Interested in getting my endorsement in special education

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Iris1001, Mar 15, 2021.

  1. Iris1001

    Iris1001 Rookie

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    Mar 15, 2021

    Hello, everyone.

    I got my teaching license through Alternate Route (NJ). I am a high school English teacher, and I would like to add an endorsement for teaching students with disabilities. I have found a few nearby schools that offer this certificate program, but they are quite costly. They cost the same as a master's degree. Would it be worth it to go back to school for a master of arts in English Education with an endorsement in teaching students with disabilities?

    I think I touched upon this before. Forgive me if I sound like a broken record. :p I just didn't want to do a MAT program because it involves student teaching. Although it would be a wonderful experience, I don't feel that I need student teaching. What do you think?
     
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  3. OhioTeacher216

    OhioTeacher216 Rookie

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    Mar 17, 2021

    Most programs will require a student teaching requirement as it tends to be a state requirement and not a school requirement. The only way I've seen people not have to student teach sped. is if they were in a long-term sub position.

    As for student teaching, I found my experience very valuable. Learning from a veteran, mentor teacher provides insights and strategies actually applied in the classroom v. what is taught in the classroom or from a textbook. It provides you with an opportunity to take part and learn from your mistakes with guidance as opposed to just 'sink or swim' and having full responsibility be on you.
     
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  4. Iris1001

    Iris1001 Rookie

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    Mar 17, 2021

    Thank you so much for your response! I kind of wish I did student teaching. It would have given me so much guidance. Alternate Route made me learn everything by myself. It was basically trial by fire. I just feel bad going back to school for secondary ed when I have already been teaching for five years. :(
     
  5. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    Mar 17, 2021

    Do you specifically want to teach students with disabilities? If you get that endorsement, will your site assign you different classes? You have mentioned before that you wished you had done student teaching, but at this point, 5 years in, I am a little skeptical that you will improve your teaching practice in a meaningful way by taking theoretical coursework. If you could get support through coaching or asking for a mentor, I think that would be beneficial, and it would not cost money. Does your district/site offer those types of support? Would it be a red flag to your admin if you were to ask for coaching? (My current admin looks VERY favorably on staff who ask for coaching, as it signals that teachers are still interested in improving.)

    I did get my MA in Math Education after about 4 years of teaching. It led to a pay raise, but honestly, it did not really improve my teaching. The best training I have done was a summer week on Complex Instruction, which my district provided and paid me to attend. It had a big impact on my teaching strategies, set up of my classroom, as well as my policies and procedures.

    Before you embark on this, I recommend you really articulate to yourself what you are hoping to gain, and then think about if a program like this is likely to supply you with that. Also, think about other ways you might get that knowledge and/or experience. Good luck to you!
     
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  6. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Mar 17, 2021

    You wrote two contradictory statements. Which is it?
     
  7. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    I don't think those are contradictory statements. The OP has had their own classroom for five years. Speaking for myself, my student teaching requirement was quite cursory (12 weeks total, 2 weeks of which were solo) and I wish it had been more substantive. My first years would have been better, both for me and for my students. Now, 10 years in, it wouldn't make any sense for me to student teach again.
     
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  8. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Mar 18, 2021

    The OP has had many problems during those 5 years and has been in 3 different schools. It's not like the OP seemed to have made up the difference in those 5 years with as many issues as she has. Then she bounces between wanting to get her MA and PhD and doesn't even know where she'll be teaching next year. Maybe student teaching will get her on the right track.
     
  9. Iris1001

    Iris1001 Rookie

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    Mar 18, 2021

    Care to elaborate? I was a long-term sub for the first two years, covering for a teacher on medical leave and pursuing Alternate Route. I taught at another school for the next two years, then left my second school because I had the opportunity to teach college full-time. I realized I missed teaching high school, so I jumped down to teaching college part-time while teaching at this high school.

    I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "many problems." I think the one with the "issues" is you, my dear. I've been following your posts and you seem to strike me as the aggressive, bullying type. Maybe you should seek some professional help to get your anger situated. I cannot recommend therapy enough. It's done wonders for me.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2021
  10. Iris1001

    Iris1001 Rookie

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    Mar 18, 2021

    This sounds great. Thank you so much for your advice! I actually will shadow one of my mentors at this school next week to learn some more about navigating the hybrid model and lesson-planning. Since I didn't do student teaching, this seems like a wonderful opportunity for me. I also enrolled in a few professional development classes for the summer, so that should help me a lot with classroom management and whatnot.

    I definitely would like to pursue a TSD endorsement, as it will help me better service my entire population of students. I applied to a program at a nearby school for the certificate, but I don't think I will pursue the MAT option after giving it a lot of thought. I think I just need some more professional development. My school has been offering some really good ones. I guess I just always want to be better and enhance my teaching skills. I do love this job. :)

    Thanks for being so kind and helpful!
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2021
  11. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Mar 19, 2021

    I would like to echo other members' posts on a variety of different threads - don't go after the TOSD or TSD unless you really want to teach on that endorsement/certificate. Once you acquire the credential, most schools will see that as one of the most important endorsements you bring to the job search, somewhat pigeon-holing you into SPED first/most important, other subject secondary. There is a history of people unhappy because schools see them as SPED first. When you realize that you may get a higher salary based on the credits, it isn't hard to understand that if the district needs a SPED teacher, that is the slot that they will show you.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2021
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  12. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Mar 19, 2021

    I thought you were getting your PhD in English or did you decide to not pursue that option?
    But I do agree with vickilyn. If you don't want to teach special education, don't get that endorsement. You will most likely never have a gen ed job again even if they promise you that if you start in special education you have the opportunity to move to gen ed. That rarely pans out.
     
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  13. Iris1001

    Iris1001 Rookie

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    Mar 19, 2021

    Thank you for your response! I'm on the fence about getting a PhD. I'm still doing some research. I did find a program that is tailored towards teachers and higher ed, but I'm still weighing my options.

    I was speaking with my mentor, and she told me that getting a TSD endorsement is something good to have. Forgive me, to be honest, I wanted the endorsement to accommodate my students with IEP's.
     
  14. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Mar 19, 2021

    Most of us are just trying to show you the realities (consequences) of your proposed choices.
    If your goal is to be more attractive when applying for full-time positions, the TSD is something good to have. However, it does come with consequences which have been explained already. So, the different comments are not opposing comments. Both are true. You are more attractive - for a job you may not want to have in the long run.

    Best of luck with your decisions.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2021
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  15. Iris1001

    Iris1001 Rookie

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    Mar 19, 2021

    Thanks so much! I'll definitely think it over. I do love teaching my subject matter, so it might be challenging if I'm only considered for Special Education. Not that I mind, but I do love Gen Ed a bit more. :)
     
  16. nklauste

    nklauste Comrade

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    Mar 19, 2021

    I am just going to echo what the others have said-don't go for Special Education unless you want to teach Special Education. I have a co-worker at my school that has been teaching general elementary for longer than I have been here (this is my 8th year) and when we needed a SpEd teacher a couple of years back the principal was going to use right of assignment to put her in that position. She has now dropped her Special Education license because she has no desire to ever teach SpEd.
     
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