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Career Story: Assistant Principal In Special Education

Assistant Principal In Special Education

Job Title: Assistant Principal

Education: BA in Psychology Regis College •• Master's Special Education Marymount University

Previous Experience: Teacher of special education students, Hearing impaired, Learning Disabled, Mild Mental Retardation, Autism, Emotional Disability

Job Tasks: We are in the business of education, providing all students with a quality education in their base school, if possible. I supervise 50 special educaiton teachers, 25 instructional assistants and the legal guidelines for 550 special education students in grades 7 - 12. Included in my job, I provide in-services and materials for teachers and other staff members and stay abreast of new legal issues. I work with parents of our students. I coordinate the transitioning of students from elementary to middle school and from middle to high school. In the summer, I collaborate with the Director of Guidance to develop the Master Schedule.

My job also includes working with other administrtors and relevant people in the county school system. Additionally, I supervise the Local Screening process, eligibility for special education criteria and other social services that may be needed by a student or family. During the course of a school year, I hire new staff, evaluate teachers and instructional assistants and collaborate on the evaluations of some general education teachers. The job is challenging, the days long and the time flies by. It's a GREAT job.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: There are two aspects to my job that give me pleasure. I enjoy working with teenagers. Most of our students are wonderful kids and provide positives to so many of us daily. The other aspect that I enjoy is planning and developing classes and settings that help any special education students learn and grow.

The most difficult aspect is dealing with adults who behave in a way that sets a very bad example for students or who don't seem to understand that educators come to work because they care. There are a few parents who curse at us, or berate our intentions.

Job Tips:
1. Choose the profession because you love something about it. Do not choose it for the time off, summer, winter break.

2. Know what age student with whom you most want to be.

3. Think about a teacher or teachers that influenced you the most. Examine yourself and determine if you have the same qualities that those you admire had.

Additional Thoughts: Education is a field of work in which you are willing to commit yourself to others. Students are required by law to be in school, as an adult, you are not. Understand that there is a moral obligation that your students are primary and that you cannot use them to get your own needs met. The rewards in education are often quantified by the light in someone's eye. If that matters to you, consider education.

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