Monday, March 2, 2009

A whole new world.

A year or two ago, I took a Special Education class in order to fulfill a part of my teaching certificate requirements.

I learned a lot in this class and even considered pursuing an undergrad degree in it. I had a tough teacher that made us work hard to earn our two credits and an "A".

At the end of the semester, I was appreciative towards her and everything she taught us during such a short amount of time.

I really don't know what happened and what made me stick to Elementary Education, but the idea of Special Education was pushed to the back of my mind.

Now I've started my new job at a new school working in the Resource Room. In the Resource Room, students come down from their class, for about an hour, to work with a teacher or paraprofessional (teacher's assistant) on a more personal, one on one type of setting.

A lot of these students are mentally challenged, have a mental and/or emotional disorder, or simply did not meet the school/city/state (whatever it is) testing standards and thus were dubbed as needing special education services.

Sometimes these kids need it. Sometimes they don't. After working with a couple of them, this is just my two cents.

If you followed my student teaching posts then you can see that I'm in a completely different setting. It's a total 360. I went from working with students that were at a much higher level than expected of them to students who can barely read or write their first name.

Everyday I walk into the classroom a nervous wreck.

This setting deals with Special Education jargon that I can't recall from the one special education class that I took. IEP's.Cognitive Impairment. Emotional Impairment.Autism. Social Anxiety Disorder. Agoraphobia. Bipolar Disorder. Occupational Therapists.Speech Therapists.Social Workers.

Every hour equals a different student.A different grade level. A different lesson plan. A different emotion. And a different disability.

Although I thought I was up for the challenge, I find that I underestimate myself more now than during my student teaching days.

Hopefully this is just a phase.

11 comments:

Mrs. Cullen said...

you are fine. relaxx

Girl On A Journey said...

You'll get past it soon. Good luck! :-)

Artistic Logic said...

perfect.

when you underestimate yourself is when you end up pushing yourself to do your best... the most success will come out of this if you just stick to it and keep yourself focused inshallah
this is real good work... im sure you will get plenty of satisfaction...

PerplxinTexan♥ said...

Dude I love the resource room. It's where all my greatest discoveries about life take place. Remember 8 days from my birthday and that post of shenanigans?

Do some yoga, find you.

provoking invoking said...

i agree wholeheartedly with mrs cullen and AL.. you're fine. and YES teaching is hard, especially to kids that need more attention, but that's exactly what makes your job the most admirable and respectable in the eyes of God and people with sense (2nd to parenthood).

also, i have learned more from special needs children (especially my brother) than anyone else could ever teach me. it is a privilege for us to have the chance to spend time with them and learn from them. some of the most creative people and full of originality.. they can inspire you as a future teacher. as you can tell, i'm passionate about special education, haha..

so stick with it!! and don't underestimate yourself OR these children.. just try to slow yourself down, relax and forget about what time it is when you work with each kid.

provoking invoking said...

i agree wholeheartedly with mrs cullen and AL.. you're fine. and YES teaching is hard, especially to kids that need more attention, but that's exactly what makes your job the most admirable and respectable in the eyes of God and people with sense (2nd to parenthood).

also, i have learned more from special needs children (especially my brother) than anyone else could ever teach me. it is a privilege for us to have the chance to spend time with them and learn from them. some of the most creative people and full of originality.. they can inspire you as a future teacher. as you can tell, i'm passionate about special education, haha..

so stick with it!! and don't underestimate yourself OR these children.. just try to slow yourself down, relax and forget about what time it is when you work with each kid.

Paris said...

Take a deep breath!! IN ---- OUT ------ IN ---- OUT! =D I have faith in you!

Impulsive Addict said...

It will just take some time to get used to everything. Education is hard in general (I'm a teacher quitter myself but for different reasons...don't you judge me!) and every postion will have it's own set of challenges. Hang in there! Your position can be so rewarding!

Tiffany said...

We expect so much of public school teachers. That is a lot of special needs to understand and help a child overcome. You sound very committed to the students though - I bet you'll do fine.

EmptyWords said...

I once took a class with special ed kids and it was one of the best classes of my life. In the class, we were paired up with one special needs child for a couple weeks and that person became my 'partner.' And then we would do activities like cooking or arts and crafts together with our partner. We would help them if they had difficulty and mostly, just be their friend. Then two days a week, "us" (the non-special needs, I guess) would get together and read articles and do research on the various mental disorders and then apply our knowledge into the classroom with the kids.

Basically, what Im trying to say is its very hard at first but after awhile, you will get used to it and it will be an amazing experience for you, I hope. Just take it in one day at a time and you'll be fine.

fuelMybrain said...

I'm thinking that you will grow tremendously as a person by taking on this challenge...

Sometimes when working with children of special needs, it helps to get their parents on the same page with you once you figure out a great path for this child to flourish. Their environment at home may need to change. It is sad that these parents are sending them off for a PS teacher to work with them w/limited time. It takes a lot of time and energy... Sigh - On and On.... I'm sure you'll get the hang of it and help change these little one's lives.