Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

Special Ed Teachers?

Status
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.

mia1181

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 25, 2006
Messages
1,789
I am thinking of going back to school for my Masters in Special Ed. in New Jersey. The school I am looking into has two concentrations "High Incidence" and "Low Incidence." High Incidence has a concentration in both Learning Disabilities and Emotionally Disturbed. While Low Incidence is Developmental Disabilities and Preschool Special Ed.

I am immediately drawn toward "Low Incidence" because I currently work as a nanny for a Preschooler with Brain Damage. I feel like that would be right up my alley. But are these types of positions in high demand? Would it be wiser to stick with LD/ED?

I was looking to go back to school in the Fall so I really need to make some decisions.

Thanks!
 

gwendolyn

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
6,770
Date: 3/13/2009 11:21:24 PM
Author:mia1181
I am thinking of going back to school for my Masters in Special Ed. in New Jersey. The school I am looking into has two concentrations ''High Incidence'' and ''Low Incidence.'' High Incidence has a concentration in both Learning Disabilities and Emotionally Disturbed. While Low Incidence is Developmental Disabilities and Preschool Special Ed.


I am immediately drawn toward ''Low Incidence'' because I currently work as a nanny for a Preschooler with Brain Damage. I feel like that would be right up my alley. But are these types of positions in high demand? Would it be wiser to stick with LD/ED?


I was looking to go back to school in the Fall so I really need to make some decisions.


Thanks!
Hi there, mia1181! I''m not sure how much help my post will be, but I''m going to try anyway.


I think that, generally, special needs teachers are in demand all over the US and many other countries as well. I am an American living in the UK, and have taught and been educated in both countries. However, even though there is a general demand for them, my suspicion is that you may find there aren''t quite as many jobs for preschool-age specialist teachers simply because many children aren''t diagnosed that early; the school systems I have worked for in the US (in Maryland) wait to diagnose children of many disabilities until they are 7 or 8 years of age because they may just be naturally slower at development. Obviously the more severe disabilities will still be identifiable, but simply because it seems to be policy (in some places, in my experience) to wait until they''re older, you probably wouldn''t have *as* many people needing you to do that job as if you were working with older students.

Whether or not that difference would be noticeable, though, I have no idea. I''d kind of doubt it, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

Your best bet would probably be to contact the university you plan to attend, request contact info for recent graduates in both fields, and ask them directly if there were as many available jobs out there when they graduated as they had hoped.

That being said, though, if it''s the age group you really love and the type of disability you prefer, I would say you should stick to what you know you love as that''s why you want to go back to school in the first place!
I do think you''ll be able to find a job no matter which you choose, so best wishes weighing out the choices!
 

Tuckins1

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 13, 2008
Messages
8,614
Hi Mia,
I think the demand depends on where you are located. Some areas are fully included, where ALL students are in the general education classroom, while other areas still have "center based" programs, where students with cognitive/multiple disabilities are bussed from the surrounding areas. I myself have a degree in cognitive impairment and I LOVED working with this population! Currently I am working as a resource teacher for student with learning disabilities... It''s definitely different than the CI kids, but just as rewarding. If you are drawn toward the low incidence disabilities then I say go for that degree. You don''t want to spend all of that time and money on a degree that will get you a job, but you won''t be happy.
 

mia1181

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 25, 2006
Messages
1,789
Thanks Gwendolyn and Tuckins, I think I am also suspicious that there won''t be a demand with preschoolers. And that would probably be my dream job. However, the other the other concentration for this degree is Developmentally Disabled (any age) so would that be a safe fallback?

Actually, now that I think about it, either track leads to a general "Teacher of Students with Disabilities" Certificate, so maybe the worst case scenario is that I got a job working with Learning Disabilities instead? I wouldn''t have a problem with that. That''s what you are doing, right Tuckins?

I am sooo over looking for my "ideal job" over what''s actually in demand
. I have a Social Studies Credential right now and there aren''t many job in that subject area. It''s not that I wouldn''t like working with milder disabilities, just that if I had to choose, I am more used to Severe.

Oh and one more question: Do you know if there are many Part-Time SE positions? I am also considering Reading Specialist, and while I think I''d prefer Special Ed, I know that Reading Specialist are often hired Part-Time. A part-time option would be really nice when I start having children.
 

KimberlyH

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 15, 2006
Messages
7,485
Mia, I''m in CA so the information I''m sharing might not be pertinent but there is a high demand for preschool teachers who work with students with autism where I live. Early intervention is a key element and new preschool classes are opening all of the time in the district where I work to fulfill the needs of this increasing population.

In general Special Ed is the place to be if a teacher wants a job in CA. While most other teachers are being laid off the strict guidelines regarding classroom size and the burn out rates of SPED teachers make it a good place to be. I know some states offer a preschool credential (NY and CA both do) that would be good if you are interested in that age group only.

Before I returned to school for my masters I wish I had spent some time observing/volunteering in different types of classrooms (SPED, GenEd, Preschool, etc.) to determine my soft spot. I would highly recommend you do so.

Best of luck.
 

Tuckins1

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 13, 2008
Messages
8,614
Date: 3/14/2009 11:59:08 AM
Author: mia1181
Thanks Gwendolyn and Tuckins, I think I am also suspicious that there won''t be a demand with preschoolers. And that would probably be my dream job. However, the other the other concentration for this degree is Developmentally Disabled (any age) so would that be a safe fallback?


Actually, now that I think about it, either track leads to a general ''Teacher of Students with Disabilities'' Certificate, so maybe the worst case scenario is that I got a job working with Learning Disabilities instead? I wouldn''t have a problem with that. That''s what you are doing, right Tuckins?


I am sooo over looking for my ''ideal job'' over what''s actually in demand
. I have a Social Studies Credential right now and there aren''t many job in that subject area. It''s not that I wouldn''t like working with milder disabilities, just that if I had to choose, I am more used to Severe.


Oh and one more question: Do you know if there are many Part-Time SE positions? I am also considering Reading Specialist, and while I think I''d prefer Special Ed, I know that Reading Specialist are often hired Part-Time. A part-time option would be really nice when I start having children.
Yes. No matter what disability you have your degree in, you are certified to teach in a resource room setting. (As far as I know... I am in Michigan and the special ed laws are a bit different here)... Yes, I have seen postings for part time special education teachers, as well as home-bound teachers. Just having a degree in special ed can make you more marketable for regular ed positions too- You have experience and know how to handle all sorts of different learners and you will be STEEPED in accommodations/modifications/differentiated instruction.
 

mia1181

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 25, 2006
Messages
1,789
Thanks KimberlyH I have spent a lot of time in 2 different Special Ed. preschool classes as well as the an Early Intervention Infant Special Needs Class. As part of my job as a nanny, I''ve worked very closely with the teachers. They are always saying to me "you should be a teacher" and then I reply "I actually am!" So becoming a preschool SE teacher would be perfect for me. It''s really what I have been doing in a private setting for the past 3 years. K, my charge, has brain damage from birth and I have been teaching her in her home.

It does seem to me that there is a demand for preschool teachers in CA because it has been so challenging for us to find an appropriate class for K. Because of NCLB each school district is supposed to have their own program. However, there are not many in the area and certainly not very good ones. K starts Kindergarten next year and it looks like we have to get her into a private school.
 

mia1181

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 25, 2006
Messages
1,789
Thanks Tuckins, yeah I think it looks like I am just focusing my degree on Severe Disabilities as well as Preschool, but I will have the same degree as the people who choose the "High Incidence" track. I just read that these two majors have the same core 21 credits and once those are completed I can apply for my certificate, but I will receive my degree after completing 39 credits. So the extra credits are just more specific to my interests.
 

KimberlyH

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 15, 2006
Messages
7,485
Date: 3/14/2009 1:07:16 PM
Author: mia1181
Thanks KimberlyH I have spent a lot of time in 2 different Special Ed. preschool classes as well as the an Early Intervention Infant Special Needs Class. As part of my job as a nanny, I''ve worked very closely with the teachers. They are always saying to me ''you should be a teacher'' and then I reply ''I actually am!'' So becoming a preschool SE teacher would be perfect for me. It''s really what I have been doing in a private setting for the past 3 years. K, my charge, has brain damage from birth and I have been teaching her in her home.

It does seem to me that there is a demand for preschool teachers in CA because it has been so challenging for us to find an appropriate class for K. Because of NCLB each school district is supposed to have their own program. However, there are not many in the area and certainly not very good ones. K starts Kindergarten next year and it looks like we have to get her into a private school.
You certainly are a teacher, and it is difficult to find good programs that are appopriate for the specific needs of each child.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,979
Hi, I''ve taught special ed. for many years! There will be many more jobs for LD than cognitive impairment since after all, there is a higher incidence. I would not take the self-contained class at my school. It is a mixture of moderately cognitively delayed kids (not called Intellectually Disabled, believe it or not), physically and multihandicapped, and autistic. There is a teacher and 2-3 assistants with 10 kids. It is very difficult because some of the autistic kids have difficult behaviors and all the kids are very different. Plus, dealing with that many adults in one classroom is not always easy, either. Add to that, you have OT, PT, and Speech coming in and out. I''d highly recommend going to visit a couple of different schools and spend at least a half day with a couple of resource teachers and self-contained teachers. There are programs for pre-schoolers everywhere, too. They are operated differently depending on where you are.

I have worked part-time for many of the years I have worked. I worked half-time when I first went back after the two older kids were in school and pre-school. For the last seven years, I have worked 4 days a week (80% pay and fulltime benefits). You are really not able to work part-time with the more severe kids because those positions are often more self-contained. I think with tight budgets, my special ed. director is happy to have people like me who want to work 4 days! There are a couple of SLP''s who do it, too. It makes my life SO much more balanced. I wouldn''t trade my schedule for fulltime ever!
 

mia1181

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 25, 2006
Messages
1,789
Thanks for all the info Diamond Seeker. I have spent time in self-contained classrooms during student teaching. I know that they can be a challenge, and I definitely worry about behavior issues because I am a fairly small (or maybe just whimpy) person. I''d really like to work with younger kids to avoid a lot of issues. It seems that I''d have some flexiblity with what type of position I could take with my Certficate, so hopefully I will have a few options. Wow 4 days, 80% pay and full benefits would be great! I would love that schedule too!
 

Tuckins1

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 13, 2008
Messages
8,614
Date: 3/14/2009 2:52:16 PM
Author: diamondseeker2006
Hi, I've taught special ed. for many years! There will be many more jobs for LD than cognitive impairment since after all, there is a higher incidence. I would not take the self-contained class at my school. It is a mixture of moderately cognitively delayed kids (not called Intellectually Disabled, believe it or not), physically and multihandicapped, and autistic. There is a teacher and 2-3 assistants with 10 kids. It is very difficult because some of the autistic kids have difficult behaviors and all the kids are very different. Plus, dealing with that many adults in one classroom is not always easy, either. Add to that, you have OT, PT, and Speech coming in and out. I'd highly recommend going to visit a couple of different schools and spend at least a half day with a couple of resource teachers and self-contained teachers. There are programs for pre-schoolers everywhere, too. They are operated differently depending on where you are.


I have worked part-time for many of the years I have worked. I worked half-time when I first went back after the two older kids were in school and pre-school. For the last seven years, I have worked 4 days a week (80% pay and fulltime benefits). You are really not able to work part-time with the more severe kids because those positions are often more self-contained. I think with tight budgets, my special ed. director is happy to have people like me who want to work 4 days! There are a couple of SLP's who do it, too. It makes my life SO much more balanced. I wouldn't trade my schedule for fulltime ever!
Holy Mackerel- Self contained is a very difficult situation, one I myself would not like to tackle either.(I mean the self contained for mild/moderate impairments, where they are still within the curriculum, not the center based programs for SCI/SXI) How is the curriculum set up? Don't they still have to teach grade level specific content to all of the students? How do they do that if they have students from all different grades?
 
Status
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    Horses for Courses: Polo Match Jewelry
    Horses for Courses: Polo Match Jewelry
    An Excellent K Color Graded Diamond
    An Excellent K Color Graded Diamond
    Astounding AVR
    Astounding AVR

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.

New posts

Top