future of special education

Get new comments by email
You can cancel email alerts at anytime.
Comments (20)

Greg in Janesville, California

87 months ago

One addition to my previous post: My only teaching experience has been in special education.

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

countrysinger Erin McCormick

86 months ago

Greg,
how did you like it when you qouted the assignments for the children and did they listen to you.

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

spedmom in Canton, Michigan

84 months ago

It depends on where you live. Here in Michigan, you can't get a primary (first)special ed endorsement. You have to have a regular ed endorsement and THEN you can get your special ed. endorsements. To only educate yourself by purchasing books, you are missing out on so much practical knowledge that you would learn in school. The negativity is overwhelming here!

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

SPED in Angleton, Texas

80 months ago

There will always be SPED teachers needed because, while the trend is toward inclusion, there will always be some students (those classified as having low-incidence disablities) who will need to be in self-contained classrooms, or just go to general ed classes a portion of the day. And if you want to work with students with high-incidence disabilities (like learning diabilities) you can be an inclusion teacher or co-teacher.
You aren't waisting your time...you have to be certified to teacher early childhood through 4th grade regular ed as well as EC-12th grade SPED. I did my internship in general ed even though I knew I wanted to teach SPED.
Both experiences were good and if you want to be a teacher then you will rise to whatever occasion comes...including demanding parents and district expectations.
Do you want to teach students with special needs? There will always be a need for teachers who do.

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

blawson in Hot Springs, South Dakota

77 months ago

Special Ed., don't go there!!!!!

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

leaving teaching part 2 in Waukegan, Illinois

68 months ago

leavingteaching in Chicago, Illinois said: I have been a special ed teacher for over 10 years and although don't regret my experience, I would not recommend teaching to someone coming out of school right now. It's gotten extremely difficult for both regular and special ed teachers. Parents are so demanding (or they just don't care), there's no money for anything (and I work in a wealthy district), and as the other poster said, many Reg. Ed teachers are very difficult to work with regarding special ed students, and then you are caught in the middle, with parents asking you why the teacher isn't following the accommodations as written in the IEP. I am going back to school next year full time to become an OT, and although I don't expect healthcare to be any less frustrating than public school teaching, at least I know I have many options for where to work, with what population, etc. And I won't have to stay in a job I can't stand anymore. Right now I'm stuck in one school system because if I wanted to find a new job in a new district, I'd lose pay, lose tenure, and they could just lay me off after my first year.
I guess if it's something you really think you want to do, then you should talk to as many special ed teachers as you can. It's certainly a great schedule if you have kids. But for me, I just knew I needed to do something different. Good luck!

what program because i'm looking to get out of teaching.

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

Joseph.Lorentzen in El Paso, Texas

67 months ago

I am one of those special educators that has pressed for Inclusion in Texas. Yes, it takes fewer special educators and far more aides. You have to push the administration into accepting the cost. Pull out programs have failed to help more student's then they helped. It means you have to be far more creative with a limited budget. Your job becomes more of a supervisory roll of both the aides you have helping the student and regular teacher and advising the administration about the best way to move forward. It is challenging and rewarding while being scary new territoriality ground. You challenge the status quo and people who think they have power over you, don't like it when you bust down their castle gates. So put on that old Super Mom suit - you are going to need all the bullet proofing your kids have toughed you into.

jamie in Williamsport, Pennsylvania said: Hi-I just started school and am working towards receiving my certification in special education. I have heard from a teacher's aide in my area that special education jobs will be eliminated because of inclusion in the classroom. Has anyone heard this also? I just don't want to spend 4 years getting a degree that I can't use. Should I first get my certification in K-6 then go for the special ed? If I do not find a special ed job can I test for the K-6 to become certified or is this more school? I currently work with adults in the MH/MR field and love what I do so it is not a matter of being passionate about it, it is a matter of having the time and money. I am in my 30's and have 2 kids!!!!

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

Been teaching for years in Houston, Texas

65 months ago

Dissed in Blairstown, New Jersey said: I hope I'm not too late, but DON'T DO it. If you want to be a special education teacher, become regular ed certified and work in an inclusion classroom. You can buy books online and educate yourself. Certification is not necessary. It is really a formality, and it only gives you permission to stand in the back of a classroom of a teacher who is less qualified than you (often an alternate router), has less debt than you, and treats you like dirt. Again, DON'T DO IT!!!!

After 17 years as a classroom teacher, the state of Texas declared me "Imminently Unqualified" [yes they put it in writing] I too found myself standing in the back of a classroom. I have watched some really great teachers and took it as an opportunity to learn from them. I have also witnessed some disasters and wondered why I was the one not qualified. If I had it to do over again I would have continued my Special ed. Training but would have been certified in Reading/Language as well as Social Studies due to all the under grad hours that I have. Don't go for SPED alone! It is often a thankless job with mountains of repetitive and unnecessary paperwork and very little appreciation form parents, students, peers, or administrators

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

spedteacher in Angleton, Texas

65 months ago

It really depends on how you look at it. I don't find my job thankless at all. I love my students, parents and coworkers despite imperfections. The occasional hard day or tough parent to deal with does not change the fact that I am doing what I've been called to do to the best of my ability. It's not everybody's calling so don't let anybody tell you it is too hard and not to do it just because it wasn't for them. I absolutely love my job as do all of the other special ed teachers I know.

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

TJ in Battle Creek, Michigan

54 months ago

Dissed in Blairstown, New Jersey said: I hope I'm not too late, but DON'T DO it. If you want to be a special education teacher, become regular ed certified and work in an inclusion classroom. You can buy books online and educate yourself. Certification is not necessary. It is really a formality, and it only gives you permission to stand in the back of a classroom of a teacher who is less qualified than you (often an alternate router), has less debt than you, and treats you like dirt. Again, DON'T DO IT!!!!

That's a pretty pessimistic and generalizing comment that clearly only reflects your experience. I know some special education teachers who are phenomenal at working with regular education teachers. They are not condescending. I find that if you are open and try to understand all perspectives and really listen to each other, you will find a common path of cooperation and respect for each other. Good Luck!

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

Ellen in Texas in La Vernia, Texas

37 months ago

Hi,

I have taught in several places and more than one state. I most recently moved from CA to TX. I will tell you that I was treated better in CA, loved my job as a matter of fact. Now, I absolutely love the people I work with; Special Education staff, General Ed. teachers, and students. I hate my job. I am doing more paperwork than teaching. I am expected to write Individual Education Plans, follow up with students weekly that I do not have in class, modify lesson plans the day they are due to my Dept. Head,(since that is when they are given to me), make amendments to IEPs when students have additional needs that need to be addressed through out the year or even just because gen. ed. teachers didn't meet the deadlines given to them for what accommodations students need for state testing. I am required to visit students at the Alt. campus, email teachers, call parents when grades drop for my monitor students, check up on gen. ed. teachers to make sure they have done their job on our school website for such, and that they have done it correctly, follow up with these teachers; sometimes 3x before things are right, create behavior contracts that I check daily and reward students with prizes I am expected to purchase with my own money, Co-teach in classes (one has 22 students and of those students, 11 are low Basic Sp.Ed students, and there are 3 more LD kiddos, also Sp.Ed)I am expected to give all of these students what they need so they can pass their state tests Sp.Ed. Teachers share all of the same duties as the general education teachers = they have more responsibility but the same pay because at least in our district, there is no stipend or other pay for Special Education even if there are stipends for other teachers who take on extra duties. There is more actually but I don't want to depress anyone. If I could find anything at all to do other than teach in this area where I live, I would quit teaching even though I have always loved teaching.

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

Ellen in Texas in La Vernia, Texas

37 months ago

I am fortunate in that I Co-teach with a wonderful and very capable teacher. I am frustrated because I am constantly pulled from our classes to substitute in other classes or go to ARD or IEP meetings, do Special Education paperwork and so on. I think that working with others can be a process. Many gen. ed. teachers are territorial but if you are patient, most of them will appreciate what you do, you are making their goals of reaching the students easier to achieve after all.

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

Kimberly jones in La Vergne, Tennessee

12 months ago

Do not teach special education. I resigned and I was tenured. I thought I would be able get another job. Well, nobody wants to hire you with a special education degree. I have applied for over 400 jobs. I keep getting refusals. I have tried everything. I can't even get a receptionist position. I even got non renewed when I tried another special education position.

- Was this comment helpful?
Yes
/ No
Reply - Report abuse

been teaching Special education in Allen, Texas

10 months ago

I got into special education for all the right reasons. The last few years I was not doing any actual teaching. I had two paraprofessionals that did inclusion and Content Mastery. I had a caseload of 30 students. I ran the meetings, maintained all the paperwork and RTI meetings. There were assessments every couple of months and in Texas we have the STAAR test and I had to prepare all testing accommodations for my students. Between all the assessments and testing, not including meetings and after school tutoring, I was completely burned out at the end of the last school year. I am currently looking for jobs outside of teaching.

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

Nicole in Albemarle, North Carolina

8 months ago

Don't do it unless you want to spend hours a day doing special ed paperwork!!!!! I went to college to teach, not work a secretarial job. :(

- Was this comment helpful?
Reply - Report abuse

maggie in Sebastopol, California

7 months ago

I know this might sound crazy...but here in N. California, there is currently a huge demand for special ed teachers. I thought about it many times while single parenting my daughter - perfect schedule, salary fine with me....and I have worked with special ed off and on in my past but I still haven't experienced a special ed classroom...my next step is to volunteer a little and do that...that will tell me quickly if I think I could manage.

My 'crazy' question is - will schools hire special ed teachers part-time, or 75% - esp since I live in an area that is a bit desperate? I ask cause I am older - 53, and have a couple of autoimmune diseases that you wouldn't know by looking at me. I put a lot of energy into self care - alas the question of obtaining a less than full time job.

Other ideas I had to help make ends meet, were some tutoring during the summer. I know its classically a 'high stress job' and reports of the organizational demands put on these teachers is very concerning. I've heard a few special ed teachers say they feel they can't actively teach due to so many demands...and I do want to teach/help. I am very open to peoples feedback. Oh, and even though my daughter about out of the house, I do very much like the idea of summers off to get in some long awaited travel.

- Was this comment helpful?
Yes
/ No
Reply - Report abuse

Experienced in Sp Ed in Pacoima, California

21 hours ago

maggie in Sebastopol, California said: I know this might sound crazy...but here in N. California, there is currently a huge demand for special ed teachers. I thought about it many times while single parenting my daughter - perfect schedule, salary fine with me....and I have worked with special ed off and on in my past but I still haven't experienced a special ed classroom...my next step is to volunteer a little and do that...that will tell me quickly if I think I could manage.

My 'crazy' question is - will schools hire special ed teachers part-time, or 75% - esp since I live in an area that is a bit desperate? I ask cause I am older - 53, and have a couple of autoimmune diseases that you wouldn't know by looking at me. I put a lot of energy into self care - alas the question of obtaining a less than full time job.

Other ideas I had to help make ends meet, were some tutoring during the summer. I know its classically a 'high stress job' and reports of the organizational demands put on these teachers is very concerning. I've heard a few special ed teachers say they feel they can't actively teach due to so many demands...and I do want to teach/help. I am very open to peoples feedback. Oh, and even though my daughter about out of the house, I do very much like the idea of summers off to get in some long awaited travel.

If you want to be a special ed teacher, go for it. I got my credential when I was 56. Teaching is demanding. The problem with inclusion is that regular ed teachers and many administrators would probably "not" deal with special at all. The other problem with inclusion is that most student are many grade levels behind making it impossible to be as successful as they should. Teachers nor aides have the time to go back to the basics in a regular classroom. Grades are subjective. If you want to work with special ed students go into something like speech therapy or behavior analysis because they pays much more in the long run.

- Was this comment helpful?
Yes
/ No
Reply - Report abuse

Experienced in Sp Ed in Pacoima, California

21 hours ago

Experienced in Sp Ed in Pacoima, California said: If you want to be a special ed teacher, go for it. I got my credential when I was 56. Teaching is demanding. The problem with inclusion is that regular ed teachers and many administrators would probably "not" deal with special ed at all. The other problem with inclusion is that most students are many grade levels behind making it impossible to be as successful as they should. Teachers nor aides have the time to go back to the basics in a regular classroom. Grades are subjective. If you want to work with special ed students go into something like speech therapy or behavior analysis because they pay much more in the long run.

There is still a demand for special ed in Southern CA also.

- Was this comment helpful?
Yes
/ No
Reply - Report abuse

Experienced in Sp Ed in Pacoima, California

21 hours ago

been teaching Special education in Allen, Texas said: I got into special education for all the right reasons. The last few years I was not doing any actual teaching. I had two paraprofessionals that did inclusion and Content Mastery. I had a caseload of 30 students. I ran the meetings, maintained all the paperwork and RTI meetings. There were assessments every couple of months and in Texas we have the STAAR test and I had to prepare all testing accommodations for my students. Between all the assessments and testing, not including meetings and after school tutoring, I was completely burned out at the end of the last school year. I am currently looking for jobs outside of teaching.

I don't blame you. The job is too much and for the pay, it is ridiculous.

- Was this comment helpful?
Yes
/ No
Reply - Report abuse

Experienced in Sp Ed in Pacoima, California

21 hours ago

spedmom in Canton, Michigan said: It depends on where you live. Here in Michigan, you can't get a primary (first)special ed endorsement. You have to have a regular ed endorsement and THEN you can get your special ed. endorsements. To only educate yourself by purchasing books, you are missing out on so much practical knowledge that you would learn in school. The negativity is overwhelming here!

Well, Michigan is tough. I have a sister who has been in spec ed over 30 years in Detroit and she says she can't wait to retire. Her pay has been cut twice.

- Was this comment helpful?
Yes
/ No
Reply - Report abuse

» Sign in or create an account to comment on this topic.