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View Full Version : Life Any teachers on the CP that teach in the sped area?


Gracie Dean
05-03-2009, 03:19 PM
I am certified and Highly qualified in 5-12 Social Studies

also Highly qualified in k-12 sped

currently I am teaching Middle school 7 and 8 social studies but have been strongly thinking about looking into elementary sped. I taught 8 years in the High School level and while I loved it, I wanted a change.


I taught sped, (for one year ) in a high school, then I was specifically asked to move to the middle school building by a principal who wanted me to move with her to a different building.

I teach all of our sped students in my room currently.




Just thinking about my options and wanting something new that is more fullfilling and meaningful for the children


Any special education teachers here?

I am curious as to what you do in your classrooms

pr_capone
05-03-2009, 04:21 PM
SPED Para in the same city as you... Elementary School though for me. I work with Kinder and 3rd Grade mostly but spend some time on occasion in the 2nd grade room.

dtrain
05-03-2009, 04:27 PM
I teach emotionally disturbed students in Fresno, CA

allen_kcCard
05-03-2009, 04:49 PM
My wife was in elementary sped for 10 years and is moving out of it next year for the first time to teach 3rd grade reg ed.

I can only translate from what I've heard from her, but what I gather as a day to day type of work for her in sped was having however many kids that her caseload and schedule dictated come to her room instead of the regurlar classroom for specific subjects, and she would teach them as a whole in the area based on what thier classroom teacher was covering, and would help them through thier assignments as needed depending on what was defined in thier IEP.

She hadn't done it so much the last couple years, but there was also a decent amount of CWC, and I think that the district (Lees Summit) really wanted to do CWC as much as they could. Most of that went to some of her co-teachers though, and seemed to be the "cake" kind of work that everyone would prefer if they could get it.

Other than the general work in the room, I know she had a lot of paperwork to prepare IEPs for meeting with parents, with some headache involved in getting herself, the parent/parents, the classroom teacher, and the principal and/or sped coordinator in the same place at the same time.

Some gripes that I have on her behalf after hearing how she was treated over the years have to do with her not being treated like the other teachers as a whole. For example, during teacher appreciation week one year, the PTA got flowers for all the teachers, but when the time came, none of the sped teachers got any. When they found out about it and asked why they, as sped teachers, didn't receiver flowers, they were told "Well, we had to draw the line somewhere". This utterly baffles me to this day that teachers that have advanced certifications, constantly deal with the kids that in many cases other teachers are not willing or able to deal with in a teaching environment (not babysitters) , are still are expected to do duties like lunch room and bus duty, and are not allowed to have nearly as much planning time on their schedule as other teachers despite having more paperwork and meetings than the others have in thier worst nightmares could end up on side of the "drawn line" as the secretaries and janitors (nothing against them at all, just saying).

Sorry for the rant, but as part of being with sped, it seemed to me like you would need to be prepared for being treated as if you are not part of the mainstream teaching body, and deal with a lot of regular ed teachers that try to walk all over your line of teaching by contridicting your assessments of a students needs, not taking your schedule into acount when they make changes that affect it, or treating the services you provide like a BIST room instead of the specialized area of learning that it is intended to be.

To me, I think sped would be a challenge that any regular ed teacher would come out of being a better teacher overall, but it is also an area that when you get into it there is a definate burnout factor, and sometimes it is hard to get back out of it to the regular classroom since the sped position is a lot harder to fill. My wife has been trying (not full on "move me or I quit" ) to move to reg ed for 3 years now, and she is quite happy to me moving to 3rd grade next year, which will be her first ever time teaching in anywhere but a sped classroom.

Gracie Dean
05-03-2009, 05:23 PM
The one year I taught SPED it was mostly in the CWC position, I didn't do lesson plans or grading or anything but I also did not feel I was doing much of value and was treated more like a "helper" and not a teacher. Was not fullfilling at all. at semester, I asked for and received two classes that I could actually teach. I loved that.

The Bad Guy
05-03-2009, 05:25 PM
I'm a 5th and 6th grade sped teacher (LD/ED) in VA.

BigRedChief
05-03-2009, 05:27 PM
My wife did sped for 15 years. Its all paperwork now and fear of lawsuits that is driving that field.

Gracie Dean
05-03-2009, 05:39 PM
I'm a 5th and 6th grade sped teacher (LD/ED) in VA.

how often do you do testing? Do you do portfolios or do your children take the benchmarks?

Skip Towne
05-03-2009, 05:56 PM
I sped away from teaching.

The Bad Guy
05-03-2009, 06:58 PM
My wife did sped for 15 years. Its all paperwork now and fear of lawsuits that is driving that field.

B-I-N-G-O.

There are some parents who are pushing for their kids to be special ed just so they can sue about something down the road.

The Bad Guy
05-03-2009, 07:03 PM
how often do you do testing? Do you do portfolios or do your children take the benchmarks?

I let the IEP drive the instruction. If a student's IEP requires that they are given 4 assessments per month, then that's how often I collect tests from them.

We do portfolios for some students depending on if they struggle with a multiple choice assessment. They have to fill out a criteria sheet during the IEP to see if they are eligible to take the benchmark test or if I can just collect work samples all year.

Gracie Dean
05-03-2009, 08:11 PM
I let the IEP drive the instruction. If a student's IEP requires that they are given 4 assessments per month, then that's how often I collect tests from them.

We do portfolios for some students depending on if they struggle with a multiple choice assessment. They have to fill out a criteria sheet during the IEP to see if they are eligible to take the benchmark test or if I can just collect work samples all year.

Which do you think is a better indicator of performance?

Gracie Dean
05-03-2009, 08:15 PM
I really don't know if I am going to make the switch, but I am truly intrigued and feel I could really make a difference. I love kids and that is why I went into teaching. I used to think I couldn't do younger kids, but I adore my nieces and nephews and love teaching them and being with them when they stay with me.

The Bad Guy
05-03-2009, 08:15 PM
Which do you think is a better indicator of performance?

The benchmark test.

For me, the student has a better chance of recalling the information from 4 choices rather than filling in a direct answer worksheet or work sample.

The Bad Guy
05-03-2009, 08:17 PM
I really don't know if I am going to make the switch, but I am truly intrigued and feel I could really make a difference. I love kids and that is why I went into teaching. I used to think I couldn't do younger kids, but I adore my nieces and nephews and love teaching them and being with them when they stay with me.

Do not let how much you love family members influence switching to elementary special education.

The elementary kids aren't your nieces or nephews, who actually care what you have to say.

Stick with the grades you are teaching now. The curriculum will stay the same, which in turn will make for an easier transition.

I'm moving back to PA next month so hopefully the district I teach at doesn't believe in the portfolio system yet.

Gracie Dean
05-03-2009, 08:26 PM
Do not let how much you love family members influence switching to elementary special education.

The elementary kids aren't your nieces or nephews, who actually care what you have to say.

Stick with the grades you are teaching now. The curriculum will stay the same, which in turn will make for an easier transition.

I'm moving back to PA next month so hopefully the district I teach at doesn't believe in the portfolio system yet.

oh, I know that it wouldn't be the same with students as it is with family, but I truly have a gift with kids. I am like the "school mommie" to 99% of my students and the other kids in the building that I don't even teach. I don't know how it happens...it just does.

I really think the change would be awesome. I am going to talk with our SPED coordinator tomorrow just to talk and see if it is something I really want to persue

The Bad Guy
05-03-2009, 08:36 PM
oh, I know that it wouldn't be the same with students as it is with family, but I truly have a gift with kids. I am like the "school mommie" to 99% of my students and the other kids in the building that I don't even teach. I don't know how it happens...it just does.

I really think the change would be awesome. I am going to talk with our SPED coordinator tomorrow just to talk and see if it is something I really want to persue

There are lots of people who work well with kids that can't handle special education. It's a completely different animal than working with general education kids. You need to challenge them daily. Some are masters at task avoidance, and really need someone who will keep raising the bar.

I'm not doubting you can do it, I just don't think the reasons are enough to withstand a long career in special education. There is a ton more paperwork, legal issues, and responsiblity than most classroom teachers have.

Gracie Dean
05-03-2009, 08:37 PM
There are lots of people who work well with kids that can't handle special education. It's a completely different animal than working with general education kids. You need to challenge them daily. Some are masters at task avoidance, and really need someone who will keep raising the bar.

I'm not doubting you can do it, I just don't think the reasons are enough to withstand a long career in special education. There is a ton more paperwork, legal issues, and responsiblity than most classroom teachers have.

oh I know

I did it at the HS level.

The Bad Guy
05-03-2009, 08:40 PM
oh I know

I did it at the HS level.

I would much rather teach special ed HS. The pros are you can specialize in one subject, my humor doesn't get lost with HS students, and they are far more self-sufficient.