Here's Why Being A Special Education Teacher Is The Most Rewarding Job Out There

Here's Why Being A Special Education Teacher Is The Most Rewarding Job Out There

The benefits are endless
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"What are you studying?" The small talk question that is brought up in every conversation for college-age students. "Special Education" I reply. I get the same response every time.

"Wow you must be patient"

"There is a special place in heaven for you"

"Not everyone could do that"

"Good luck"

"What a challenge, but good for you"

It should not be that way. Special education should not be viewed as something that requires someone special to do the job. Really - what's the difference? The student has an IEP and maybe learns differently? So what? It is the job of every teacher to be equipped to teach all children, regardless of their race, socio-economic status, learning capabilities or IQ.

Either way, special education is rewarding. Everyday, you get to see your impact on your students, big or small. There are no words to describe the feeling you would feel when your autistic student who avoids physical contact, touches your shoulder affectionately. Or when your student who has a learning disability and been many grade levels below their grade in reading or math levels finally makes it close to their goal. Or when your student who uses an augmentative speech device spells out their first full sentence to express themselves.

Sure special education requires excellent communication, enthusiasm, assertiveness and a passion for helping people. But what great job doesn't? Each and every one of us faces daily challenges at work, home or school. Special education is not any more challenging. All you need is a love for learning, a love for children, and a desire to create an equitable learning environment for all students.

What separates a special educator from a general educator? The ability to teach ALL students. This includes students who are gifted as well as students with disabilities. This is knowledge that is extremely valuable in todays schools and will always be relevant. Implementing the practices that work for students with exceptionalities into an inclusion classroom can be beneficial to all students. These benefits are not only shown academically, but socially as well. Inclusion creates acceptance, new friendships and diversity. With the differentiating views on inclusion aside, special educators will always have the knowledge about all students, to ensure an equitable learning experience for all.

Working as a special educator allows you to create a unique bond with your students. You begin to learn their strengths, abilities, and more about them as any other students in your classroom. You get the opportunity to help them get the services and accommodations that they need and deserve. You get to create an individualized and detailed educational program that improves their educational experience. You get to help them create goals. And most importantly, you get to see them ACHIEVE those goals.

Cover Image Credit: http://shc-medina.org/
Cover Image Credit: http://theconversation.com/students-with-and-without-disability-its-always-better-when-were-together-21014

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Getting Straight A's In College Is Not Worth Failing Your Mental Health

A's are nice, but you are more than a letter.

Kate
Kate
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The idea of getting an A on every paper, every exam, every assignment, seems great. It can be known as a reassurance of our hard work and dedication to our 4+ classes we attend every single day.

Losing sleep, skipping meals, forgetting to drink water, skipping out on time with friends and family; these are the things that can occur when your letter of an A is what you are living for.

You are worth more than the grade letter, or the GPA number on your transcript.

Listen, don't get me wrong, getting A's and B's definitely is something to feel accomplished for. It is the approval that you did it, you completed your class, and your hard work paid off.

But honey, get some sleep.

Don't lose yourself, don't forget who you are. Grades are important, but the true measurement of self-worth and accomplishment is that you tried your best.

Trying your best, and working hard for your goals is something that is A-worthy.

Reserve time for yourself, for your sanity, your health, your mental health.

At the end of the day, grades might look nice on a piece of paper, but who you are and how you represent yourself can be even more honorable.

Kate
Kate

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This Semester Practically Broke My Will To Live

If I didn't have a life worth living, this semester would've swept me away.

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So this is gonna be a rant. Be prepared.

This semester started out so great. The classes I was taking were a step in the best direction for my major and minor. I would like to be a journalist one day, so I tried my hand at the journalistic writing course that's required for the major to get to the next major classes.

Now, I'm not saying it was difficult to pretend to write breaking news, but the professor made me hate my own writing. I felt like not only was my writing inadequate to become a journalist, it felt like someone was blatantly telling me that I was never going to get better.

So I continued writing the assignments and kept getting 79, 73, 80 as grades, but the submission comments were harsh and the critique was harder than I'd ever seen on any assignment. Why give me these grades if I didn't deserve them?

Did I mention that I wouldn't be able to get into any of the other classes for my major if I didn't pass journalistic writing?

On top of this, I was in a group project with only one other student. We were the group. So the group work consisted of me barely making any traction with any of my own ideas and then following what my partner wanted. It was extremely unbalanced and it felt like a constant struggle.

And finally, of course, the only class I did well in was the class that only progressed my minor's requirements.

This semester chewed me up and spit me out and still wanted me for seconds. My head has been throbbing for two weeks straight and I'm ready for a much-deserved winter break full of gourmet spiked eggnog and countless mounds of mashed potatoes.

Have a better winter break!

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