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Advice Needed
Old 07-14-2016, 11:10 AM
 
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Hello All. I have taught Special Ed for 24 years, mostly with severe and profound students at the middle and high school level. Prior to that I was a para with the same population. I moved to California a year ago and have been working at a segregated site with students who have cognitive delays who also display severe maladaptive behaviors. I truly enjoyed the last year, even with getting hit, bitten, spat upon, scratched, and a plethora of other things. My P has asked me 3 times to take over a classroom that will be moving to the same segregated site for students who are medically fragile who also have cognitive delays.

Here is my issue....
I have 5 auto-immune diseases all of which are inflammatory in nature. I go home and feel the day. I also have ADHD and get bored EASILY. The new position would be with k-3 with no behaviors. I would need to lift, but that is it. I've never worked with little ones and I am afraid of being bored and becoming stagnant. My doctors have always told me that because I move around as much as I do, I am doing better than most. However, I am 50 and am not sure how much longer my body would be able to take the abuse.
What would you do? I am leaning towards taking the position.


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new position
Old 07-14-2016, 11:20 AM
 
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I have worked with students from various age groups, and the little ones will keep you on your toes! Kids that age have a naturally shorter attention span than middle and high schoolers. This is even true for primary vs. upper grades. When I taught upper grades, I was mentally exhausted. Lower grades, physically. I say try it for a year and the re-evaluate!
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Thanks em!
Old 07-14-2016, 01:40 PM
 
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I think I will, but will still discuss it with my DH first! This is supposed to be for eeza, but spellcheck wants em in the subject line.
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Old 07-14-2016, 01:44 PM
 
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Working with students with severe cognitive delays can be very challenging. These kids can make progress, but it takes careful planning and enormous effort. One of the things I like best about this population is the problem-solving that you have to do to find the right approach for every single thing you teach to every single student. Finding the right equipment, the right instructional approach, the right motivators, and the right frequency and duration of instructional sessions takes a lot of work.

On the other hand, they do need a high level of repetition to acquire new skills or behaviors. You have to have the patience to do the same thing over and over while assessing the effectiveness of your instruction and making modifications until you get it right.

It isn't for everyone, but you may find that you really like it. You'll find that you still say very physically active. In addition to lifting, you're moving equipment, getting kids in and out of equipment, and helping to stretch them as needed. You will probably also be working on things like sitting balance, ambulating with a walker etc. The difference will be that you can slow down and take a break when you need to.

Good luck with whatever you decide!
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