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sandycheeks sandycheeks is offline
 
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Need advice from teachers? Thanks
Old 04-10-2012, 12:10 PM
 
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I am a junior in a 4 year child study program that results in 4 certifications- 2 in special ed and 2 in general ed. I am also getting certified in Art, which was my whole reason for going into teaching- to be an art teacher but seems I've taken on the whole full load here.

I have been doing fieldwork since my sophomore year and have had very good placements so far with great cooperating teachers. I know that this is what I want to do. I seriously enjoy it. However, I am a junior now and next semester I will be doing student teaching for the whole year. I have been placed in a special ed pre-k with children that had very mild disabilities, and am now in a 5th grade inclusion class- only like 2 or 3 students have IEPS and their very mild disabilities. So I don't think I have too much experience with special ed in the field persay...I do well in the courses at school too. Except this semester I have been doing more poorly than usual. I feel very overwhelmed and extremely stressed out and feel anxiety over everything- especially having to teach lessons in my class. Even though i like being in the class, the anxiety seems to be getting worse. I know I would be a great teacher and have learned from being in middle school that I don't particularly prefer middle school. Maybe I will end up working with pre school or kindergarten children in the future....I dont know.

I feel like if I am this stressed now, next year while student teaching for 2 semesters I won't be able to handle it.
I was considering dropping the special ed, so that i would only be certified for general ed and art ed. I would also graduate in a semester early, so just this december. but i know that the special ed is also important in getting hired etc. However. I could always go back and get it for my masters. seeing as i dont plan on teaching right out of college. I dont even know if i want to work in a public school exactly or not. I want to in the future- after traveling more- open my own preschool or travel to teach english to children.

Does any one have any suggestions on what to do or not?

Thanks in advance!


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Old 04-10-2012, 02:27 PM
 
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My thought it-if you don't want to teach special ed, don't get a special ed degree just so you will be "hirable" because you will, more than likely, be placed in a special ed position (there are more available-where I live anyway).

If you want to teach English, maybe go into an ESL program for your Master's? There are programs you can do abroad if you'd be more interested in that!
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Old 04-11-2012, 03:24 AM
 
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I have always felt that it takes a special person to teach special ed. The children they have on their case load can be difficult to handle. If it's not what you really want to do, why continue?

As my dad always said, find your passion and stick to it but you have to discover that yourself.

I think if you stop special ed, that would get rid of some of your anxiety.

Good luck!
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special ed
Old 04-11-2012, 05:12 PM
 
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If you get the degree, count on being placed there. That being said, even without the degree, you can expect to teach special ed as more and more are mainstreamed. Almost half my class has some type of disability, from speech to Autism...and don't expect much help. I'm on my own most of the day
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Elmsprings Elmsprings is offline
 
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Advice.......
Old 04-11-2012, 06:25 PM
 
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My advice: Pray for guidance........

It's true.....if you have the special education degree, then more than likely, you've be placed there. That alone will probably make you a more hireable. There's always a big turn-over in our county in the special ed department---so, if you really don't want to do it, then maybe you shouldn't.....life is too short to stress out over something that you really don't have a desire to do, especailly when you have the power to change it.

It is also true----if you teach, regardless of the degree, grade level, or subject----you're going to have children with IEPs in your class.......that won't change in the future.

I've been teaching for almost 20 years.....I love it. It is a challenge, sometimes overwhelming, stressful, often frustrating-----BUT, I still love it. I can't imagine doing anything else......I believe teaching is a calling. The more you love it, the better you'll do it!

Again, pray about it. Ask for guidance and peace about which path to take...which direction to go in........my wish for you: May you have peace and clear answers!


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MiamiEm324 MiamiEm324 is offline
 
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Agreed!
Old 04-12-2012, 08:18 AM
 
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I agree with the above posts- don't overload yourself going for a special ed certification if it isn't where you see yourself working. However, you did mention one of your possible hopes would be to open your own preschool. A special education background could be useful with this even if you don't see yourself "officially" entering the field of special education. The suggestion about teaching English abroad sounds like a fantastic option if you want to teach and travel.

I am in my third year of teaching now and while I certainly find myself stressed at times, when I look back on college there was a different type of stress then. There were times during student teaching where I panicked and wondered how I would ever be able to handle being a full time teacher --- however, the stress of anticipating it was almost worse than the actual situation. It is all working out just fine and I couldn't imagine doing anything else. I'm a firm believer that we are only given challenges we are equipped to handle.

Remember too that you probably have 30 or so years of career ahead of you- you don't have to have all the degrees, licenses, or answers yet! You can always head back for another certification later- I think it will help to keep you refreshed too! That's my plan anyway : )

Best of luck!
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Agree.
Old 04-12-2012, 08:55 AM
 
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I definitely agree with all of the other posts. I am certified in Special Ed, Early Childhood, and ESOL. I have taught 3 years of inclusion (75% special ed, 25% typical) and decided I wanted a break from the inclusion classroom. I moved schools and had a first grade general ed classroom this year, it turns out that 2 of your special ed teachers are leaving next year so I was told that if I want a job (they are eliminating a 1st grade classroom) at this school my option is to move to special ed. It's a good things because I will have a job BUT it's also wanted a break and have a full ESE class is not what I consider a break lol

Follow your heart and what you know you enjoy.
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sandycheeks sandycheeks is offline
 
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:21 AM
 
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Wow thanks for all the input.
It's so hard because I get stressed out knowing its because i obviously care a lot about it. And someone told me thats a real good thing, cause it shows i care about what im doing. Yet its also a bad thing because it brings unwanted anxiety. I don't want to be overwhelmed and helpless. I dont want to get into this whole year long student teaching thing and get to the point where i want to quit and wish i didnt do it and then not end up getting any certifications at all! Because i want to be a teacher, I truly do. I agree that it is a calling. it is not that i necessarily don't ever want to be a special ed teacher. do I believe i would be good at it... The problem is that right here and now in my life I feel the work load of student teaching pressure, college, and life...all put together...is going to be too heavy a load. I believe i CAN do it. But the question is do I want to put my self through all of it if i know it will be a difficult time. That will cause my heart to not want to be in it, i feel.
What is also tempting about dropping the certification is that I know im not going to go right into the job search straight out of college next year. I know I want to go to graduate school. So I could always go back and get my masters in special ed or art therapy or something.

I like what someone said about having 30 years of a career ahead of me. I can always go back and change things or learn more and get more qualifications.

Although part of me feel like i will be a failure if i do this, and that my department will frown upon this.

I will ask for guidance.

Thanks everyone.
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