Should I teach Special Ed or not?

Discussion in 'Special Education Archives' started by ambenico, Apr 28, 2006.

  1. ambenico

    ambenico Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2006
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 28, 2006

    I am at the crossroads and need real help in deciding whether to teach special ed or elementary school. I'm beginning my credential program next year and need to make a decision before I enter the program.

    Can you guys help present the pros and cons of Special Ed Versus Elementary teaching?
     
  2.  
  3. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2005
    Messages:
    2,100
    Likes Received:
    3

    Apr 28, 2006

    What do you really want to do? Do you have a passion for teaching special ed kids? If so, go for it. If not, I think you ought not. It takes a special kind of person to do it.
     
  4. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Messages:
    6,439
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 28, 2006

    Can you get dual certification? I wish I had done that. Many schools are working towards inclusion anyway. That being said, I think that a good special education teacher should have patience too. Have you ever worked with special needs populations before? Personally, I think it is an individual choice. Special ed teachers tend to "burn" out more quickly or so they say. However, I think that most teachers who strive to do their best have some level of burn out. I think an general education teacher has an advantage with a special ed background because many strategies can also be used to help "regular" students succeed. Both have paperwork there's no getting around that.
     
  5. bcblue

    bcblue Comrade

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2005
    Messages:
    277
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 28, 2006

    Do you have the chance to do observation in both elementary and special ed classrooms before you have to decide? Seeing it could really help you decide if it's for you--I agree with Miss Frizzle that it's an individual choice. On a purely practical level, there are almost always more special ed jobs out there than elementary when it gets down to job hunting. . .
     
  6. AspieTeacher

    AspieTeacher Comrade

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2005
    Messages:
    406
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 28, 2006

    Reply to teach special ed or not!

    Ambenico,

    I would suggest visiting different special education classrooms to determine whether you really want to teach this population. In California, there are two levels of severity when teaching students with special needs. The first and most common is the mild/moderate Education Specialist Credential. This authorizes you to service the needs of students with mild-moderate disabilities. Most of these students are in resource pull-out programs or in special day classrooms which emphasize basic functional academics. The students have been identified as either learning disabled, mildly retarded and other mild-moderate disabilities.

    The students in the mild-moderate range have some behavior problems which interfere with their learning as well. Some of these students are ADHD, ADD, or even Tourette Syndrome and some High Functioning Autism (not Asperger's Syndrome). They require more structured environment than a general education student. You are fortunate to have a paraprofessional assistant if the district funds them for you. You can have up to 20 students in a classroom as well. At the school where I teach, there are 20-25 SDC students in a classroom throughout the day. Some of these students are also limited English Proficiency.

    The specialization where I teach is Autism. I have a moderate/severe Education Specialist Credential. I work with students who have moderate autism and most of them are verbal, but they still have difficulty with communication. They may speak in 1-3 word phrases, but they have difficulty speaking more appropriately. I make sure they are given a schedule to follow and I stick to it because students with Autism don't like change. Moderate-Severe disabilities include students with multi-disabilities such as Cerebral Palsy with severe developmental delays, mental retardation, and other disabilities combined. These students need help with feeding, toileting, responding, and communication. I started with this population for at least two years and I almost gave up the profession.

    There are districts who don't provide the proper materials, equipment and curriculum when you work with this population. It's best to decide if your heart is set working with these students. You really have to have your heart setting on the children and not just because elementary and other general education is difficult to get in the door. It's not fair to these students and you should make an attempt to ask other teachers what they feel about this population as well. I would suggest visiting classrooms, and writing down notes.

    Good luck
    btw I have Asperger's Syndrome (mild autism)
    and i'm a fully credentialed teacher
    Troy in Los Angeles, Ca
    AspieTeacher
     
  7. ambenico

    ambenico Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2006
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 28, 2006

    I think the idea of sitting in on General Ed and Special Ed classes is a BRILLIANT one.

    My confusion stems from the fact that I have no exposure whatsoever to Elementary and Secondary Education. I have always taught at the university level where the students are more intellectually challenging (at times too much). So given that background, I'm truly confused as to which way to go. But I will definitely visit some classes to hone in on what I'm really comfortable with.

    Thanks so much for your responses. AspieTeacher you are great!
     
  8. AspieTeacher

    AspieTeacher Comrade

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2005
    Messages:
    406
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 28, 2006

    To teach special education or not!

    :thanks: :D :love: :wow: :) :cool: :p

    Ambenico,
    I love being a special education teacher the most because I am a product of the special education system. People have to realize that we were in special education for a reason. I struggled through primary, elementary, middle, and high school because I wanted to attend college. I would have never been this successful if I hadn't been placed into a special education pull-out program. I also would have lost some of the necessary study skills as well. When I began my junior year in my education coursework, I excelled. I realized that special education was my calling. I show passion in my teaching and it shows in the progress and development of my students. Thanks for the nice comments too.

    Troy in Los Angeles, Ca
    AspieTeacher
     
  9. meggyb

    meggyb New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 28, 2006

    i just want to let you know i understand your position!!! i graduated with my degree in speech pathology and audiology, started my masters, and then became emergency certified and started working in a middle school (grades 5 to 8) and found myself spending so much time in the self contained special ed rooms that i am now going back to school to become a special ed teacher!!! but if i never had an experience in a school in both situations i would have never found what i loved!!! so definately visit both types of classrooms, and if you pick one and find out it isn't for you that's okay too - at least you will know!!!
     
  10. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    Messages:
    6,439
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 29, 2006

    As aspie teacher also said.... special ed is such a global term. there are so many different levels and types of disabilites to work with. I have spent 13 years working with the developmentally disabled. I do love it, but I have to admit, that I am looking to get into a school based classroom instead of private programs. I have some background in autism and I am considering being an ABA therapist part time.
    Again, the decision is not really should or should not, instead it is what you feel most inclined to do. You may be surprised.
     
  11. jhamm57

    jhamm57 Rookie

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0

    May 10, 2006

    The question may be more of what AREA you are most interested in. There are many aspects to Special Education. The umbrella of Special Education includes Speech, Gifted/Talented, Learning Disabled, Mentally Retarded, Autism, Emotionally and Behaviorally Disturbed. The areas of Blind/Partially Sighted and Hard of Hearing/Deaf are also included. If there is one particular area that you are interested in, I would try to find out as much as possible about that exceptionality. Also, most universities now have Observation classes, as well as the Practicum classes. I agree that you should experience both regular education students as well as those with special needs. Most of all..........listen to your heart. You want to make sure you go into special education for the right reasons...... to make a real difference in the students' lives.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Ima Teacher
Total: 166 (members: 2, guests: 139, robots: 25)
test