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.