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Career Story: Special Education Teacher In A Public Elementary School

Special Education Teacher In A Public Elementary School

Job Title: Teacher

Type of Company: Public school

Education: BA, Psychology, Eastern Connecticut State University (Willimantic, CT) •• M.Ed., Springfield College (Springfield, MA)

Previous Experience: I worked as a special education teacher.

Job Tasks: My job is very important to the school because more and more kids need special education services. Also as schools adopt the inclusion model for their classrooms, special education teachers are needed to go into classrooms and assist students and teachers. Regular teachers look to special ed teachers to provide them with modified versions of the standard assignments that are tailored to students with needs.

A typical day for me would be to pull students out of class for math tutoring, then go into the classroom for writing support. Then I would pull a group out for reading and then go into the classroom for reading support. Next I would assist the teacher in the social studies or science lesson and then the kids would go to "specials" -- music, art and gym are referred to as specials -- and I would have my prep.

I like being a special education teacher because I like working with small groups of children and like going into classrooms to help out the regular ed teacher. With so many students needing help in the classroom she can't get to all of them herself. I also set up meetings with parents and teachers and write Individual Education Plans for students and test children using formal and informal assessments. I enjoy being a special education teacher.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is helping children succeed while in school. When kids do well in school it makes them more eager to learn. The worst part of my job is all of the paperwork I have to do and the meetings I have to attend.

Job Tips: The advice I would give to someone who aspires to work as a special education teacher is to do it... because there's a shortage of special ed teachers. It is very rewarding and nice to work with these special kids. Take as many courses as you can in special education and courses in the area you want to teach. Also take reading and math courses because that is what most kids need support in.

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