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TeachInKansas TeachInKansas is offline
 
Joined: Jan 2018
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TeachInKansas
 
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Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 3
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Listen to your heart!
Old 01-08-2018, 06:09 PM
 
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You said you're heart's in SpEd... That carries some weight! If you're heart's in it, you'll have a natural energy to succeed.

I went straight into SpEd after graduating with dual cert in Gen and SpEd. I've never looked back. I teach resource so I work with small groups of students. Of my 34 kids, only 2-3 have behavior issues. All of my students are performing extremely low: most are performing in the single-digit percentiles, several are in the less-than-first percentile. While it's true I'm under-supported with just two paras and a part-time teacher to help meet minutes, we've been able to tack a schedule together that somehow keeps everyone covered. I want to echo what a previous poster said... if you empower your paras to get involved, your life is so much easier! And they truly want to help. Education, and especially SpEd, is a team sport!!

You MUST keep on top of data, but other than that there's zero grading. I spend weekends writing IEP's, but it's all in your mindset. I consider writing IEP's to be a pleasure and appreciate the opportunity to advocate for a needy student and put together a comprehensive plan for their success. Once you've done a couple IEPs, the rest come together pretty easily, especially once you've really gotten to know your students. In my experience, parents have been great to work with because they're grateful that you're there to invest in their student. Keep open communication with them and you should be golden. My principal kind of lets me do my own thing because he doesn't quite understand Special Education... so that's kind of nice too! It would be nice having his support in things such as enforcing the GenEd teachers to collaborate with me... but it's also really nice to have the freedom to do whatever I need to do in my classroom to be successful.

I still have expectations and procedures in my room. Resource can run pretty similar to a regular classroom if you'd like it to. I took my third and fourth grade reading kids on a field trip to a local nursing home before we left for Christmas to spread holiday cheer and read aloud to the residents- so, still field trip opportunities!

I'm so glad I'm in Special Education (am considering getting a Low Incidence endorsement so I can venture into the autism and md world) and could never picture myself in the Gen Ed world now, even though I adored the Kindergarten class that I student taught in.

Good luck with your decision!

Last edited by TeachInKansas; 01-08-2018 at 06:18 PM.. Reason: Added a couple more details
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