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YankeeSouth YankeeSouth is offline
 
Joined: May 2019
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YankeeSouth
 
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Elementary Education or Special Education?
Old 05-01-2019, 10:35 AM
 
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Hi, my name is YankeeSouth and I have just applied to graduate school for a Master of Arts in Teaching. I am in my early 30's and my previous educational/work background has been quite varied. I have worked in jobs as diverse as bank call center representative to school bus driver to banquet hall manager.

My undergraduate degrees are in Accounting and Transportation and Logistics Management so the only two concentrations that I can pick in the Master of Arts in Teaching program at University of the Cumberlands are elementary education and special education (learning behavior disorders). I have experience with both populations from working as a school bus driver. I actually loved working with both populations. What career path is best?

The reason why I have pursued such a unique career path is that my husband was active duty military until he retired last summer and we spent much of the time he was in overseas where the only educational opportunities were online.

I have wanted to become a teacher for a long time but life kept getting in the way until I found the online MAT program at University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Kentucky. I live in Kentucky (roughly a 2 hour drive from the college) so getting a student teacher placement is easy with this program.

In terms of jobs, Kentucky does currently have a considerable number of both special education and elementary education jobs open in the state. I live in an area that is convenient to roughly seven different counties and I have found multiple positions open in each county.

What are the pros and cons of both concentrations?


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MissionLearn MissionLearn is offline
 
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MissionLearn
 
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I teach special education (3-5)
Old 06-23-2019, 03:03 PM
 
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I've never taught gen ed except for limited co-teaching and subbing experiences.
Pro for me is that with a smaller caseload (18), I'm usually able to build a stronger rapport with parents up front. Although I only have my kids for 1/2 hr sessions, I usually have fewer than 6 at a time, and I do my best to make it a special time in their day. For example, I have a trampoline and other sensory tools, so they can do sensory before we start a lesson or running record. I can have more active lessons with fewer students. I get to know them better in small groups and can invite them to lunch (bring a buddy).
Con for me is summer regression of skills, teaching things over and over, and many of my kids have rough home lives. On the other hand, that's why I'm there.
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spunky7 spunky7 is offline
 
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spunky7
 
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Tough Choice
Old 08-08-2019, 08:43 PM
 
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I have my general elementary certification and now Iím going back for my SpEd. Honestly, I wish I had done special ed to begin with. Thereís a bigger shortage and I personally enjoy it more. Iíve been in a SpEd program for the past 2 years. It really depends on you, though. I enjoy the smaller class sizes, individual attention, atmosphere, etc. And much less bullying in the self contained classes. Iím soft spoken and calm so my personality seems to fit much better. Itís a hard decision for sure!
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K12ENLTeacher K12ENLTeacher is offline
 
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K12ENLTeacher
 
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It depends
Old 08-08-2019, 10:35 PM
 
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I was wondering if the school you applied to have a dual certification program. I graduated with my MS in Childhood Ed 5 years ago, and the school I graduated from has a dual certification program. Students that graduate from that program have both childhood education and special education credentials. Also, you may go for childhood education and then take a 12 course extension in sped. I have a few friends who went this route and graduated a semester later. I think you also should sit down and speak with the school of education rep and discuss your options.
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seenthelight seenthelight is offline
 
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seenthelight
 
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Old 08-09-2019, 12:50 AM
 
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I would take the Elementary education route. Once youíre situated, you can go back for your Sped. Itís a lot easier to move from general education to special education than vice versa.


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