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Deborah B Said,
January 12th, 2011 @8:49 am  

I was a special education teacher and have some insights for you. It can certainly be very rewarding, but there is also a down side. I taught special education algebra and geometry to 10, 11, 12 graders. First, I couldn’t find any textbooks which included the standards I was required to teach that the students could even begin to understand. So I basically made up my whole lesson plan and class materials from scratch. We rarely used the book because it was too difficult for them. Second, part of my duties was to write Individualized Education Plans for students. I wrote 25 for the year, some teachers wrote a few more, some a few less. This is very time consuming and there is no extra time to work on these. You basically do these on your own time. Also, I do not know how the discipline is at the school you are thinking about working at, but here was the policy where I worked. Don’t send the kids to the office. Deal with them in the classroom. These kids have mild to severe behavioral problems, but there is no support from the administration. I like teaching and most days are fine. But sometimes special education is more about if you have all the paperwork finished so the school system can bill medicaid. Whether the kids learn anything is secondary to the paperwork and billing. If you can get past these issues and would like to help kids who really need understanding people to lead the classroom, go for it. I have had several kids tell me I was the best teacher they ever had. When I asked why they thought that, they said I had a sense of humor and didn’t pretend to know everything. I could admit if I was wrong and I tried to find ways to encourage them every day. Good Luck and I hope you find your career rewarding.

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