What’s it like to be teacher?
I don’t want to discourage you but many times we get teachers that say that special education is “their calling” and many times they are the ones that truly don’t understand. You have to have a great sense of humor to do it because many times it’s more headaches than pleasure in teaching but just get some experience first, if you leave there and truly want to come back, then it’s for you. If it leaves you uneasy for any reason, think about what that was and figure out if you can fix it and move on to become a special education teacher. They are the most needed profession but I have to say that I couldn’t see myself anywhere else. I am truly given a service to others. Good Luck
I have been a teacher for 11 years. I am 48 years old. If you do the math you’ll see that I am a late bloomer. I didn’t follow my path directly out of college, instead opting to stay home and raise my children. After my youngest son went to kindergarten, I decided to give teaching a try. I recertified and the rest is history. Six years at elementary level and five years at junior high . . . music to be exact.
About three years ago, I was approached by my principal and asked to take two special education classes. . . one a developmental delayed class . . the other a multi-handicapped class. Both classes were self-contained.
I accepted both classes and have never regretted it. I agree with the other contibutor that special education is not for everyone. You’ll find that it takes much more planning to create enriching lessons geared to the abilities of all the different levels of students. I find that it takes most of my planning time to meet these challenges. But, I have to admit, when all is said and done…..my “special kids” take more away from what they are learning than my “regular kids.”
I have decided to return to college to pursue my masters license to teach special educ.
As the other contributor added . . . observation is a good idea. Hopefully you can find a teacher willing to let you get your feet wet. It’s a great time . . . challenging . . . rewarding . . . tiring . . . frustrating . . .and . . . something I wouldn’t change.
Best of luck!
Okay… I will give you a nice little list…
1. I enjoy the fact that I am continually learning, always the student as well as a teacher.
2. I have learned a great deal of life lessons (sometimes the hard way) regarding politics and relating to people when they are upset – perhaps upset with me.
3. I love it when one of my students works their way off an IEP, that is a very rewarding moment.
4. It is long hours, and often you may have headaches and frustrations that keep you up at night. However… I do recall I had problems of this nature in other jobs, as well.
5. Sometimes you may feel isolated… other times, you may feel like an integral part of something rather noble. It is important to be humble and keep your perspective no matter what happens.
6. Children – I love them, so I want to work with them… and, this job is the best when it comes to working with the little rug rats!
7. Children with special needs create a special tugging at your heart strings. They are all different, and your influence can really, really make an impact on them. Kindness and respect… key principles.
8. Special ed teachers do not get the recognition they deserve a lot of the time – at least in the same way as regular ed teachers. They are left out of things…because they do not have their own classroom. Or, asked to do extra duties that other teachers are not asked to do… However, they are able to specialize as problem solvers and are often seen as a person who rescues others. It gives you its own sense of recognition.
9. Sometimes I get pretty sad about situations that feel like they do not change. Wondering if I am really making a difference. But, there are others around that remind me that what I am doing is vitally important. I could see this when I was out on a sudden medical leave of abscence for two weeks. My students, and their teachers…were okay the first week… that made me feel I had them trained well to handle the short term. After a week, they really felt the effects of my abscence, and told me so. That they needed me brought additional personal value to my job. It infused me with confidence I did not have prior to it.
10. No matter what job you take… your focus needs to be on developing routines and strategies to handle the busy aspect of your work. Teaching is highly demanding in that sense…
but, if you make the best of things, you will find many profound and deeply moving successes in this kind of career.
It’s all about helping others.
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