dcsimg

Career Story: Special Education Tester In An Urban Middle School

Special Education Tester In An Urban Middle School

Job Title: Teacher

Type of Company: A middle school in southern New Hampshire

Education: BA, Fitchburg State College

Previous Experience: I worked as a teaching paraprofessional.

Job Tasks: I am the Special Education Tester at the Middle School in an urban setting. I also teach structured reading to moderate special needs students.

On a typical day I teach fifth and sixth grade students in a structured reading program, called Wilson Reading, which is primarily for students who may be dyslexic or require a more intensive reading program. After an hour of this, I test student(s) who've been recommended for CORE testing or re-evaluation. (CORE evaluation determines whether a student qualifies for special education because of a specific learning disability. Re-evaluation is testing on a student who has previously been determined to have a disability and is then 're-qualified'.)

During the next hour and a half I do lunch and recess duty primarily with fifth and sixth grade students. In the afternoon I work on structured reading with seventh and eighth grade students for an hour apiece. At the end of the day, I do dismissal duty, monitoring the students as they leave the building and watching out for any safety infractions.

Some days I have to alter my schedule to go to area private schools or alternative schools and testing students who otherwise would be assigned to be tested at the local public school where I work.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The worst part of my work is canceling class due to a meeting or a test that can't wait. On occasion a meeting must be scheduled to accommodate a parents schedule. Sometimes the testing schedule is heavy due to state or federal regulations.

the best part is watching the progress of students, especially someone whom I have worked with for 2 or more years and who's begun to make strides. I am fortunate to be able to follow some students from fifth to eighth grade and see the progress they make in the course of four years.

Job Tips:
1. Teaching involves sooooo much more than giving instructions.

2. Try to understand the developmental and cognitive level of the students that you are teaching in order to make the most of your lessons.

3. Be a "student" yourself and listen to your peers, the school staff (administration, cafeteria and custodian workers, etc.) and the parents and community (after school staff, health workers, etc.). You will be amazed at what you can learn, how you can learn, and what this means to you and your students.

Additional Thoughts: I am continually amazed by my job as a special education teacher. I enjoy my work because the rewards are great; but the job is often draining. I feel pain when a student is struggling academically as well as socially. I feel joy when I see a student go from a beginning reader (in sixth grade) to a third grade reader (in eighth grade).

I would feel joy if I could make students, parents and other teachers understand that Special Education means that a student learns in a special and unique way (as opposed to a student who is unable to learn at all.)

Popular Schools offering Special Education Teaching Programs

quickinfoClick the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab. .

Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school

Matching School Ads

Are you ready to advance or start your career inspiring minds and changing lives? Apply to join GCU's prestigious teaching community.

  • Programs: Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership with an Emphasis in Special Education, M.A. in Autism Spectrum Disorders, M.Ed. in Special Education: Cross-Categorical (Leads to initial teacher licensure), more...
  • Degrees: Doctorate, Master, Bachelor

We are committed to helping you achieve your goals and complete your degree as quickly as possible.

  • Programs: M.Ed. - Program Specialist in Gifted Specialist, M.Ed. Teaching and Learning - Special Education , MA in Teaching - Special Education, more...
  • Degrees: Master

Ashford University

  • Programs: ESL/TESOL - Bachelors, ESL/TESOL - Masters, Education, Technology & Online Learning - Bachelors, more...
  • Degrees: Bachelor, Master

Concordia University - Portland offers several fully online 14-month Master of Education (M.Ed.) programs and a fully online Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) program.

  • Programs: M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: The Inclusive Classroom (SPED), M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Social Studies, M.Ed. in Career and Technical Education, more...
  • Degrees: Master

Purdue University offers a strong foundation of tradition and history.

  • Programs: Master of Science in Education in Special Education
  • Degrees: Master

Colorado State University-Global Campus

Colorado State University-Global Campus (CSU-Global) offers career relevant bachelor’s and master’s degree programs for working adults and nontraditional learners.

  • Programs: MS - Teaching and Learning
  • Degrees: Master

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

  • Programs: Special Education - Doctor of Education, Special Education - Master of Education, Special Education - EdS, more...
  • Degrees: Doctorate, Master

Founded by the Society of Jesus in 1851, Saint Joseph's University (SJU) has been developing the minds and abilities of men and women in a challenging academic environment steeped in the enriching Jesuit tradition of cura personalis (care of the entire person).

  • Programs: Certificate of Proficiency in Autism Studies, Autism Spectrum Disorder Endorsement, Pennsylvania PK-12 Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Certification, more...
  • Degrees: Certificate

Learning at Full Sail University has always centered around interaction and the exchange of ideas. Our online curriculum fully embraces this philosophy.

  • Programs: Instructional Design & Technology
  • Degrees: Master

Advance your teaching career with an online master's degree from University of Southern California Rossier School of Education.

  • Programs: Master of Arts in Teaching
  • Degrees: Master
Matching School Ads

Additional Career Stories for Middle School Special Education Teachers

The inside stories from people actually working in the field.
Click a story title to show the story, and click the title again to hide it.

All Types

You are visiting:

Find a school near you

What are Career Stories?

Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.

Most stories include:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

More Details On This Career

Please also see our detailed information about Middle School Special Education Teachers, including:

Back to Top