Whether or not to go for special ed credential

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by Maggie1999, Jan 15, 2018.

  1. Maggie1999

    Maggie1999 Rookie

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    Jan 15, 2018

    I know its my decision but I need help with the pro's and con's of whether to jump into a teaching/intern program next week.

    I've already jumped through some hard hoops - for me - three CSET exams (still have math/biology to deal with),CBEST, etc. Got accepted into program. Plus for program...after one semester of classes will be teaching in the fall (assuming get a job, everyone assumes with shortage no issue)...with an actual teaching income.

    Cons are:
    1. not positive this is my field. I have some experience yet I am older (54) and am not feeling passion here - did any of you? Realize I may feel it once I get into it. I do enjoy kids and used to deeply want to work with them...am just a little burnt out with some life experiences now

    2. The program is 2 1/2 years long - a bit long for my taste. Its 3 classes per semester (5 semesters) while teaching. Every Tuesday and Thursday night 4 hours (yikes), then either an additional online class or Sat. class.
    I don't think the schedule would be such an issue if I LOVED the field or felt more clarity about doing this.



    3. Due to some health issues I know I should only work part-time. The school has said I can get through on part-time....the hardest aspect of that is finding a pt position and must have job offer in hand this spring to stay in the program. Working part-time would make all of this a lot more doable for myself...(and better teacher probably) but there is also stress around knowing its tricky to find pt job - I may be wrong - maybe its easy.

    I read others posts...and some of this work/classes sound so hard. The intense behavior problems (had those raising my daughter)...but with multiple children, I am definitely having cold feet.

    I am open to very candid feedback....no one here can make my decision and I have to figure this out myself, but if anyone here has been in my shoes and has something to offer i would appreciate it. I live in north bay, California. Thanks so much.
     
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  3. Maggie1999

    Maggie1999 Rookie

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    Jan 15, 2018

    I just want to add:
    1. I DO have experience working one-on-one with special education but not in classroom (have observed some)....am currently a caregiver for 5 years with elderly/alzheimers.
    2. I have been to school off and on as an older adult so am familiar with hw, jumping through hoops/learning...part of why the above schedule is feeling a bit intimidating.
     
  4. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Jan 15, 2018

    The real question I would ask is whether or not you feel you will be able to find a job with the credentials you have now? If that is a no, and people say you would greatly increase your chance of employment with the SPED certificate, that would be worth considering, but that 2.5 years seems like a lot of hoops to jump through with no guarantee that the odds would be significantly better. Your odds may be better, but nothing written in stone. That does seem like a heavy course load if working full time, and a significant wait if you're not working in education until that is finished. I will be honest and say that as we age, we need to figure out what will and will not pay for itself in our work life. If you said you were 24 my answer would almost certainly be different. That said, this is just my opinion.
     
  5. Maggie1999

    Maggie1999 Rookie

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    Jan 16, 2018

    Hi, thanks for responding. As it is now I have no credentials...other than preparing to be a substitute teacher (went to that orientation today). So from that perspective, obviously getting a credential in SPED would greatly enhance my employment in the field of education. 2.5 years also seems like a lot of hoops to me too. At first I thought it was two years even, which was a little bit of a stretch (so many programs offer a 3 semester deal)...
    the upside to this program is I WOULD be teaching this fall - for better or worse - while taking the classes. Alas my statement about only seeking a part-time teaching position. At 54, and having been through a tough road, I am just not up for a FT teaching job that seems bound to be stressful from the get go, plus take 3 classes per week, for 2 1/2 years.

    1. I want job security
    2. I want to work with children
    3. I want to work - change states - in other states..SPED seems to give that option of transferability.
    4. I may wish to work overseas...by the time I'm done...I could get jobs overseas.

    However...re #4, I was just informed today that overseas teachers cannot work, at least in many, many countries, after the age of 60. So that benefit makes this course that much more unattractive.

    From that standpoint wishing I could just teach ESL which I know I would love...def. transfer overseas, but also want solid work in the states and from what I understand its hard to get work doing that in the states.
     
  6. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Jan 17, 2018

    Based on your description, I wouldn’t unless I needed it to get a job.
     
  7. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Jan 18, 2018

    Don't know where you are, but ESL may check off almost the same boxes, be more desireable over-seas, and require a shorter stint. That said, many overseas jobs won't hire you past the age of 60.
     
    AlwaysAttend likes this.
  8. Sam Aye M

    Sam Aye M Mr. Know-It-All

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    Jan 18, 2018

    My honest opinion, based on what you have stated, is that you would not like the job. SPED is often hard work, with long hours, and lots and lots of paperwork. And depending where you work, you may get lots of support, or little support. Yes, there are behavioral problems, academic problems, and at times, even problems getting non-SPED colleagues to cooperate with whatever the current plan is.
    Working only part-time as a SPED teacher may prove to be difficult, unless you find an online charter school, or some school that only needs SPED services for part of the day. If you're a little burnt out now, before you even start the program, you're going to be REALLY burnt out when you start teaching and working on your credential. And I think, at that point, you might end up hating the job.

    It sounds like teaching is really what you want to do, and I think that's great. I am just not sure if SPED is a good fit. I think the best way to get a good feel for it is to sub in some SPED classes, and talk to some of the SPED teachers at the schools you work at. Talk to the administrators too, and express your concerns with them. In my experience, they can be pretty open and honest when approached in this manner. SPED really is a special kind of beast, and isn't for everyone. It's nothing personal at all, and doesn't really reflect poorly on anyone. It's just kind of a niche job.

    -Good luck
     
    Been There likes this.
  9. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    Jan 22, 2018

    I agree with Sam. Burn-out is a real possibility with all of the factors that you bring to the table. I survived to retire from SPED, but can tell you that every year became increasingly more difficult: regulations, paperwork, administrators, teachers, parents. At the end, it was no fun at all, despite still having a strong passion to work in my chosen profession.
     

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