Sabtu, 16 September 2017

The Secret To Being A Good Special Education Teacher

Education is one of the most rewarding professions. Special education is particularly rewarding. The joy you feel when a person who is having problems makes some progress is unmatched in any other field. But to be a special education teacher takes a special type of person. It not only requires special training, one must also be very patient and love people no matter what their special needs. If you are the type of person who combines all these elements then a career in special education could be for you.

To teach special education you must be licensed. Getting a license requires you to have at least a bachelor's degree and complete an approved training course in teaching special education. Some states require a master's degree. Acquiring the training is not very difficult. Many colleges offer undergraduate, graduate and doctorate level courses in the field. Teachers who want to focus on special education often have to complete longer periods of training than teachers in other areas. You can choose to specialize within the special education field or you may pursue general special education training. The last year of training usually entails working in a classroom under the supervision of a certified teacher.

Teachers wishing to work in special education often receive general training and must then receive further training in a particular area that prepares them to work with people with physical, mental or emotional difficulties. Depending on the state in which you live or hope to work you may be required to be licensed to teach people with a wide range of disabilities or one of the many different subsets within special education. You should contact the board of education in your state to find out their specific requirement for certification.

There are alternate routes to a career in special education. Some states allow people with at least a bachelor's degree who receive supervised training through a college or an accredited program, teach under supervision for 12 to 24 months and pass an assessment test to be certified. Many of these alternative certification classes are designed to encourage people without a traditional teaching background to enter the profession. These non-traditional teachers may bring unique talents in art or music which they attempt to use to reach out to students who traditional teaching methods have been unable to reach.

But teaching those with special needs requires more than academic training. It takes dedication to master the craft. There have been many instances where people with excellent teaching credentials and a genuine interest in helping special needs students have been unable to succeed when they try to work in special education. Working with people with special needs can frustrate even the most well-meaning individuals. Some come into the field with unrealistic expectations of the impact they can have on the students they work with. Often the pace of learning is glacially slow or the students and the new teacher fail to connect for whatever reason.

Some new teachers fit right in. They are able to reach the students and help them to make remarkable strides. Other new teachers are just naturally patient and accept the pace at which their students learn and are satisfied when the students make incremental progress. Occasionally there are special education teachers who are able to make major breakthroughs. They may have a natural feel for the classroom and the students or are able to create innovative ways to reach the students and help them to make real progress. Their new techniques can then be shared with others in the field.

Patience, creativity, organization, the ability to accept and understand the differences in others and the ability to motivate people with special needs are essential for a successful career. Often teachers who are able to identify, appreciate and celebrate small victories with their students find it easier to work with students with special needs. But there are no hard and fast rules. Teachers must know the basics of education, but to be successful they must also be perceptive and, above all else, patient.

Few things are more rewarding than knowing you have made an impact on the lives of people who are struggling to reach their full potential. If this holds interest for you then you may be ideally suited for a career as a special education teacher.

Rabu, 30 Agustus 2017

Overcoming Special Education Apathy and Successfully Navigating the Special Education Maze!

Are you the parent of a child with Autism, or a learning disability who receives special education services? Does your life with your child seem overwhelming, and you sometimes find it difficult to be the advocate for school issues, as you need to be? Or have you given up advocating for your child's education because you feel that you cannot win? This article will give you 6 ideas on how you can overcome apathy, successfully navigate the special education maze, so that your child can receive an appropriate education!

1. Realize that special education is an entitlement for your child under Federal Special Education law (IDEA 2004), and that he or she is depending on you to fight for the services that they need!

2. Now that school is back in session, try and attend a few parent trainings (on federal and state education and disability law), where you can learn about the law, and gain important advocacy information, as well as meet other parents in your area. Look for groups that provide parent training at your States parent training and information center (PTIC), or local disability organizations such as the ARC or United Cerebral Palsey (UCP).

3. If a local advocacy group does not exist consider starting one with other parents. Attend a few groups so that you can decide what is important to include in your advocacy group. Encourage all members to support each other in their advocacy efforts by perhaps attending each others meetings, or role playing certain situations that may arise. Bringing in knowledgeable speakers will empower your advocacy!

4. Join online organizations that not only educate parents, but have access to knowledgeable people such as lawyers or independent evaluators. Consider joining COPAA (Counsel of Parent Attorney's and Advocates http://www.copaa.org ); for a small yearly fee you can join the listserv that has parents, advocates, and attorneys discussing education advocacy issues. You may ask questions and seek advice on any advocacy situation that you are dealing with. By receiving expert help you will be empowered in your advocacy!

5. Pursue an independent educational evaluation (IEE) to determine what related and special education services that your child needs in order to receive an appropriate education. Try and find a child friendly qualified evaluator that is either a Clinical Psychologist or a Neuropsychologist. It may take several months for an appointment so now is a good time to plan for the evaluation. Do not forget to mention your child's need for extended school year services (ESY) if this is an issue with your school district-a recommendation from an independent evaluator that a child needs ESY is helpful to convince educators that this is needed. Ask your evaluator to put specific recommendations for amount and type of ESY in his or her evaluation report.

6. Try and find another experienced parent or an advocate who can attend meetings with you, educate you on education law, give you advocacy tips, and share information on how you can overcome roadblocks to an appropriate education for your child. Experienced advocates can guide you through the process, as you successfully navigate the special education maze! Make sure any advocate you choose knows IDEA 2004, and your States education law, as well as a willingness to stand up to school personnel and roadblocks that special educators put up!

Use these tips and you will well be on your way to overcoming special education apathy, for your child's educational benefit!

Selasa, 15 Agustus 2017

Is There Still A Shortage of Special Education Teachers?

Today, I am a Special Education teacher. However, I can still remember when I was young and back in graduate school matriculated in the social studies teaching program. Since I wanted to be a History teacher, not a Special Education teacher, it's kind of funny that all these years later I am teaching Special Education. How did this happen? Well, the same way it happened for some others too I guess... I had friends who were Special Education teachers and also a few who were enrolled in Special Education teacher-preparation programs who talked me into giving it a try. They told me that Special Education is where the real need was. Basically, they told me that this is where a guy like me could do the most good.

Well, more than two decades later not much has changed. There is still a huge need for Special Education teachers here in the United States. According to the U.S. Department of Education, Special Education is among the most high-need fields in schools that service low-income students. The U.S. Department of Education also states that there is a Special Education teacher shortage in 49 out of our 50 states.

In addition, today there are more instances of students with multiple disabilities at a younger age. The National Education Association (NEA) says that there has been a 30% increase in Special Education students since 2006. Finally, throw in the high turn-over rate of teachers in such a demanding field and one can easily see that our country has a problem, and that problem is only going to get bigger.

So, why can't we get enough Special Education teachers? Well, according to National Public Radio (NPR) our country is having this shortage because of the extremely long hours they have to put in and the crushing paperwork that they are expected to complete on top of their everyday teaching. I say we're also having this shortage because being a Special Education teacher isn't for everyone. Only a few people can handle the day-in and day-out uncertainties of the job, and the ever-changing roles they have to play. Not only do they have to take an enormous amount of time to learn the academic side of multiple subjects or scholarly disciplines, which could take five to ten years to fully learn, but they also have to learn about all the different factors that could impact academic performance, and learn the law too, as well as do many administration duties.

In a word, it's overwhelming. Just considering the disabilities side alone, a Special Education teacher has to be able to accurately identify and treat needs that could be based on learning deficiencies or even different styles, as well as the mental, emotional, and even social deficiencies too. Furthermore, Special Education teachers also have to know what to do with the other side of the spectrum too with the gifted students.

Basically, not only do they need immense people skills in dealing with all kinds of students and adults, but they also have to love the unpredictability of the field, and must be a believer in possibilities, as well as possess the highest form of intelligence, which is called empathy. Not sympathy here, but empathy. There is a difference between empathy and sympathy. Special Education teachers need all of these mentioned skills and more in order to just survive the day, let alone an entire career in these education trenches.

So, what can we do about this shortage? Well, some school districts have been creatively working with their local universities and creating special programs where teacher candidates can work full-time as teachers for two years to get teaching experience while they go to school at night to get their degree. Some school districts have offered signing bonuses, stipends and tuition reimbursement in their efforts to attract more teachers. These are good ideas. However, these kind of initiatives are not being done enough. Some school districts are offering young teachers mentors to support their efforts and offer guidance in an attempt to cut down on the attrition rate. Again, this is another good idea, but not enough districts are doing this either.

I personally feel that one of the toughest things about being in this field is the lack of respect for what these unsung heroes do on a daily basis. The lack of respect is causing low teacher morale and driving a lot more teachers out of the education field than I think most of us are willing to admit. And this low teacher morale and lack of respect for our country's teachers is something that is avoidable, and something that we can fix if we want to do it bad enough. Finally, just to get an outsider's perspective, I asked my wife what she thought could be one of the solutions to the Special Education teacher shortage problem and she said, "More pay!"



Jumat, 28 Juli 2017

Special Education Teacher Jobs - What You Need to Know When Interviewing!

The job of teaching has changed over the years. Teachers have more to do than just teach today. The training for teachers is ongoing throughout their career. This is especially true for special education teachers. Special Ed teachers are teachers, advocates, knowledgeable about various disabilities, experts at creating special education lessons and at writing IEPs (Individual Education Programs). Special education teacher jobs are in high demand because one other thing a special ed teacher needs is dedication to doing everything they can to aid their students in reaching their full potential. If you are looking into a special education career there are some things you need to know in order to make the cut in this field.

You will be asked a number of questions during an interview for a special education teaching position. This means you need to be as familiar as possible with the questions and answers you will be presented with so you can be confident in your answers.

Here are some things you will need to be prepared for in a special ed teaching job interview.

    Complete understanding of IEP and CSE: You will need to be sure to be ready to answer questions about IEP and CSE meetings so you can answer with confidence any question that is thrown at you. You must also know about the service and support options in your school district offers.
    Show your expertise in special education lessons: Even though all teachers adjust lessons to their students' needs, special ed teachers are required to adapt lessons to suit various disabilities and students. This means you must be an expert at individualize lessons and instruction for each student you teach.
    Show your knowledge of disabilities: Since there are so many disabilities that appear in the special educational venue, you need to be familiar with as many as possible during an interview as well as in the classroom. Special education teacher jobs are easier to get if you have the knowledge of disabilities such as speech disorders, autism, emotional disorders, physical and mental handicaps and other disabilities that are categorized in your school district.

Besides the above knowledge requirements, you will also need to know about utilizing your support staff and make sure you mention you work well with your coworkers. When you really want to succeed in getting one of the special teaching jobs in your area, you need to remember to behave as an advocate for special ed children, understand the scope of special education teaching and you absolutely must be willing and able to go beyond the unique needs of the students you will be teaching.


Senin, 26 Juni 2017

Special Education and the Importance of Collaboration

Collaboration means working with an individual or a group of individuals to achieve a common goal. Its importance is most visible in education. Every day, teachers work together with their peers, school counselors, and other staff for the success of each student. And when it comes to special education, collaboration becomes the single most important thing for a teacher.

A teacher for special education has to collaborate with school administrators, general education teachers, school therapists, psychologists, and parents and guardians. Students with mild disability have now been included in regular classroom teaching, according to the provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education (IDEA) Act. This has led to general and special education teachers working together, often with the help of the best fun educational apps. The role of the educator in a general classroom, involves teaching the curriculum and assessing and evaluating special children. It's important that a the educator brings in a set of personal skills to enhance student learning. Skills of both the general teacher and the special educator should come together to help a student.

A special educator has to work closely with the school management. It's a vital part of the job. Working with the management will help the special teacher follow the necessary laws and procedure, work with individualized education plan (IEP), and make sure that special children are accommodated in the appropriate classroom. It's always important to forge a strong relationship with these people for ensuring the success of a special student.

Working with parents is a major challenge for all special education teachers. It's important to make strong and regular contact. It's a nice idea to allow parents come and volunteer in the classroom, so that both the educator and the parent can help the children. A special child can obviously relate more to a parent. If parents explain the use of the best fun educational apps for kids, it's likely to be more believable to the children.

Working with school therapists and psychologists is another key collaboration of a special educator. A therapist can inform the educator about the limitations of a special child. He/she may even recommend the best fun educational apps for kids so that special children pick up social skills faster. The educator, on his/her part, can update the therapist on how a child is progressing. The therapist is also responsible for diagnosis of a special child.

The work of the school psychologist is also largely similar. They too test children for disabilities and ensure that the IEP is being properly followed.

Collaboration is an important part of a special educator's job, regardless of which part of school education he/she is involved with. Whether it's working with the school administration, other teachers, parents, guardians, counselors, or therapists, a special educator has to work as part of a team for the betterment of special children. The needs of a special child are much different from that of a neuro-typical. Besides, each child is different. The best fun educational apps can keep the child engaged besides imparting important social skills.

Rabu, 14 Juni 2017

What You Should Know About Teaching Special Education

Special Education for me is a challenging vocation for it caters to individuals with disabilities. Through this type of education, students with disabilities are educated effectively.

I read a line from an article years ago that states: "It is said that a society can be judged by the way it treats those who are different."

In a democratic society it is believed that every individual is valuable in his own right and should be afforded equal opportunities to develop his potentials. The provision of special education will empower families to build future for their children, normal and special alike.

It was said that "teaching" is what special education is most about.

The role of the Special Education (SPED) teacher is very crucial. The SPED teacher has the responsibility not only to teach the regular classroom stuff like reading, writing, math etc, but also Activities of Daily Living and peer socialization.

An important part of a special education teacher's job is the early identification of a child with special needs, intervention is vital in educating children with special needs because as time goes on children who are not coping or who struggle in the general curriculum can be negatively affected.

A SPED educator's job is also challenging. Special education teachers work with children and youths who have a variety of disabilities. I also find this vocation fulfilling, for, it provides the opportunity to establish meaningful relationships with special kids.

Although helping these students can be highly rewarding, the work also can be emotionally and physically draining. SPED teachers work under the threat of litigation against the school or district by parents if correct procedures are not followed or if they feel that their child is not receiving an adequate education.

A SPED educator should be well-guarded by the laws. Understanding and practicing the laws will ensure a safe and legal environment for both the special child and SPED teacher.

A special educator's battlecry should be "commitment". Commitment spells equitable and excellent classroom. Without commitment to the chosen vocation, one won't be able to do his/ her job well.

But, teachers cannot do it alone. Teaching is a collaborative effort between the educator, student, parents/ family and the community. SPED educators, should express desire to be the parents' partner in the development of the special child.

As teachers, trying to reach out beyond the school to promote trust and understanding, and build partnerships with all segments of the school community is significant. Being active in associations/ causes supporting the special child/ special education can be a good start.

I would like to quote Robert Pasternack, Ph.D., Assistant Secretary Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services,U.S. Department of Education. He said:

"Some of the kids that are in special education are not, in fact, kids with disabilities. They are, in fact, instructional casualties. They are, in fact, kids who haven't been taught successfully using scientifically validated instructional approaches and research validated curricula in the general education system and general education settings."

With that, I have the following implications to education of children with special needs:

    States will put a premium on Reading --- to deliver scientifically validated and scientifically based reading research, validated curricula and instructional strategies in classrooms.
    Continuous and more additional trainings for teachers. If professional development will be given to teachers, if it's sustained, if it's systematic, if it's embedded in what teachers do, then, in fact, we can go ahead and improve the capacity of teachers to address the learning needs of the heterogeneous groups of kids that they have in front of them on a daily basis.

If you are looking for a school that: Is committed to enriching the lives of our diverse population; Works to meet learner and community needs in a mutually supportive partnership; Has competent teachers, therapists, staff & facilities; Is accessible and safe; and

Selasa, 13 Juni 2017

Don't Shy Away From Special Education Programs For Your Child

If your child has special needs or a disability, special education may help your child succeed in school and in life. However, many parents fear that their child will be singled out for special education classes in a room separate from their classmates, so they avoid seeking out special education arrangements.

While this was the case at one time, current special education laws require schools to provide an educational environment that is as unrestrictive and equal for all children as possible.

Are you unsure whether your child qualifies for special education? Do you wonder if special education services would help your child succeed in school? The definitions of eligible disabilities have been greatly expanded to include learning disabilities and emotional challenges as well as physical disabilities.

Some of these definitions are set by the states, and the federal government decides some. Regardless of what type of disability your child has, special education is the best way to ensure that your child is getting the education that your child deserves.

Without special education services, your child may be at a disadvantage. Even with a caring and patient teacher, many children find themselves unable to keep up with their peers in the classroom.

Setting out a clear and fair special education plan will give you, your child and the school the assurance that appropriate measures are being taken on your child's behalf in the classroom. These may include additional time with a teacher or special education facilitator, physical accommodations, or any other reasonable accommodation that the school is able to offer.

When seeking special education arrangements for your child, your first step will be to obtain an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for him. An IEP should be developed for each child with any disability and is the single most important piece of documentation in your quest for equal education for your child. It outlines goals and objectives for the student, along with a description of which accommodations will be necessary to facilitate those objectives.

The IEP process begins when you or your child's teacher notice that the child is struggling in school. The concerned party will request a referral for special education services, which typically will result in an evaluation by a committee comprised of school faculty and you. The evaluation will determine whether your child's disabilities interfere with his educational experience. If so, an IEP will be developed.

When the IEP is in place, your child will have access to the special education services covered by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Under IDEA, your child is entitled to an education equivalent to that of a child without disabilities in the least restrictive environment possible.

The Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) mandate is the result of many years of studies. The conclusion of these studies was that special needs children are better served in the classroom with their peers than in a segregated classroom environment. The practices of pull-out programs, separate "special-ed" rooms, and the stigma of being a "special-ed kid" have changed radically in the past decade.

Children are now encouraged to flourish first in the regular classroom, with accommodations and modifications if necessary. If it becomes clear that this setup is not in the best interest of the child, the school or the parent may request a re-evaluation of the situation.

Recent studies have proven beyond a doubt that children with disabilities have more opportunities to thrive when they are educated in the same environment as non-disabled children. Observing and interacting with other children helps students with disabilities to maintain a sense of normalcy and develop their social skills. An inclusive classroom, one that includes special needs and non-special needs students, can also help the non-special needs students develop valuable social skills.

By taking down the barriers between disabled students and non-disabled students, IDEA has made the special education environment a more nurturing and beneficial place for your child to receive the education your child is entitled to. There is no longer any need to be nervous about the negative impact that special education will have on your child because the process has been refined to be as positive as possible.

The special education environment found in schools today is one that provides an improved learning experience for your child. With the help of supplemental support staff and special training for classroom teachers, your child's school can provide the type of environment that makes it possible for him to thrive and to achieve all that your child is capable of achieving.