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Career Story: Special Education Teacher In A Diverse Suburban School

Special Education Teacher In A Diverse Suburban School

Job Title: Special Education Teacher

Type of Company: I work for a school district just outside of Boston. The district is very diverse, ranging from low-income to wealthy families.

Education: BA,Elementary Education, Bridgewater State College •• BA, History, Bridgewater State College •• MEd, Special Education, Bridgewater State College

Previous Experience: I worked as a teacher of "community living" in a residential special education school. I also worked as a teacher's assistant in a special needs summer pre-school.

Job Tasks: My job is to support the classroom teacher and special education students integrated into the general education classroom. Getting special education students into the mainstream is a priority in education today. As a special education teacher, I must modify curriculum for students so that they are able to understand what is being taught at about the same time as their peers. Working with students in small groups or one-to-one is also part of my job and allows me to focus in on what they need to become successful, confident and independent learners.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job would be seeing my children succeed where they were struggling a the start of the school year.

The worst part of the job would be trying to work with parents who do not trust me or want to work with their child's school and teachers. When the parents aren't on board with what the school is saying, life gets tricky. In general, the positives outweigh the negatives, however in a very demanding, stressful job, but difficult parents take a toll on everyone.

Job Tips:
1. Be as patient as you can with all students, no matter how difficult they are.

2. Don't let little comments from students, colleagues or parents get to you. You won't last long if you do!

3. When searching for a job, don't give up, and don't become too picky. Chances are you aren't going to find your dream job your first year. But just getting into a school system is half the battle. Establish yourself somewhere, then look for your dream job after that. Who knows? You may end up deciding you love where you're at.

Additional Thoughts: There is absolutely no other job in the world like being a teacher. You may go through a roller coaster ride of emotions on a day-to-day basis, but there is honestly nothing more gratifying than seeing a child succeed whom others had given up on.

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