachers did.

    My question to your family would be what on earth does your family do with the kids with learning problems.

    There are many videos on youtube that show exceptional children are real kids.

    YOU ARE A TEACHER! Your family will realize that eventually. You don't need thier approval! You are awesome!
     
  13. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Aug 23, 2012

    Hope I don't start a firestorm by someone misunderstanding what I am about to say.

    Some schools do utilize special education teachers as glorified aides in inclusion classes. They are there to handle behavior problems, make copies, and help out as needed. Also, some schools write horrible IEPs for kids in inclusion such that these students really don't get any special education services, just some accommodations and dumbed down grading. In many inclusion classes kids don't get the specially designed instruction suited to their needs. They often get the same instruction as everyone else and some extra support to attempt the work.

    So, if you relative is coming from a school like that, I can see why she may have that impression.

    It is sad that your teacher relatives do not respect special education teachers and obviously don't respect the student either. Otherwise they would understand that all students deserve a chance to learn and learn by those that are tailoring the instruction to their needs.

    Kudos to you for stepping up to be a special educator. Sorry your family has such a bad impression of your choice.
     
  14. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    Your aunt isn't a REAL TEACHER if she doesn't understand the importance of special education. Enough said.
     
  15. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    What a slap in the face to a mom with 2 boys in Special Ed. It wasn't their choice to be there, but it was YOUR choice to teach them and I thank you!! It takes a very special person to do it!

    My children are "real kids" and to think your aunt teaches....THAT disgusts me!!!
     
  16. McParadigm

    McParadigm Companion

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    Aug 24, 2012

    Speaking as an English teacher...

    Special education is among the most crucial elements to public education, and I don't think anybody doubts that...but it's also one of the least understood. Throw all those legalities in :)eek:), along with the specialized paperwork and acronyms and references, and a HIGHLY mixed bag of personal experiences, and people don't know what to make of it. That includes other teachers. There definitely are Special Education teachers out there who function like little more than paras, just as there are subject area teachers who don't do their job, but I'm not sure that there is another subgroup within the teaching field who is as under-appreciated as Special Education teachers are.

    And just to drive it home, my co-teacher's mother used to take the opposite approach: teaching Special Education was a high calling and a remarkable thing....but only if you're teaching self contained. For the entire 5 years that we co-taught, her mother never stopped asking her when she was going to go back to "real SPED" and start being a "real teacher" again. I guess you just can't win with some people.
     
  17. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Aug 24, 2012

    That's nuts! I teach in a special ed school...does that mean it's not a REAL school?? I think you should just ignore everything they say. You can't change stupid.
     
  18. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Aug 24, 2012

    I'm so sorry your family feels that way. It's even more upsetting that they are in education and they don't value special education teachers. I wouldn't want to work with gen ed teachers who feel that way and I feel sorry for the sp. ed. teachers who do have to work with them.

    Unfortunately, there will always be people out there who don't respect what you do. I had a conversation with someone a few weeks ago who said that "You don't need to know anything to teach kids under 3rd grade" so he didn't understand why people would need more than a HS diploma as a requirement. Unbelievable.

    Focus your energy on your job and not on what your family thinks. It's unfortunate that they are so ignorant, but it's also not your problem.
     

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