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Career Story: Special Education Teacher At A High School

Special Education Teacher At A High School

Job Title: Teacher

Education: BA in Elementary Education, Boston College •• MA in Special Education, Cambridge College

Previous Experience: I went to college for teaching and was a teacher aide for years.

Job Tasks: I am a special education teacher (SPED). I work with students with various LD's (learning disabilities) that range from specific learning issues to ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) to forms of autism. A typical day for me would be to start at 7:15 AM reviewing goals for the day and class lesson plans and making sure that students are getting the correct amount of support services that they are required to by law and is written in their IEP (education plan for SPED students) outlines.

There might be a few issues during the day students needed one to one meeting time because the are feeling overwhelmed. I will meet with the mainstream teacher (ppl who teach core subjects like English) to make sure that my students are making progress and meeting IEP goals. I talk with the teacher on how to improve my methods and how to make school more enjoyable and successful for kids. I run support class where students work on their homework and they often need reminders and help with corrections and staying on task. I often hold meetings with student and their mainstream teacher so we can all be on the same page and so the student can take part in their own education. As high school students, this is very important for later in life. I talk with parents daily via email or on the phone. I helps students plan for college and other things after high school. The school day is over at 2;30 but I still have to plan for the next day and write teacher reports, IEPs and college recommendations.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part is working so close to students and watching they grow over the four years. Some take longer but watching them grow and leave is just as rewarding but often harder.

The worst part is dealing with parents who don't allow their child the freedom to grow on their own.

Job Tips:
1. Realize that it is a tough job up it is worth it.

2. You really are doing something that makes a difference even on days when it feels like people don't care about what you are doing.

3. It is hard because you put some much effort in and get paid very little but you have to love it. If you don't love it then it is not the job for you.

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