Should I take this job?

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by teacher girl, Jun 15, 2013.

  1. teacher girl

    teacher girl Comrade

    Joined:
    May 2, 2010
    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 15, 2013

    Hi,

    I just graduated with my masters and license in Sped K-12.I live in Virginia and am having a hard time finding a job in sped. Recently, I was offered a job to teach students with autism.

    kind of afraid to accept because when I went into special education, I was hoping for an LD/ inclusion type of position. However, this job for autism was the only thing I was able to secure.

    Is working with students with autism challenging- what are the pros and cons? Would it be smart to accept it to gain teaching experience- do you think I will be more marketable that way? ( I have a job -I work in a library as a clerk) I don't make a lot of money, however I am scared if I take this job it will be too overwhelming and I will quit and be unemployed??????
     
  2.  
  3. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Devotee

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    81

    Jun 15, 2013

    Six years ago, I took a job teaching an Emotionally Disturbed K-2 classroom. I was terrified to start---and now, I can't see myself doing anything else. Like you, I thought for certain I wanted to work with the LD population. Now--I love my difficult kiddos.

    To answer your question---a classroom with strictly Autistic Students could look a million different ways. Are these kiddos mostly self-contained? Are they out with peers for most of the day? Are they verbal or non-verbal? How many paras will you have? How old are the students?

    Yes, it is challenging. But how much so---depends on a lot of the above.
     
  4. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    4,896
    Likes Received:
    5

    Jun 15, 2013

    I taught a mild autism class for 3 years and absolutely loved it! I wouldn't think twice about going back:D I love the saying: "If you've met one child with autism...you've met one child with autism.".
     
  5. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Devotee

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    81

    Jun 15, 2013

    That is a fantastic quote, yes! So true!:thumb:
     
  6. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Messages:
    6,052
    Likes Received:
    915

    Jun 15, 2013

    I'd have to disagree...I would never take a job that I didn't feel prepared for or that I didn't think I would do a good job with. Have you had a lot of autism training? Since students will be in a special class I assume there needs are quite severe. I've had two students on my caseload on the autism spectrum but it was mild and they were mostly included in gen ed.

    When I was first looking I was offered a position in a severe emotional/behavior needs room. It was late June and it was the only interview I'd even gotten so far. I had no training in that whatsoever but briefly contemplated taking it because I was afraid nothing else would come along. The school seemed very nice. I ended up deciding against it and I am SO glad. About a month later I was offered a position that was a much better fit. What happens if you can't do the job well and end up getting non-renewed? That's hard to come back from- much worse than not having any experience at all your first year. Sometimes I still think about if I had taken that job. I had a student in my room this year with extremely severe behavior needs and it drove me crazy. I have all the patience in the world with low academics, but I'm not a behavior person. I didn't really realize that right out of college because I hadn't really had experience with students like that.

    If school is still in session in your area, I would suggest you spend a couple of days observing in this classroom and then decide if you think you can do it.
     
  7. ktmiller222

    ktmiller222 Cohort

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2011
    Messages:
    518
    Likes Received:
    14

    Jun 16, 2013

    Yes, you need to check where on the spectrum they are. Are they verbal/non verbal? High functioning? I've worked with high functioning and they truly are the best! I hope to obtain a job that works with Autistic kids this coming school year. With the increase of Autism, this is a great thing to start getting experience in. Don't worry, you'll do great! =)
     
  8. MissPapa

    MissPapa Comrade

    Joined:
    May 21, 2012
    Messages:
    375
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 17, 2013

    The spectrum is very broad. You need to see where on the spectrum they are and you also have to get to know them.

    I'd say go for it. Honestly, it may seem hard trying to find a job in special ed, but the jobs are where the more moderate disabilities are are where they're at. If you love teaching students with special needs that much, you might enjoy it. Who knows!

    Zelda - I'm getting interviewed at a school where I'm either getting ED or Autism. Nervous if I get ED…I hope I have the same karma as you!
     
  9. eternalsaudade

    eternalsaudade Companion

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2012
    Messages:
    141
    Likes Received:
    1

    Jun 18, 2013

    If you can get more information about the classroom and go in and observe that classroom or a similar one to help you decide, I definitely would.

    I worked as a para this past year in an ED room and it turned out to be an amazing, albeit taxing, experience. I am looking elsewhere this year solely because my passion is for working with the preschool crowd, but I really enjoyed working with the kids. Things were very turbulent in the beginning and I wasn't sure I could handle it, even with the awesome teacher I worked with, but I stuck with it and learned a lot and grew to really love the kids. My point is, you may find that you enjoy working with a population that you didn't expect. That said, listen to your gut too. If you feel truly uncomfortable taking it after learning more about the position, don't. But if you feel like it is something you are willing to try, go for it. And if you do, definitely reach out to experienced teachers working with similar populations for support and advice. If you find it's not for you, you can always just stick out the year and then search elsewhere.
     
  10. ebc

    ebc Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 18, 2013

    That is tricky.

    If you know you enjoy LD, I would keep looking until you find something like that. Working in an autism unit can be very taxing. It will be rewarding, but if it's not what you're really looking for, it might make you think that special ed just isn't for you- which probably isn't the truth.

    I have done both, and I've found that working with students with mild/moderate learning disabilities is absolutely my place, and working with students with autism is only something I can manage for short periods of time. If I chose to do that full time my first year, I probably would have quit teaching, which would be a shame.

    Good luck, though. It might be something you end up enjoying, but I wouldn't settle just yet. Especially since you already have a job.
     
  11. kmeteach

    kmeteach Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 19, 2013

    I work in a special ed-autism classroom. It's hard to say what your experience would be like since the spectrum is so broad. I have high functioning and low functioning students, verbal and nonverbal, kids that have lashed out at me, etc. However, once I got to know the kids, I learned how awesome they all are. I truly thought I would never last as long as I have, because it is tough! But it was worth the experience and I will miss them over the summer.

    That being said, this could be a position that you will love. Can you observe the kids before you accept the position? That might help you with your decision.
     
  12. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,931
    Likes Received:
    1,914

    Jun 22, 2013

    I would go for it, assuming the only thing holding you back is your inexperience working with students with Autism. Regardless of where you go, your first year will involve a lot of on-the-job training. Might as well learn to work with kids with autism while you have the opportunity to have such a narrow focus. Many schools, including mine, do not separate students based on disability alone. I have K-3 autism, LD, ED, and language impairment all in my classroom.... and I'm not in a school where I'm the only sped teacher. You might find that you really enjoy it, too!

    It's been a few days since you originally posted. Have you made a decision yet?
     
  13. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,841
    Likes Received:
    321

    Jun 22, 2013

    I am in a room like Bella's where we have various disabilities mixed together. It might be good experience to get!

    Best of luck with whatever you decide. I tend to think "I can do anything for a year."
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. SAM PARKER,
  2. MrsC,
  3. Ima Teacher
Total: 441 (members: 3, guests: 419, robots: 19)
test