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Madaly320 Madaly320 is offline
 
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Madaly320
 
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Does it pass?
Old 11-26-2017, 08:32 AM
 
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I am a second-year Sped teacher. Last year was rough but to be honest I feel like this year I have so much more stress. Itís like my whole life is work I donít have time to worry about myself or my family. Iím having a few issues with parents as well as coworkers. And the pure amount of paperwork is bringing me down. I also teach severe special needs and the behaviors in the class I have this year is really rough. Its only november and I am thinking about leaving the profession. Iím not sure if Iím cut out for this or if I am willing at this point my life to give up so much of my own time for a job or career. All I do is think about work and dread Sunday nights. I have a lot of needs in my family and trying to balance it all is giving me such anxiety. Does it pass? It is fine to say donít do work at home...but I donít, it does not get done. I have prep time each day but with out of control behaviors (including restraints), and pulling of my paras for ither coverages, I donít often get to take it.


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Old 11-26-2017, 09:35 AM
 
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I have no advice as to SPED specifics. Do you have another SPED teacher in the building who you can ask advice...or at minimum help you to prioritize things?

There should be some compensation for the time that you are contracted to get that you're not. Can you start filling out a time sheet so you at least get paid for the prep time you're not getting?
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It will pass
Old 11-26-2017, 09:56 AM
 
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I taught kids with severe special needs for 9 years before moving on to regular ed. Those first 2 years were extremely difficult. After that, with experience behind me, it did get much better, I was able to get my classroom and kid behaviors under control (haha, as much as possible), and deal with demanding parents and snobby co-workers who thought my kids did not belong in a public school (this was the 80's-90's). I also had problems with paras/aides with poor work ethics or thought they knew better than me. People who have never worked in a severe special needs classroom have NO IDEA!

I'm thinking back 20+ years to my own classroom, but I do sub in severe classes during summer school a couple of times each summer. Get your class schedule and activities into a groove where it takes very little planning. Not sure how many kids or aides you have, but try to assign a group of kids to each aide for group work at each table. Then you pull individuals or small groups for the more individualized learning or assessment. They go back to their aide when you're finished. Decide which things you absolutely need to teach and which things the aides can handle. I realize they won't do it like you would, but it's more important to reduce your stress. Post a list (for the aides) of things to do next if a group finishes whatever they are doing. Find a regular activity for Friday afternoons that the aides can handle alone (GoNoodle.com on the smart board?). You dedicate this time to paperwork. Make a list of the million things you do each day and start delegating some of it to the aides (with the help of a student as much as possible). Make everything VERY routine... that's good for you, the aides, and especially the kids. Did I still need to do paperwork outside of the school day? Yes, but far less than those first 2 years.

One thing I finally learned is... don't take any comments about you or your class personally. I finally got the guts to respond to parents, teachers, and administrators and did it in a very confident, unemotional manner (even if I didn't feel that way). I felt like I started getting a little more respect from everyone. Give one aide the job of documenting each time a specialist takes kids out for services. That ended the practice of skipping only the severe kids when there's a time crunch.

After 9 years I was ready to make the move to regular ed. I would try to stick with it through the year. If things don't get better, see if you can transfer to a more moderate sped or regular ed class. Good luck!
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SPED change?
Old 11-26-2017, 11:05 AM
 
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I went into SPED thinking I wanted to teach students with severe disabilities. I then spent a lot of time as a para in those classrooms and realized that I didn't enjoy it at all. I loved working 1:1 with those kiddos, but getting punched, bit, hit, spit on etc on a daily basis really wore me out. I decided to work with mild/moderate disabilities instead and I am much happier. The paperwork is still there and so is the stress, along with behaviors. But I am no longer in a constant state of "fight or flight" to avoid being injured. God bless all of the amazing human beings who work so hard with those children!
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