Career Story: Hospital School Teacher

Hospital School Teacher

Job Title: Hospital School Teacher

Type of Company: I work for a school district in the Research Triangle area of NC

Education: BS, Special Education •• MS, Education, Central Missouri State University (Warrensburg, MO) •• Nationally Board Certified in Special Education

Previous Experience: I have taught various subjects to various grades for 28 years.

Job Tasks: I work in a hospital as a hospital school teacher. My responsibilities include teaching academics to children who are in the hospital either short-term or long-term for various illnesses and conditions. In particular, I work with middle school, but our program works with children from pre-school through high school.

I contact the student/patient's community school and speak with the counselor or teachers who can give me information that is helpful in the student's treatment as well as assignments I can help the student keep up with while in the hospital. I assist in setting up appropriate academic services when a student leaves the hospital and re-establishes himself in the community school.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is the variety of experiences that come with each day. No two days are ever alike and no two students have the same needs. I feel like the day flies by because I am so busy helping students as well as learning myself. Students and families are always appreciative of what our program provides. It is a very satisfying job.

Job Tips: There are not many job opportunities outside of larger cities that have children's hospitals. Our area of the state is fortunate in that we have two major, well-known hospitals and therefore have about 25 hospital school teachers between the two. An education degree is required as well as a special education degree. Volunteering as a candy striper or with Red Cross will expose you to the hospital routine, and this is an opportunity often available to middle school and high school students.

Additional Thoughts: I worked in middle school for 16 years before I began working in the hospital setting. It has been a perfect fit for me. I love helping and nurturing and teaching. The students and families that you encounter are so grateful and gracious for the support that you give.

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