Moving from general ed to special ed

Discussion in 'General Education' started by teacherguy111, Oct 27, 2020.

  1. teacherguy111

    teacherguy111 Cohort

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    Messages:
    578
    Likes Received:
    31

    Oct 27, 2020

    Hi everyone, haven't been on here for a while!

    I am currently working on my intervention specialist (special education) license for ohio grades k-12. I'll be certified hopefully be the end of the school year if I pass the tests etc. I am thinking about switching to special ed from 4th grade ela. Has anyone made this switch? How was it for you?

    Some advantages in my mind are:
    1. No homeroom
    2. Small groups/supporting kids in the regular ed classroom but not having to make the lesson plans etc.
    3. Could potentially stay at my current school is a intervention position comes open. I like my school and the principal and other people.

    Cons:
    1. Paperwork - but it seems I'll have more free time to do it than I currently do
    2. Difficult working with students who have a disability - but I already do that with another fifteen regular ed kids anyway. This feels like I could have a smaller more focused case load of kids.
     
  2.  
  3. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    8,463
    Likes Received:
    1,600

    Oct 27, 2020

    No advice at this time but I'm really glad to see you back on the site!
     
  4. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    6,051
    Likes Received:
    914

    Oct 27, 2020

    I have taught both, and am currently teaching sped. To be perfectly honest I liked gen ed a lot more. Unfortunately, the school I was teaching gen ed in was a dumpster fire and I had to take a sped position to get out. At this point, I've been doing sped for so long that I'm not sure I'd want to switch and feel like a new teacher all over again. I've also established myself at my current school as someone really strong with interventions, so my P really lets me basically do the job of an interventionist as far as the teaching part of my job. Of course I still have to do the case management/paperwork/meetings for sped on top of that.

    I'm guessing you may be from my home state because that's the only place I've heard the "intervention specialist" title used. Assuming full inclusion is still all the rage there (my parents are teachers, and it sounds like it is), I was bored silly in my field experiences/student teaching as an IVS in college. I LOATHE pushing in. Yeah, it was much easier and you didn't have to do much planning, but I also didn't get a 4 year degree (and now my MA degree) to stand around and watch someone else teach/maybe do some para-like responsibilities.

    I currently do all small groups and I do a TON of planning. Far more than I ever did in gen ed. For one, it's 9 unique lessons per day. Two, you get through a lot more with a small group than you do with a whole group. Therefore, you have to plan a lot more for a similar amount of time. My school also has really high expectations for how well planned we are, so for me planning/prepping materials takes a long time. Under my current P sped actually got a lot of resources to use. However, it's extremely common for sped to get nothing, and if you are doing any teaching/small groups you'll have to beg/borrow/steal/make absolutely anything you use, rather than having curriculum to go off of. Also keep in mind that you won't be giving students a supply list like you do in gen ed. I've worked in low SES schools where many don't bring the correct supplies, but anything is better than nothing.

    It's also very typical for sped to get less respect in general. Not only will you likely not have resources, but you will also spend a ton of time sitting through PD that has nothing to do with you, being told to "listen in" on what the gen ed teachers are planning, or being told to help gen ed with something rather than getting your own work done. Back in my home state it was extremely common to hear something like, "Oh, just put in your time as an IVS and then you can move up to having your own classroom." The position is seen as "less than" by admin, other teachers, parents, etc.

    I would also consider if data is part of your evaluation. If so, that makes sped a super challenging position to be in. Believe me, no one wants to hear that students in sped aren't achieving as well because they have disabilities. God forbid you mention that fact- people, including admin and state level admin, will say they should be performing at grade level because they're receiving services. My dad spent 38 years an IVS in a very wealthy, high achieving district. His last year, he actually should have technically been on an improvement plan (luckily, his P didn't make him do it) because 50% of his evaluation was based on how his students with disabilities performed on state testing. Many actually passed, but because they didn't earn higher scores than they did on the 3rd grade test, he didn't get the points for his eval.

    I would spend A LOT of time talking to the sped teachers at your school to see what they think the job is really like. Even shadow if you can- it would be worth giving up some planning time or something, IMO, to see what you're getting into. And be very wary of just wanting to "try" sped. Once you're in, it's very hard to get out. Good sped teachers are harder to find, so if they like you in that position, they don't want to let you out of it, especially when gen ed elementary teachers are a dime a dozen and those openings are super easy to fill.
     
    Backroads, swansong1 and mrsf70 like this.
  5. teacherguy111

    teacherguy111 Cohort

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    Messages:
    578
    Likes Received:
    31

    Oct 28, 2020

    Waterfall,
    I'm in Ohio. It sounds like it is definitely dependant on the particular school. We are kind of some pull out and some inclusion. I think I would like the inclusion - I know it never works out now it should though. It should be sharing and actually taking turns teaching etc but I know it rarely is that.

    At my current school the intervention specialists use program like LLI, wilson and bridges for intervention small groups. So even though it can be a lot, the lessons are already made. I would likely only take an intervention position if it was at my current school.

    I could definitely see student scores being frustrating when they are part of evaluations.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. jakecrew
Total: 266 (members: 1, guests: 241, robots: 24)
test