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Career Story: High School Special Ed Teacher

High School Special Ed Teacher

Job Title: Teacher

Type of Company: I work for a school district

Education: BA in History, Framingham State College •• Master of Education, Framingham State College

Previous Experience: I have been a teacher since the day I have graduated from college.

Job Tasks: I am a high school teacher at a local high school. I am a special education teacher.

Currently I teach two periods of inclusion English, two periods of replacement English and a class of academic support. Inclusion English is myself and a English teacher co-teaching 28 students, 10 of whom are special ed students. I help these students and all in the class with their writing and reading. Replacement English is for those students who cannot keep up with the pace of a regular education class. I teach them writing and reading skills. Academic support is a group of special ed students who come to me and I help them with all their school work, study for tests and complete projects.

I also complete testing on special ed students to see at what level they are functioning at. I write IEP's which are Individualized Educational Plans. This is a legal document between the parent or family and the school. This document states what the child's disability is and what the school is going to do so that the child is given a free and appropriate education. I spend time everyday calling or emailing parents about the status of their child in a certain class.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is when there is a child who cannot understand something that is being taught. After working with him/her and they finally get it - that look on their face makes everything all worth it.

The worst part of my job is the poor behavior. Many of my students have behavior issues and it is hard some days. Since I work with high school kids, they often have vile adult language and then I have to become more of a disciplinarian instead of a teacher.

Job Tips:
1. If you are going to work with high school students, you need to have a sense of humor and not take the things they say to you to heart - remember they are teenagers.

2. Have a good mentor - you will need help in the beginning - we all did

3. Make good friends with the secretaries of the school - they control everything.

Additional Thoughts: Most days I love my job. There are some days that I don't feel that I can do it anymore, but I would say that happens in most jobs. You need to have a great deal of patience. My job has many levels. Some days I am the teacher, mother, nurse, big sister, guardian angel - you name it. Teenagers need a lot of guidance and they will turn to you - be ready because you really are a role model whether you like it or not.

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