Question about Teacher - ProTeacher Community




Home Join Now Search My Favorites
Help


      Special Education

Question about Teacher

>

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Ron
 
 
Guest

Ron
 
 
Guest
Question about Teacher
Old 01-08-2007, 03:15 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #1

Right now I am a paralegal at a law firm in Washington D.C. However, I have always enjoyed teaching kids and working with kids in general. I really want to do a masters in special education this year. My question is;


1-am I going to have a hard time working with Special Kids since I've never done it before??? I've worked as a teachers aid during summers and such but never really had control of a class. But I really want to work with Special Kids...will it be too hard?

2- I am looking to go to a couple of schools that do not require the GRE exam for entrance into the program...does that matter? ex; George Mason University and Towson University.

3- I'm bilingual...I speak fluent spanish...can I use this as an advantage in this field?

Thank you guys so much for your advice...it is greatly appreciated.

Sincerely

Ron Lucena


  Reply With Quote

Lilacs Lilacs is offline
 
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,386
Senior Member

Lilacs
 
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,386
Senior Member
Teaching Career
Old 01-08-2007, 03:45 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #2

Teaching is a wonderful career, but be prepared. Special Education teachers often are not giving instruction to a whole class. They usually provide resource room pull out (small group instructioin mostly in language arts and math) or they provide classroom assistance (similar to an assistant but more modification expectations). Special educatioin is very rewarding, but frustrating. It has become 75% paperwork, supervision of assistants, meeting with teachers/modification of classwork, and parent meetings. I certainly think your second language could be beneficial. You might consider doing ESOL work. Just an idea! I do not know anything about the GRE exam... sorry. Experience is important, but we all started fresh and green. Good Luck
Lilacs is offline   Reply With Quote
Tounces's Avatar
Tounces Tounces is offline
 
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,677
Senior Member

Tounces
 
Tounces's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,677
Senior Member

Old 01-08-2007, 03:49 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #3

I'll try to answer some questions for you. I've been both a Special Education teacher and a General ed. one at different grade levels through the years.

1. Yes, the work will be hard. It is getting harder all the time. With the NCLB rules, you will have to keep more records, work with general ed., teachers more, and work so the school meets the AYP for Special Ed.
If you don't want to work hard, this isn't the right job for you. You could look into job requirements listed on openings that are advertised to see what is expected from you. A lot of the times you won't be working with the kids because you will be in meetings, calling parents, writing and/or revising IEPs and keeping track of tons of paperwork.

2. The GRE exam doesn't matter.

3. Being bilingual is great, it could help you. You could probably get paid for being a translator too.

Do you already have your undergraduate in teaching complete? If not, you will learn a lot while working towards your teaching license. You can always change your mind and go into something related to special ed. along the way if you decided later you didn't want it. On average it will take you 5-6 years to get your Master's degree.
Tounces is offline   Reply With Quote
TeachResourc
 
 
Guest

TeachResourc
 
 
Guest
My Input/Advice
Old 01-09-2007, 08:11 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #4

Ron,
No one can say if you will have a difficult time managing students. Every one is different. The past two years, I observed the speech-language teacher's aide develop in the area of classroom management. At first, she had no control over the students (small group of no more than 5 or 6). However, she developed skills over time. She now has no problem in that area.

Special Education positions will vary greatly. It will all depend on where you teach. My district is relatively small; it has only 4 elementary schools. Each school is so different in terms of the difficulty of teaching its special ed population. The level of difficulty is based on so many variables: administrative support; gen ed teacher support; materials available; support from aides; the number of students on your caseload; when the IEP meetings are held (ours are before and after school hours, which can make for a long, long day). These are but a few of the variables.

If you worked at my school, your fluent Spanish would be super beneficial. I am not bilingual. However, my full-time aide's primary language is Spanish - thank goodness! She helps me so much in this area. She gives me a lot of insight into what it is like to learn English as a second language. She helps me understands common problems that second language learners encounter.

I can not help you with how to get into any program in your area.

I highly suggest that you contact schools and ask to observe and/or talk with their special educators. In our area, there are so many different positions to consider. I have never had someone ask to observe me or talk with me. But I would welcome that person. I love to share my experiences and "solicited" advice. Again, I strongly suggest that you interview teachers in your area. Most will be happy to talk with you.

Good Luck. Teacher of Resouce Students, grades K - 5, with 2 years experience.
  Reply With Quote
sara20
 
 
Guest

sara20
 
 
Guest
special ed
Old 01-09-2007, 02:40 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #5

I agree that teaching Special Ed. is going to be hard. It is for anyone no matter how much support you may or may not have. You not only need all the skills and knowledge of the regular classroom teacher, you need to develop and get training in specialized areas. You will probably have an advantage being bilingual. Also being male is an advantage as far as some administrators feel. As you are working towards your teaching license, you will have opportunities to student teach before being in a classroom by yourself. Look into the colleges to see how soon these are available. Some have you do pre-student teaching even during the first year of college. This is an advantage because you can get an idea of how things might be early on before you spend a lot of money and time. You won't be able to observe a special ed. classroom like someone suggested due to confidentiality (sp?) laws. Working as a paralegal may also be an asset. You will probably feel a bit overwhelmed by all that you will need to do in a special ed job. One thing not mentioned here yet is scheduling. You need to be able to work with all of the kids on your caseload according to the minutes required on the IEP. Working this out with all the regular ed. teachers can be a huge task. Most schools have special educators working in the regular ed. class these days. So space issues and traveling from room to room or different grades back-to-back happens. It will probably take you a good 3-5 years before you feel like you really know what you're doing. But you'll get in-service, staff development etc. during those beginning years to help you along. Good luck in your decision.


  Reply With Quote
Ms. Teacher Ms. Teacher is offline
 
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 82
Junior Member

Ms. Teacher
 
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 82
Junior Member
Teaching rewards
Old 01-11-2007, 02:29 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #6

Like any profession there are pros and cons about teaching. The worst is the paperwork. The best are the kids! Schools need male teachers. So many kids don't have positive male role models outside of school. We tend to see more male teachers at the middle school & high school level. I think you would enjoy elementary as well. Being bilingual as well as having some legal background would be beneficial to you. I am in my 26th year of teaching and am still growing as a teacher. Flexibility is a must be it on scheduling or lesson plans. One day may not go as you thought it would, but the next day will be great! If you enjoy working with kids, the benefits outweigh the negatives. I still get a thrill when the 'proverbial lightbulb' goes on with a student! We are a country that gives the right to every child to have an education. I do believe that the students we serve can be productive citizens in the community. Without Spec. Ed. many students would fall through the cracks, drop out of school, and end up with problems far worse. If you have the opportunity, you may want to visit different resource classes and/or sub. for these classes to see if it really is something you want to do. Check with your state DOE to see what requirements there are (exams, etc.) to get your teaching certificate. Good luck & let us know what you decide to do.
Ms. Teacher is offline   Reply With Quote
Deb2
 
 
Guest

Deb2
 
 
Guest
Speaking Spanish
Old 01-11-2007, 04:12 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #7

When I went through the recruiting phase of being hired 4 years ago, some of the larger school districts in Texas were offering the most lucrative hiring packages to special education teachers who were bilingual. If you were certified in special education, spoke both English and Spanish, and agreed to take a teaching position that is hard to fill (Autistic, behavioral, etc.), you qualified for not only a larger signing bonus, but also more pay. I know that you're in Washington D.C., but it would pay you to check into what some of the other states are offering.

As a special ed teacher, you will be more isolated usually than the general ed teachers. It comes with the territory. You must be able to work well independently, because in some schools, you are on your own to a large degree. General ed teachers have a lot of paperwork, but they can't really relate to the massive paperwork load we have.

Do NOT worry about not having to take the GRE. That's a requirement of the college or university, not a certification requirement. As the other posts have stressed, go visit some special needs classrooms and inclusion classrooms. Speak to as many special educators as possible. This job is very hard, very frustrating on a lot of levels, but personally rewarding most of the time.

Burnout for special educators is extremely high. And there's a reason for this--it's a gruelling, exhausing job with high caseloads and mountains of paperwork that never end. Think very carefully and proceed with caution. "Our" kids need sped teachers, but they need teachers who can take a licking and keep on ticking.
  Reply With Quote
pmac pmac is offline
 
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 406
Full Member

pmac
 
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 406
Full Member

Old 01-15-2007, 08:42 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #8

HI
first I want to say I got my MA in 2 years not the 5 to 6 that someone else stated...I can't imagine why it took that long unless they were going part time. My daughter in law is currently in grad school working on her special ed MA and it will be 2 years for her too.

I do NOT spend 75% of my time doing paperwork. There is a lot of paperwork, and more coming since NCLB but it is NOT taking up the majority of my time.

Work hard? don't you work hard now? any job that you do a good job on is hard work. Men are a shortage in teaching so you'll be able to get a job simply because you're male and especially in the elementary level that you're bilingual is a bonus.

I took the GRE without even studying because I figured that basically the college wants your money and they really don't care what your GRE is unless you're getting into a program with a limit on how many students they will take each year and then they use the GRE as a means to eliminate everyone but those with the top scores.

This is a very rewarding field, many who come in leave just as quickly because it is a stressful demanding job if you do it right. Some come in and treat the kids as if they are stupid, do no require much from their students and do the bare minimum...eventually they leave too. YOu need to have a special place in your heart for these kids, either you love them or you don't. If you don't then don't try to fake it....choose another profession...

My advice, volunteer for special olympics, they always need the extra hands and it will give you a view as to what is needed to teach
pmac is offline   Reply With Quote
Tounces's Avatar
Tounces Tounces is offline
 
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,677
Senior Member

Tounces
 
Tounces's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,677
Senior Member
years pmac
Old 01-15-2007, 09:03 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #9

It takes 5-6 because a Master's degree is in addition to the Bachelor's degree which takes 4 years. Unless you're in some kind of accelerated, alternative program for Special Ed.? You get a teaching license after you complete the requirements for a Bachelor's degree (undergraduate). After that, you enter grad school to take Special Ed classes for the licenses you are interested in, such as Learning Disabilities. I've never heard of getting a Master's degree in only 2 years. If teachers could do that, there wouldn't need to be lanes for teachers with Bachelor's degrees.
Tounces is offline   Reply With Quote
pmac pmac is offline
 
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 406
Full Member

pmac
 
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 406
Full Member

Old 01-15-2007, 11:20 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #10

one would/could assume that you are asking about a MA program because you already have a BA...no where in the post did he ask about a BA he asked about a MA. and since he was speaking of a GMAT/GRE he must know he has to take it to get into grad school ...I'm also assuming that when he gets serious and investigates they'll tell him he is missing a teaching certificate and that he'll need to probably take a jr and sr year in additon to his BA before he can get his MA ....but if you already have a BA it takes 2 years to get an MA...which is what I did...


pmac is offline   Reply With Quote
rubywater's Avatar
rubywater rubywater is offline
 
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 559
Senior Member

rubywater
 
rubywater's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 559
Senior Member
However, in some states...
Old 01-15-2007, 01:53 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #11

you must pick up certification before you can get a M. Ed. It can take up to two years to pick up your certification before getting a Masters degree so that is upward of four years.
rubywater is offline   Reply With Quote
Tounces's Avatar
Tounces Tounces is offline
 
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,677
Senior Member

Tounces
 
Tounces's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,677
Senior Member
Ba
Old 01-16-2007, 12:57 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #12

Since he said he was a paralegal and not a teacher, he would have to get a BA in education, teaching license and then a Master's. So that's how I got 5-6 years.
(4 years for a BA and 1-2 more for the Master's.)

BTW not everyone has to take the GMAT/GRE to get into Grad school.
Tounces is offline   Reply With Quote
cck's Avatar
cck cck is offline
 
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 19
New Member

cck
 
cck's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 19
New Member
Many Rewards!
Old 01-18-2007, 01:40 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #13

Special education is not for everyone, but I retrained after being in the general education arena for 9 years and never look back. YES, lots of difficult kids and hard work, but there are so many rewards that I can't even count. The paperwork is sometimes a welcome change from working with the kids from time to time. My principal gives me a thumbs up if I ask for a half day to work on Alternate Assessments or IEP's or progress monitoring of goals. In Ohio, I worked on a temporary certificate while obtaining my special ed credentials. I ended up with my masters in two years from a cohort program in which about 20 other teachers took two evening classes a semester and then did summer work. After 11 years working with these students, I still love to go to work every day and they inspire me with their efforts to succeed.

Your Spanish will be a benefit depending on where you reside. Our district has few if any students who would need that, but some will. I had to take the MAT when I was admitted for my master's program and it wasn't bad. I don't know about the GRE.

My advice to you would be to call your local school district and ask to do some informal observations in a special education setting. I have people do that from time to time in my class. They are thinking of doing special education and just want to see how it works or if it would be a job they would like. If you love kids, have extreme amounts of patience and don't mind paperwork, the job is for you!! Good luck!
cck is offline   Reply With Quote
dee's Avatar
dee dee is offline
 
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 6,470
Senior Member

dee
 
dee's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 6,470
Senior Member
Bachelor's not in education
Old 01-18-2007, 03:02 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #14

My BS degree (no, not THAT BS ), was in Business in 1983. (Yikes!)

As a career changer, I was admitted directly into a M.Ed. program, but had to take 3 "foundations" courses which were basic childhood development, reading investigations, and teaching math and science.

After that, I continued with my M.Ed. in Special Education, and then decided to piggyback a certification track of elementary education as well. Still had to take the qualifying techer tests (this is Massachusetts), which ended up being a total of 4 tests. I had to do two separate practicums, but it was worth it.

I just wanted to make a point that not only is each state different, but each college is different as well and we have to be careful to give advice as gospel based solely on our own experiences since there's so much disparity.

The only way to know for sure is to speak with admissions at the college of interest.

And PS, my M.Ed was started in March of one year, and I finished in December of the following year, which is 22 months. Had to wait until May to walk at graduation, though, so it seemed longer!
dee is offline   Reply With Quote
ronaldlucena ronaldlucena is offline
 
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 2
New Member

ronaldlucena
 
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 2
New Member
Ba
Old 01-26-2007, 11:55 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #15

I've already gotten a bachelors degree, not in education, but in sociology. Either way, i would not have to go back to school to do education in order to then get accepted for a masters. You can do a masters in E.D without being am education bachelors graduate.
ronaldlucena is offline   Reply With Quote
Tounces's Avatar
Tounces Tounces is offline
 
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,677
Senior Member

Tounces
 
Tounces's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 2,677
Senior Member
bachelor's not in education
Old 01-26-2007, 01:34 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #16

I thought they did away with the alternative degrees since NCLB. Having a BS/BA in education is the foundation for the your Master's degree. I have worked with teachers who went this alternative route and they weren't prepared when working in the classroom. If they do indeed still allow this in some states, I would advise getting the education degree first. Taking only a few classes in education vs a BS in education can make a big difference on your ability to be a good teacher. Special Ed teachers in the states (I thought nation) have to be a teacher qualified to teach the subjects they teach-not just special ed any more.
Tounces is offline   Reply With Quote
ronaldlucena ronaldlucena is offline
 
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 2
New Member

ronaldlucena
 
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 2
New Member
agree
Old 01-26-2007, 01:55 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #17

I completely agree that you would be better prepared to teach if you did an undergrad in education, however, doing an undergrad in a different field can prepare you for things that an education degree might not prepare you for. For example, I'm a sociology major, the focus was organizational institutions. We were tought how to make companies more efficient, how to manage time better, how to approach people...as a paralegal now..as someone stated before... I put in 80 hour weeks..the money is great but its overwhelming, this can indirectly help you to suceed in the classroom and in some cases be a step ahead of other people that have never dealt with overwhelming situations....but i do agree that it be better to be an education major as an undegrad. However, tghere is zero chance I would go back to school for another undergrad, it be a waste of time and money.

Thank you guys all for the responses though, you do not know how much help this is, if you have any other information please let it out, everything helps.
Ron
ronaldlucena is offline   Reply With Quote
JRichard's Avatar
JRichard JRichard is offline
 
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,381
Senior Member

JRichard
 
JRichard's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,381
Senior Member
Tounces
Old 01-26-2007, 02:25 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #18

Regarding a BA in Education or other subject: In Massachusetts, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Texas (states I went to school in, or taught in) all allowed/required secondary teachers to get their BA in their chosen subject field with a minor in education. I have a BA in History and am certified in MA, TX, and OK, in 4-8 and 9-12 History and Social Studies. According to those I spoke with while getting my degree, secondary teachers with Education degrees, rather than their subject degree, were less employable.

I don't believe not having my degree in education has affected me as a teacher. I had to take 12 classes on educational topics and had a practicum every semester, plus my student teaching before I graduated and was certified. After I began my teaching career, I realized 90% of what I was taught in the education department was useless theory that did not work in the classroom. There is only one education textbook that I currently still own and use: Understanding By Design.

I got most of my "education" education through professional development while in the profession, and "trial by fire."

JMO
Jenny
JRichard is offline   Reply With Quote

Join the conversation! Post as a guest or become a member today. New members welcome!

Reply

 

>
Special Education
Thread Tools




Sign Up Now

Sign Up FREE | ProTeacher Help | BusyBoard

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:46 PM.

Copyright © 2019 ProTeacher®
For individual use only. Do not copy, reproduce or transmit.
source: www.proteacher.net