New to Special Education

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by pontiac8411, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. pontiac8411

    pontiac8411 Rookie

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    Jun 25, 2008

    Hello everyone,
    I recently graduated with my Master's degree in English education grades 7-12 with a minor in special education. Through the state of Delaware and taking the praxis 2 in spec ed i am certified in special education (15 credits in an area + passing praxis scores= certified). Now I am on the hunt for a job.With the budget the way it is, there are VERY few positions in regular ed English, but so many in spec ed. I have gotten calls for six interviews, only two of which are regular ed. All of the others are spec ed. The thing is that i am passionate about spec ed (looking back i wish i had majored in it), but feel much too under qualified to teach spec ed. I really need/want a job, but i do not want to get hired for a position i won't be able to do successfully. I have written countless mock IEP's but no real ones. Do you think i even stand a chance of being hired... and do you think i would be able to do this job successfully?
     
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  3. Ghost

    Ghost Habitué

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    Jun 26, 2008

    If you believe it, you can achieve it. A lot of special education is common sense. I think that if you feel strongly, then you'll do well. A first year teacher will have a mentor, and if not, ask for one. Other sped. teachers will help you---when I moved from FL I had to learn how to write IEP's all over again, even with 9 years experience. I would go for it. But, it's just my opinion :)
     
  4. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Jun 26, 2008

    I was certified in Eng 7-12 too but could not find a job for YEARS. I finally I got my masters in Sp. Ed and have a job doing that. It is hard the first year but just ask for help and you will learn a lot along the way. If you get a job in sp. ed you could always try to transfer to the Eng. dept. when a job opens up.
     
  5. mkteach

    mkteach Rookie

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    Jun 26, 2008

    i think you should go for the spec ed. i too took the praxis for spec ed after having a bs in elemenatry ed. i just got a job for the fall teaching an autism class. i am excited and scared, but feel that i can do this. so go for it and you will succeed.
     
  6. pontiac8411

    pontiac8411 Rookie

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    Jun 26, 2008

    it is great to see that other people were in the same situation and succeeded. I just feel like they will expect way too much of me in my first year; however, i think i have a distorted image of what it is really like because i am so scared to begin. I want to do spec ed but i have been turned down for 2 spec ed jobs so far b/c i did not have experience working with behavior problems/ children in alternative program. I just had another interview for spec ed at a charter school today, so maybe something will pan out there. Im just so scared there going to say so and so is up for an IEP meeting, go take care of it and i will have no clue what to do. What can i expect as a first year spec ed teacher?
     
  7. mkteach

    mkteach Rookie

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    Jun 27, 2008

    i am a new spec ed teacher and i am excited and scared. i have been told by my new supervisor that i will receive lots of support from her and others. so in your case, believe that you can get the job and the rest will fall in to place. i just found this website and look at all of the info and support and suggestions that i have heard already. my boss said she will help and that they want us to succeed and so i believe the same will happen for you.
     
  8. ZoomZoomZOOM

    ZoomZoomZOOM Devotee

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    Jun 27, 2008

    There are a lot of special education jobs out there and they're all different. If you majored in English and you're looking for a job teaching English, then maybe you would be more comfortable teaching reading and math in a resource situation. Heck, you may even find work in a departmentalized English class which was going to be my next interview before I was hired for the resource position that I accepted. Either way, you'll put your English degree to work. And don't feel as though you're underqualified to teach. You've got your certification. That and an interest in the field is all it takes. You'll learn the rest as you go.
     
  9. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    Jun 27, 2008

    I think you sound like you can do a good job! Special ed teachers or workers or parents or whoever works with em' are a big blessing. I am goin to school to teach it. I work with em' now as a sub.
     
  10. Teach96

    Teach96 Comrade

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    Jun 29, 2008

    I taught my first 2 years in a mild/moderate class. Then tried out gen ed for a while and realized that my heart belonged in special education. I don't think I could go back. Give it a try. There is so many positives to special education even with the "extra paperwork".

    I've been teaching moderate/sever for the past 5 years. Let us know what we can help you with to get started.
     
  11. pontiac8411

    pontiac8411 Rookie

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    Jun 29, 2008

    well, if you have never written an iep before, they do not just throw you in there to help lead the meeting the first time, right? do they do give you help?
     
  12. Teach96

    Teach96 Comrade

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    Jun 29, 2008

    Hopefully they will give you a mentor teacher. I worked with a teacher that was an intern this year. I helped her with her first few IEPs and then sat in on the IEP meetings for the first few months.

    Let us know if you don't get a mentor and we'll help you
     
  13. Debbie M

    Debbie M Rookie

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    Jun 29, 2008

    Oh, yes, they will help you write IEP's each school it seems has a different system for writing IEP's. Ask for help, get a mentor, you will be just fine, take a big deep breath and JUMP!! You won't regret it.
    Debbie M
     
  14. andi137

    andi137 Companion

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    Jun 30, 2008

    I have recently finished my first year of Special Education. My degree was in Elementary so I am currently taking classes while I am teaching. I had never written an IEP or even been in an IEP meeting. It will be very overwhelming at first but looking back I am very glad that I took the position. The person that I was given to work with was very hard to get along with so there were times that I felt like I had no support. I did have a mentor as well but she had no experience in Special Education. My principal was awesome though and offered me help. I would definitely take a Special Education position. It will be challenging but more than likely you will have support and you will begin to gain confidence as the year goes on. I am actually looking forward to beginning my second year. Good luck in whatever you decide to do!!
     
  15. Tenured

    Tenured Rookie

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    Jun 30, 2008

    no such thing as "Under qualified" in SPED. be willing to work with the kids
     
  16. Teach96

    Teach96 Comrade

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    Jun 30, 2008

    andi137 is right...it's the best thing ever.


    What program does your district use to write IEPs? Are you signed up for that training?
     

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