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ASA0024 ASA0024 is offline
 
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Starting MEd SpEd program soon; need some advice
Old 05-19-2019, 10:40 PM
 
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I am a career changer going into teaching for the first time, with a Bachelor's degree in an unrelated field. I will soon be starting a MEd program in Special Ed-Mild/Moderate Disabilities Certified, since I want to be a SpEd teacher. I realized when I enrolled in this program that it is not dual certified, but I did not think anything of it since I'm set on being a SpEd teacher and I'm new to this whole teacher certification thing. However, after doing some thinking I'm a little worried that not having dual certification in Special Ed and something else, such as Elementary Ed, might limit future job opportunities. For you SpEd teachers out there, is dual cert a must or highly recommended? I will meet with my advisor soon and ask for their opinion, but I just wanted to know from some professional SpEd teachers what they would recommend. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you


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Since you already
Old 05-20-2019, 09:02 AM
 
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know you prefer SpEd, I would stay the course as is. After you are certified as a teacher (period,) there are additional certifications you can add by testing and/or minimal course work.

Some folks go for GenEd and get SpEd as a add-on, hoping to never use it. They get roped into SpEd due to teacher shortages and think it will be a stepping stone to a GenEd position. Many never get that opportunity as the "SpEd shortage" never ends...

I constantly hear "I would never teach SpEd..." but I personally say the same about GenEd. I don't want anything else. Just my thoughts.
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Old 05-20-2019, 06:21 PM
 
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I would highly recommend checking into specifics for your state. I believe that in Illinois, SpEd teachers at the middle school and high school level need to have subject area credentials for the subjects they are teaching, as well as the SpEd requirements.
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Old 05-20-2019, 06:38 PM
 
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This is question with many answered depending on the state you will be working in. However there are some things that I think are pretty much applicable to many areas such as

1-SpEd is the highest demand area. If you are good at that you will have A LOT of job opportunities for you waiting. You will also have the least competition.

2. You can advance in several ways without every getting you gen ed cert. for example you can add on admin credentials and go that route with sped cert and an admin endorsement. You can also do district level sped thing like sped coordinator, director of student services and such.

That being said, SpEd has a lot of bureaucracy and sometimes districts throw their sped staff under the buss to try to appease lawsuit happy parents so if these things happen to you you will be stuck in sped and wont be able to easily make the change to gen ed if you decide sped isnt for you down the line.
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Old 05-20-2019, 08:21 PM
 
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I would also check requirements and make sure they're in line with what you want to teach. In some states, dual certification is required. Even if that's not true in your state, what if you end up wanting to teach in another state?

I'd also personally seek out a dual cert program so that you have other options. A few years ago I had a student teacher from an alternate/MA program who was was 100% sure going in she wanted sped, but her program made her do dual cert. By halfway through the placement, she was 100% sure she wanted gen ed! She had an idealistic picture of what sped would be like in her mind and reality just didn't match up, and I wouldn't be surprised at all if you have the same experience.


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Old 05-20-2019, 11:46 PM
 
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Thank you for the responses. My home state is Arizona. I'm not sure if Arizona requires dual cert, I should research that ASAP
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