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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30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.
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Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

30. Curious

And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Cover Image Credit: Favim

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Coping With The Loss Of A Passion

It's hard to get it back once you lose it.

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In college, time to focus on passions seems limited. The homework, essays, group projects, and exams are never-ending.

In high school, I took my free time for granted. I was dancing four hours four nights a week, but I wasn't constantly stressed. I had time to focus on my passion, which is dance.

In college, I am a part of an amazing dance club. But I don't get to compete, take technique classes, or be with the team I was with since I was 8 years old. Now, I receive videos of my team from home's amazing performances, and it aches a bit. I am so proud and happy for their growth but jealous that they have more years than I do. It is nearly impossible to find technique classes at college to take with no car, little free time, and barely any money. I miss my team, I miss my dance teachers and choreographers, and I miss competitions, but most of all, I miss the person I was when I had the opportunity to pursue my passion several hours a week.

My passion will always be there, and I do get to pursue dance on a smaller scale with some amazing dancers in college, but I am coping with the fact that I will never do another competition with my team again, I will never be able to dance with them again, and I will never be able to learn from my dance teachers again. It's a hard loss, one that I think about every day.

To anyone who still has the opportunities to pursue their passions to the fullest extent, you are lucky. Not everyone gets the chance to keep up with their sport, passion, or activity that they dedicated all of their time to in high school. Don't take a single second of it for granted, and remember why you are doing what you are doing. Take time to reflect on why you love it so much, how it makes you feel, and how you can express yourself during it. Whatever this passion or activity is, make every second count.

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