If you could do general ed, would you? - ProTeacher Community




Home Join Now Search My Favorites
Help


      Special Education

If you could do general ed, would you?

>

Reply
 
Thread Tools
teacher0729 teacher0729 is offline
 
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 94
Full Member

teacher0729
 
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 94
Full Member
If you could do general ed, would you?
Old 11-01-2018, 03:27 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #1

I think a general ed position will be opening up in my district for next year. I currently teach special education and do love my job but I am dually certified in elementary and special education so I have been toying with whether I would be interested in switching to general ed. What would you do and why? My reasons for each are below.


Reasons to move to gen ed:
  • Respect and authority- sometimes my students don't view me as a real teacher or think of me as an aide. Sometimes staff does too. When I go into a classroom sometimes, I feel like the "core" instruction is poor and that if I was the general ed teacher, I could make more of a difference for the kids who struggle.
  • Easier to plan. The grade departmentalizes so I would teach 3 sections of reading and writing which are my favorite subjects to teach. I'm a little tired of planning for 9 subjects/ groups which are 15-45 minutes long each. I also am feeling like I can't be creative with my lessons since I am doing intervention curriculum.
  • I feel that my patience is running thin. Almost all the kids on my caseload either struggle with following directions, are so needy, or escalating at any moment. Sometimes I feel like I am walking on egg shells all day to not escalate someone. But these kids would be in my class next year if I was in general education too and then I would have them all day instead of a shorter period of time like I do now...
  • I feel like I am supposed to have the magic solution to teach kids who have struggled to read. Sometimes it feels like nothing works and it can be depressing to see such slow growth.
Reasons to stay in SPED:
  • Relationships- I love how well I know my students and how I get to see more than a years worth of growth since I loop with them for a couple years. I have 11 students on my caseload this year and have had up to 15 other years.
  • I'm good at it- I have been told several times how good I am at running IEP meetings, doing paperwork, and working with my kids. I know my principal and director are happy with my work.
  • Being responsible for teaching reading to the entire grade level could be stressful. Honestly, my school doesn't have super high expectations for standardized tests for our students in SPED but there is a lot of pressure to get good test scores for the general education students.


teacher0729 is offline   Reply With Quote

eeza's Avatar
eeza eeza is offline
 
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 3,641
Senior Member

eeza
 
eeza's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 3,641
Senior Member
gen ed vs SPED
Old 11-01-2018, 04:50 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #2

I have never taught both, so I can't speak to this. I just know that sometimes people are denied a transfer to gen ed because there is a greater need in SPED. I hope that is not the case for you if you do decide on gen ed. Best of luck!
eeza is offline   Reply With Quote
Haley23 Haley23 is offline
 
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 4,639
Senior Member

Haley23
 
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 4,639
Senior Member

Old 11-01-2018, 04:58 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #3

Several years ago this would have been a resounding "yes" from me. I've done both and honestly highly preferred gen ed, despite being in an awful school (I had to go back to sped to get out).

Now, I'm not as sure. I have been feeling burnt out with sped the last couple of years, but at this point I taught gen ed for one year 6 years ago (I'm on my 9th year teaching overall). I feel like I've had a lot of time to hone my craft as a sped teacher. I don't know that at this point in my career I'd want to go back to almost being like a first year teacher again in a totally new position.

I also see behavior getting worse and worse in my building. Of course I deal with that in sped too, but I get the benefit of it being in a smaller setting and being able to provide work at the student's level, which helps with a lot of behaviors. I also don't have to worry about managing 25 other kids while I'm doing my small groups.

For me, the fact that I'm doing pull out highly factors in to my willingness to stay in sped. I absolutely loathe pushing in/"co-teaching." Like you said, I felt like an aide. Every year my district and/or P brings up that we should do it, and every year I've managed to still schedule all pull out. If I were forced to push in instead I'd be looking for a gen ed job in a heartbeat.

I'm also currently able to stay "under the radar" with some things in my building. They are constantly making the classroom teachers do more "PLC" crap during their plan time, and I don't have to do that. They also micromanage the classroom teachers more in my district, and they're not really getting to have fun or be creative with their lessons either.

I got very worried last year because P said she wanted to "focus on sped." In practice, that hasn't really happened this year, at least so far. We were the only cohort that wasn't making adequate progress on state testing (and God forbid you mention that's because they have disabilities).

I totally get what you mean about being expected to "magically fix" things. That aspect is extremely frustrating for sure. I will say that I personally found the state testing pressure to be more anxiety inducing. I am a type of person though that doesn't feel the need to be "popular" or friends with everyone in the building though...so it's a bit easier for me to not let the "us vs. them" that seems to develop between sped and gen ed get to me.

The state testing may also not be that bad if you're in a higher SES school. I was in a turnaround school, all but 2 of my kids came in below grade level, and there was extreme pressure to get better scores. I used to literally wake up in the middle of the night and rearrange my reading groups to get my "bubble" kids more time. After testing, I had almost nightly anxiety dreams about getting the results back. My scores were great, but then I felt immediate pressure to be even better next time.

Truly, in my district this would be a moot point because they'd never let me do it anyway. Elementary teachers are very easy to find whereas sped jobs, even in elementary mild/moderate, are much harder to fill. It becomes a catch 22- if you do well in sped, they don't want to lose you for that. If they're not that impressed with you in sped, they have no incentive to let you try something else that they have tons of qualified applicants for.

I would say if you get the opportunity you might as well go for it. I assume it would be easy to move back to sped if you decided you didn't like it.
Haley23 is offline   Reply With Quote
Peacenik74's Avatar
Peacenik74 Peacenik74 is offline
 
Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 2
New Member

Peacenik74
 
Peacenik74's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2018
Posts: 2
New Member
I have and will again
Old 11-01-2018, 05:45 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #4

I agree with your sound arguments for both sides.
I have more time in Special Education than General Education.
I was very fortunate to have a manageable general education group in secondary. My experience with primary grades was a learning experience I choose not to repeat.
I miss teaching science although I provide inclusion support for my favorite subject.
Last year I was treated as an assistant who was useful for making copies and bathroom breaks, I shared a room with two other teachers. My students did not view me as a teacher because I didn't have my own room.
I want to do more for the struggling students and have been given more autonomy this year by my general education colleagues.
I don't miss the pressure here in my lone star state of test results but the paperwork is never ending in Special Education.
Anyone contemplating a change should weigh their own pros and cons including increased student population and the stress of test scores.
Peacenik74 is offline   Reply With Quote
teachsph2008's Avatar
teachsph2008 teachsph2008 is offline
 
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 268
Full Member

teachsph2008
 
teachsph2008's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 268
Full Member
Sped to Gen
Old 11-01-2018, 06:29 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #5

I've thought about it, but probably not, especially if in my current district. The classes aren't balanced. Some of the gen ed classes look like sped classes. While the gen ed teachers don't have as much paperwork as sped, they are responsible for a lot now.

And unless you are in a coteach class, as a sped teacher you have more flexibility and allowed to be more creative. Of course they are breathing down our necks about test scores, especially considering our scores really hurt the district overall. But with that said, we still have more freedoms than gen ed teachers.


teachsph2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
whatever's Avatar
whatever whatever is offline
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 3,186
Senior Member

whatever
 
whatever's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 3,186
Senior Member
I would not~
Old 11-02-2018, 05:33 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #6

as I prefer SpEd--

Also, my certifications are Elem, Gr 1-8 for GenEd, and Cross Cat, Mild to Mod K-12 with HQ status in core content areas for SpEd.

If I went to Gen Ed, it would be in 1st-5th and I think I'm just too old to be effective in those age ranges.

When I taught elem SpEd, I could not imagine being in HS. Now that I'm in HS SpEd, I can't imagine going back to the lower grades.

For all my frustrations and vents, this position suits me.
whatever is offline   Reply With Quote
mrsf70's Avatar
mrsf70 mrsf70 is offline
 
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 384
Senior Member

mrsf70
 
mrsf70's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 384
Senior Member
Gen to sped
Old 11-03-2018, 12:59 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #7

This post is me, but opposite. I teach math to 8th grade gen ed, but have always had an interest in sped. I was three classes short of my minor in sped in undergrad, but didn't finish after I started teaching. I started grad classes last summer for sped, enjoy them, but have similar concerns as the OP about switching. I am tired of test pressure, managing behavior in addition to 25 other students, increased responsibilities in the gen ed classroom. I do know that with my four licensing areas in gen ed, I could move back if needed. Change is never easy.
mrsf70 is offline   Reply With Quote
hiker1 hiker1 is offline
 
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,430
Senior Member

hiker1
 
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,430
Senior Member

Old 11-03-2018, 09:42 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #8

I think gen ed and sped are different skill sets. I could never do gen. ed. I think they have a lot more on the plate than I do. I can fly under the radar when it comes to tests. I love what I do but I don't think I have the stamina or the mindset to do gen. ed.
hiker1 is offline   Reply With Quote
pdxteacher's Avatar
pdxteacher pdxteacher is offline
 
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,767
Senior Member

pdxteacher
 
pdxteacher's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,767
Senior Member

Old 11-04-2018, 02:45 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #9

I couldn't go back to gen ed. Sometimes it feels like the paperwork is going to put me under, but because I teach a self-contained class in a building with a P who doesn't give a rip about these students, I get to shut my door and just teach. I don't think that's happening very much in gen ed anymore. And since my students take the alternate version of the state test, there is very little pressure to get high scores.
pdxteacher is offline   Reply With Quote
Cinderella00's Avatar
Cinderella00 Cinderella00 is offline
 
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1,719
Senior Member

Cinderella00
 
Cinderella00's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1,719
Senior Member

Old 11-06-2018, 01:55 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #10

I've taught 9 years gen ed., 6 years Title I services, 4 years emotional disabilities, and this year a mixture of resource and emotional disabilities.

All 3 are very different. All 3 have huge demands, that you just can't imagine when you're on the other side.

For me, I think my calling is resource, with emotional disabilities a close second. I love really digging into why a child is struggling. But I'm in a school that respects me, and work with a principal who thinks like I do.


Cinderella00 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 03:53 AM.

Copyright © 2017 ProTeacher®
For individual use only. Do not copy, reproduce or transmit.
source: www.proteacher.net