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Career Story: Special Education Aide At An Elementary School

Special Education Aide At An Elementary School

Job Title: Special Education Aid

Type of Company: I work for a public city school district

Education: BS in Family Resources, OSU (Ohio State University); •• MS in Child Development, University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana Campus

Previous Experience: OSU Child Development Lab - Toddler Room Teacher; Head Start-preschool teacher; Child Care Resource and Referral Services-Director; Work Family Directions/variety of positions all in the Early Childhood Department.

Job Tasks: I work with students in grades K-5 who have a special education plan and are included in a typical classroom. I coordinate the learning for these students with the school's inclusion facilitator and classroom teacher.

One of my tasks is to adapt lessons for students. For example, I might meet with a student and teach concepts in a one-to-one situation. I also modify lessons such as math and language arts. I also implement behavior plans. If a student requires breaks during the day or some type of reinforcement, I implement that plan. I can also run reading groups within the classroom.

The younger the child I work with typically results in more contact with the child's family. For example, daily verbal communication about the child's day at school. And sometime a daily journal is used as a way to exchange information with parents. I also attend Individual Education Plan (IEP) meetings with the school team and parents. In this meeting I relay how the child and school are doing meeting the educational goals written in the IEP

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: I really enjoy working with people and I get to work with people of all ages in this job. I also like not sitting at a desk all day and the change of pace the job offers. I get a lot of satisfaction helping children meet their goals. The job also allows me to brainstorm ideas and problem solve many times on a daily basis. The hours are terrific even if the pay is on the low end of the scale. I also like that I can walk to work and get to know families in my neighborhood.

Job Tips:
1. You have to really like working with children in the field of Child Development and as a special education aide.

2. Patience and diplomacy are critical in these positions.

3. Also, the pay is not terrific in Child Development or as special education aide. I am not sure you could live on that salary alone.

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