I believe in patience and hope. Patience is the first thing needed in order to succeed in becoming a special education teacher. Without patience, children in the class will not be able to be their fullest. Hope is needed for both the special educator and the children. The special educator needs hope to help the children and do what is needed for the children, while hope is needed for the children so the children can succeed and do well in the classroom.
This belief did not come out of the blue. I took some time to find these beliefs. At first I was not even studying to become a special education teacher. I spent 3 years studying to become a psychologist at Ohio University. During my third year at school, I realized that I wanted to go into education and had sympathy towards specialized kids, so special education was the best way to go. A few years after I graduated from Ohio University, I got her masters at Akron University. Even today I am still taking classes to further my learning and my career. Through all the schooling that I have been through, I am licensed to teach many different areas of special education, these areas include adult mentally handicapped, learning disabled, and severe behavior disorders. I am also licensed to teach elementary education.
My day to day life can be hectic but also very rewarding. First, I arrive to school around 7:20 a.m. During this time I get everything prepared for the day and do some planning. Then at 8:45 a.m. my students arrive at school, but I do not get them in the classroom until 9:00 a.m. because they are in their homeroom class. From 9:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. I teach reading. During reading time some children leave the classroom because they have to go to their specials. Specials are art, gym, and music. Once all the children are in the classroom and are going to stay in the classroom, I teach social studies and sciences from 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. After social studies and sciences, the children have lunch from 12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. During this time, I am able to eat and catch up with some of my fellow teachers. Once lunch ends, I teach math until 2:50 p.m. During math, children are taken out of the classroom again for occupational therapy or speech therapy. Then from 2:50 p.m. to 3:20 p.m. I have planning. I usually do not leave the school until about 5:00 p.m. This daily teaching routine is not as easy as it may look. One of the biggest frustrations that I face is scheduling. Scheduling is a big frustration because children get taken in and out of the classroom multiple times a day, and in order to make sure that I teach the children what is needed for each child, I must schedule around the times that they will be out of the classroom. Also another frustration is that I have to work with 3 other teachers. This causes another problem for scheduling because multiple teachers have multiple things to teach each child, with children still being taken in and out of the
classroom throughout the day. This causes another problem, which is the challenge of being able to meet every child’s educational needs. Since different children have different needs and IEP’s, each child needs to be taught some different things. For instance, in a special education class, there may be a child whose skill level is third grade math and another’s whose skill level is first grade math, you cannot teach them both the same thing since their skill level is different. Luckily I have been able to find different ways to get through these frustrations and challenges. I do have many more joys and successes than frustrations and challenges. The greatest joy and success is to see the child’s light bulb go off when they finally get something. Having these joys in my everyday life makes me happier and I feel like I am helping someone in a great way.
Even though there are many joys and successes in being a special educator, there are problems that could happen in the near future. I think that in the next five years, the greatest “issue” in special education will be that the special education children will not be able to make the desired test scores for their standardized tests. Every year there is a percentage that is needed to be made on tests for every student, special education children are not taken into thought for these tests. There is not a different score that a child with
special needs should achieve. These test scores then get translated into a ranking for the school. I think that since the children will be unable to make the scores, the school systems rank will be lowered which is unfair to that school.
The advice that I would give is just do it. If you go for it and do it, you will be able to succeed and have a good time. There are some difficulties throughout the process of becoming and being a special education teacher, but they get better overtime. Also I would advise to get a second degree because many teachers in special education teach a certain amount of time in special education then a certain amount of time in regular education.
I hope that the advice I give will be greatly taken to heart. I believe in many different things in special education. I believe in difficulties, hard work, and happiness. I was touched through special education and want to be able to reach out and touch my students in a great and meaningful way. I believe in patience and hope, because both are
needed to be a successful special educator and to make your student happy and loved.