Subbing for Special Ed

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by GatorGal, Jan 12, 2007.

  1. GatorGal

    GatorGal Cohort

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    Jan 12, 2007

    I am so amazed that they let anyone who is qualified to substitute sub for special ed!
    It seems to me that you would need specific qualifications to work with students who need distinctive daily help?

    I got called this week to sub for a special ed class (I didn't find out until I arrived at the middle school). Luckily, there were only about 10 or so students, and 3 aides. However, the aides had separate jobs throughout the day such as taking one of the children into a different "regular" classroom, working one-on-one with one child, etc.

    This was only my second time subbing and I had no clue how to teach these children, and I really had no clue on how to work out disciplinary issues. The regular teacher was unexpectedly sick, so she had no lesson plans prepared.

    The teacher aides were very helpful, and the children were very sweet (there weren't really any disciplinary problems until after lunchtime), but I am still amazed that the administration lets just anyone sub for the classroom.

    At the end of the day, I waited with one little girl for her mother to come pick her up (about 15-20 min after the school day had ended). The aides didn't stay, and I'm sure that there are inept substitutes out there that would have just impatiently left the girl by herself. That makes me nervous just thinking about it.
     
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  3. Shylac

    Shylac Rookie

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    Jan 12, 2007

    I have been subbing for almost 2 years and i do get called a lot for special ed classes and CTT classes, in the beginning i was surprised too thats they would call me for that because i am not licensed in that area. I find it is hard to teach a special ed class when you don't have backround knowledge in it but i bring a lot of reproductibles and games for those days.
     
  4. GatorGal

    GatorGal Cohort

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    Jan 12, 2007

    Glad I'm not the only one surprised...

    What is CTT?:sorry:
     
  5. Shylac

    Shylac Rookie

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    Jan 12, 2007

    CTT is collaborative team teaching..theres 2 teachers in the room one special ed n the other general ed..n i think there is like 15 on each side and the teachers work together to teach them all. Some schools i see a lot of it in and others i dont really see many classes like this..mabye its only in new york?
     
  6. ryman

    ryman Rookie

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    Jan 13, 2007

    I've taught special ed once. It was a rewarding experience, but exhausting. The kids were sweet, but it's a lot of work to keep them on task (I would imagine this would be variable depending on what types of disabilities the students have).

    It was at a middle school. The traditional prep period was non-existent with this class. Lunch was hard to manage as well as I always go off-site and we pretty much had to stay with the students during lunch. I did get a chance to go off-site, but had to be back quickly as the aides also had things to do during lunch.

    The aides (I had two of them) were helpful, but to my surprise they still looked to me as the person in charge (surprising because they're there every day and know how the class is typically run). I have no problem with running the class, as it were, but it was a slightly awkward situation at the time.

    I no longer take these classes. The reason is the fact that I didn't get the usual breaks that I NEED. I think it takes a special person to teach special ed. A person a little less selfish than me when it comes to having breaks.
     
  7. Mrs_Goatess

    Mrs_Goatess Comrade

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    Jan 13, 2007

    I cover ESE and special ed often. Aside from Behavioral Units, I have absolutely no issues in them. Often, it's a better experience than general ed rooms becuase the teacher does more prep work, there are fewer students, usually an aid, and the expectations are very clearly defined for the students by the time I get there.
     
  8. Ms.S60074

    Ms.S60074 Rookie

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    Jan 13, 2007

    Before I got my job as a special ed teacher in a middle school, I was a special education sub for a district. They pretty much hired anyone who had certification as a sub.I was lucky as I had recently just graduated with my degree. But on a daily basis I was placed in a variety of settings from preschool autism classes to severe behavior problem high schools. It tested my flexibility every day. The most difficult day was when I was called in to sub for a hearing impaired classroom and I DON'T SIGN NOR DO I UNDERSTAND SIGN LANGUAGE! Luckily the aides and other teachers helped me get through the day.
     
  9. GatorGal

    GatorGal Cohort

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    Jan 13, 2007

    haha I would have just died.
     
  10. GlendaLL

    GlendaLL Aficionado

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    Jan 13, 2007

    Formerly, I subbed quite a bit for "the county" in their special ed classrooms. I would go to different schools with different aged children. I always enjoyed my days in special ed! I appreciated the help from the aides in the classrooms. Usually, the students were excited to meet someone new.

    The only uncomfortable days were with the ED classrooms - Emotionally Disabled (severe behavior problems). I would just sit in the corner, while the aide took over the classroom. Those kids just could not handle a new person in charge.
     
  11. GatorGal

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    Jan 14, 2007

    Actually, its really funny that you say that, because I felt the same way this past week! The aides that were in my classroom were a lot older than me (which was awkward in itself, since they looked to me as the regular "teacher"), and I assumed that they would take charge alot more.

    I was very proactive in finding out what their normal routines for the day were early on in the morning. I'm not certified in special ed, but I would think that for some children, breaks in normalcy and routine are not exactly good. Luckily, the aides were really helpful when I asked questions.
     
  12. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Jan 14, 2007

    It's actually uncomfortable for aides becuase we dont' want the sub to feel slighted if we take over too much (and some do). At the same time, you have Aides who never take over because the teacher has trained them like that.
     
  13. LadyBelle85

    LadyBelle85 Rookie

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    Jan 14, 2007

    The other day

    I was called to sub for a severly handicapped class. I had worked with handicapped kids before, and I find them much easier than mainstream children, especially because there are always aides in the class.
    But the other day, I walked in to find 3 children in wheelchairs and 1 with downs. The first thing the teacher asked was if I was pregnant, because one of the children has a herpes virus that is dangerous to a fetus! I'm not however, but I was a little surprised that that wasn't in a note or something before I took the job.
    Also, I had to watch one girl who shoves her food in her mouth, and if her plate gets empty she will eat the styrofoam. I had to change diapers and carry some of the children who were 60+ lbs. Also some of them can sort of walk, but hovering over them, while holding them up by the arms, and their knees letting out every other step, is not easy on the back. And if all of that isn’t bad enough, the little down syndrome boy had lice!
    I called and complained that they should put a note in, that this job is dangerous for pregnant women and includes lifting the kids...i.e. labor.
     
  14. GatorGal

    GatorGal Cohort

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    Jan 14, 2007

    Wow! You made my day look easy.

    I agree with ryman that it takes a special person to do that daily.
     
  15. bjweyant

    bjweyant Rookie

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    Jan 14, 2007

    Teachers (that includes substitute teachers) are not supposed to be changing diapers. Occassionally, a teacher will help an aide and take care of it. You had no business doing it. In order to be lifting/carrying students, you are supposed to have some training and assistance.

    I am a special education teacher and when I have a sub - my aides will assist the teacher to follow the detailed lesson plans that I leave. We don't get credentialed subs in special ed and seldom even in regular ed. We get subs who are supposed to be able to read plans and carry them through. All we ask or expect, is that you do your best. :) If you have a question - ask the aide. If the aide takes over - let them. The law requires that there be a certain number of 'qualified' adults in the classroom. There are cases (ED) when you are a legality. THe aides know how to handle the class and the students don't deal with new people. THere are other times when you will be the teacher. THere are lesson plans to follow and classes to teach. Be open and be prepared.

    As for being assigned to a deaf/hard of hearing setting - you are a legality. You may not sign or understand it - but you are the legal teacher. You are the 'credential' that is required for the classroom to exist.

    I will tell you all - from the teacher's end of things - we appreciate our subs more than you will ever know. When I have to be out for a day, it is good to know that my kids are not being divided between 5 or 6 other teachers because there was no one to be in my room. You keep my kids together and in a setting they know. Without you - they would be broken up and seperated.
     
  16. GatorGal

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    Jan 16, 2007

    I hadn't thought of it like that. Makes sense!
     
  17. Ms.S60074

    Ms.S60074 Rookie

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    Jan 16, 2007

    Now being on the other end of things as a certified special ed teacher I am highly frustrated that when I am out my district does not hire a sub for me. I am a special ed co-teacher for the entire day. This means that I follow my caseload around and 'service' those students who have reading and math IEP minutes in their general ed classroom. I as well as my gen ed counterparts are furious that the district does not feel it necessary to get a sub when I am out because there is still a teacher in the classroom and a sub 'wouldn't know what to do anyway'. When I am gone, it is simply a disaster and the gen ed teachers could use the extra help. Is anyone else in a similar spot where a certified position does not get a sub when you are absent??
     
  18. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Jan 16, 2007

    Last year I didn't always have a sub, or they wouldn't hire one for my TA's. I taught PreK special ed, and co-taught 2 days a week with an SLP, who was also a certified teacher. I had 2 aides. In December, they hired a 2nd teacher for the classroom... yes, this means we sometimes had 5 adults in the room. All were needed.

    When my SLP was in, they didn't necessarily feel it prident to hire a sub for me. Some day if they were short subs they wouldn't bother to hire one for one of my TA's. We MANAGED those days, but they weren't as productive. I have PLENTY of things that a sub can do to be useful.
     

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