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Career Story: Special Education Teacher At State Hospital

Special Education Teacher At State Hospital

Job Title: Teacher

Type of Company: I work for SEIS which is part of a Department of Public Health facility.

Education: MA, Special Education, Northeastern University •• I have also accumulated 30 credits at Bridgewater State College (Bridgewater, MA)

Previous Experience: While I was in high school, I volunteered at a state school for the developmentally disabled.

Job Tasks: I have to be at work each day by 8:30 but am usually there by 7:45. I prepare my classroom for the day's activities by setting up the calendar, getting papers ready and reading emails for appointments. I teach children who have various handicaps as well as being medically fragile. Since the school is also a hospital, therapy sessions and medical appointments are integrated into the day. My students also set up the cafeteria for lunch. I supervise them during this activity. I also write Individual Education Plans and quarterly reports instead of report cards. I help prepare these students for the day they will commence. I do MCAS alternative portfolios -- a statewide measure of academic achievement -- and give the MCAS on demand as well. One day a week I supervise the students after lunch in the library. When necessary I transport the students to the gym or other places on the campus if their electric wheel chairs are in repair. I learn the dietary restrictions so that I do not give them foods they are either allergic to or that are not a part of their diets. At times I am required to help out with therapies and provide some range of motion or put on their hand or leg braces as needed. I utilize speech devices and encourage the students to use them as another means of communication.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is the students. I love what I do and when they learn I get a thrill. The worst part of the job is the administration. They sit in ivory towers and do not have a clue what the teachers in the classroom do. I wish that would change.

Job Tips: Make sure you have patience and take Special Ed. courses along with regular education courses so that you will understand the needs of all students in the school you might teach in. You might have an inclusion classroom and these skills will come in handy.

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