Once Special Ed, Always Special Ed?

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by Deb06, Jun 19, 2007.

  1. Deb06

    Deb06 Companion

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    Jun 19, 2007

    Last year was my first year teaching. I taught in a K-3 Cross-Categorical unit. I will also be teaching special ed again next year.

    My question is, if I ever decide to teach regular ed (which I am already certified), how difficult will it be? I've heard that normally special ed teachers get stuck in that position for a long time due to the fact that there is such a need for special education teachers. I'd like to teach 2nd grade someday and I'm afraid it will be difficult to get out of special ed.

    Have any of you had experience with this? I am worried that if I go to apply for a regular ed position, they will see my special ed background and automatically want to place me there instead. Don't get me wrong, I love my job, but since this is only my 2nd year I'd like to get exposure in several different areas.
     
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  3. SittinInATree

    SittinInATree Companion

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    Jun 20, 2007

    Well I know that every district I spoke to, when I was job searching, told me to get certified sped because that was how most people got into the district. They start out sped and then transfer to what they want later.

    When you see regular ed positions open at your school (and others), apply for them just like any other applicant. Also let your principal know that you are looking to have your own regular ed classroom and you hope to stay at her school. I am sure she won't want to lose you!

    Good luck!
     
  4. rookieABC123

    rookieABC123 Comrade

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    Jun 22, 2007

    I do not have experience in this situation but I agree with SittinInATree--You would make a great reg. ed teacher with your spec. ed. background!! I hope all works out for you. I am also Elem. Ed and Special Ed. I am just not sure what I will like doing better yet.
     
  5. Deb06

    Deb06 Companion

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    Jun 22, 2007

    Thank you for your insight! I started off as a Special Education teacher to get my foot in the door in a district. I ended up just absolutely adoring it! I was just curious to see if it would be difficult to switch if I ever decide to do so. Thanks again for your responses. :)
     
  6. rookieABC123

    rookieABC123 Comrade

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    Jun 23, 2007

     
  7. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    Jun 23, 2007

    I got my foot in the door by taking a special ed position. One I knew the minute I walked through my classroom door that I was not cut out for. I was the behavior teacher for a small south Texas school. I had 7 children that I saw on a regular basis. Plus I was the spec ed case manager for k-2. I have to say I think I did a pretty good job of handling my kids for the entire year. ALl the teacher that I worked with on a daily basis was glad I was there. They liked some of the rules I changed, and how the children got dealt with while in my room. My room had been seen as the fun room before I got there, now the kids dont want to be there. THey have to work just as hard or harder to get back to their regular classroom. Well this coming year I will be a kinder teacher. That is where I have wanted to be since I started college back in 2000. So yes you can get out of regular ed if your principal takes your requests. It might take more than one year.
     
  8. reedai

    reedai New Member

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    Jun 25, 2007

    I "stumbled" onto special ed during my master's work as literacy didn't seem to agree with me. I've since worked at a private school for children with multiple and severe disabilities. It was the best "mistake" I ever made! If it still isn't in your heart after 2 years or so, then talk to your administrator, they usually seem to understand the need for change!!
     
  9. jenglish97

    jenglish97 Devotee

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    Jun 25, 2007

    I have been teaching special education for 8 years and have been an aide for 2 years and love it. In fact, I really found my place in an inclusion classroom. I truly love teaching both regular education and special education together. However, I have been having some trouble with my regular education co-teacher this past year. She has been relying on me too much for everything. I have thought about hopping over to regular education but keeping the inclusion classroom in mind. I really would like to talk to my principal sometime within the next year to start thinking about changing to regular education.

    They seem to understand that you would like to switch. Chances are if that is true, your time will come and they might grant you that. Good luck!!
     
  10. Mercy

    Mercy Rookie

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    Jun 27, 2007

    I know that once in always in in my county - Acually I just lost a great sped job to a teacher that was in on a waiver and got certified she now wants to do regular ed but they are making her stay sped.
     
  11. Mrs_Barrett

    Mrs_Barrett Cohort

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    Jun 27, 2007

    My sister had a problem switching from sped to general ed. She wanted to switch to a 2nd grade position within her same school she was teaching at. It took a long time for the principal to finally think about having her teach general ed. I think if she would have switched to a different school within the same district, she might have not had such a hard time.
     
  12. SweetGaPeach

    SweetGaPeach Rookie

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    Jul 11, 2007

    Hi Deb06

    I have taught sped for 11 years. I will be teaching regular ed second grade next year and I am so excited. I just went to my principal and told her I was burned out in sped and to consider me for a regular ed position for next school year. I told her I preferred second grade and I GOT IT!!!! Thank God. SPED will always be my backbone but i really needed a change. I will keep you posted as how it goes throughout the school year GOOD LUCK!!
     
  13. kalielise7

    kalielise7 Rookie

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    Jul 11, 2007

    I think it depends on the district you get into...and how much the district wants to keep you. I would have been able to transfer this year to one of the other schools for an elementary position but decided to take another one instead. A few of our teachers have switched from special to regular ed. I know a teacher in another district however who has been trying to get out for years...

    Ask around to people who work in the district...they probably have a good idea:)
     
  14. Tookie Williams

    Tookie Williams Rookie

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    Jul 17, 2007

    it used to be, you could use SPED as your foot in the door in most districts and slowly work your way out. However, with NCLB legislation has changed that.

    When I started, if you were out of field, you could get 1 year waivers by taking the equivalent of 3 credit hours in that subject and you could continue teaching out of field. And for SPED, the county office offered it for free. Therefore, SPED was never technically on your teaching certificate so as you applied to other jobs, SPED wasn't seen (where the Principal could then say "well, if this Social studies position doesn't work out, would you be interested in SPED here?") Now, and I had a buddy that got caught in the changeover and is now screwed, you have to have the certification ON your teaching certificate BEFORE you get the job. Because of this, (if your principal won't transfer you out of SPED like mine wouldn't), everytime you apply at other schools or districts, those principals see SPED certification. It's easier to hire 1 of the 25 Social studies (or any of the fields) applicants and keep you, one of the few with SPED cert. in SPED. Oh, but here's the kick in the butt...

    I got my tenure while teaching 3 years in SPED, once I got my tenure, I transferred to the school that offered me S.S. and just quit renewing my 'teach one year out of field' and it just expired. Basically, I was tenured, and could no longer teach SPED, and had to be placed somewhere. Now, if you get your tenure with SPED certification, and then drop that certification, you lose your tenure as well. (this applies to ANY certification you have, but it applies to SPED more often than not)

    I had a buddy at my school, applied for my job too, but he wasn't tenured. He did have SPED on his certification. SO they offered him a SPED job instead. He agreed to get his foot in the door (similar to what I did). The problem was NCLB changed the rules before he got his tenure and now he is stuck with SPED certification or else he loses his tenure (that he just got at the end of last school year).

    So if you are coming out of college today, I would rather sub for 3 years while waiting for my position to open, then to do SPED because with today's rules, starting in SPED can very likely mean you will retire in SPED, or else get out of teaching by leaving the profession.

    I was burned out after 3 years and wasn't going to go back to teaching had I not been hired in my field.
     

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