Read Things I Wish I Knew My First Year Of Teaching Special Education by Tim Villegas as well as the comments section. Then, share something that stood out to you...
9/19/2013 05:59:09 am
I really enjoyed this blog. There were great tips to keep in mind for when it's my first day, like keeping a spare change of clothes. Also, I liked how he said if you need help just ask for it. I feel like we sometimes forget that every teacher was there at some point and we shouldn't be ashamed to ask for some tips throughout our first year. They can be of great help and resource. Some teachers may have certain worksheets or activities that are captivating and beneficial; you can then ask them for a copy because you like it so much and want your students to get that experience. We need to hope for the best and be prepared for the worst. That is true in any classroom, whether it be inclusion, special ed, or general ed. There is always something that can go wrong and trigger mass chaos. I loved how he mentioned that we should talk to the parents before hand and that was something we had talked about in class. This gives the parents a sense of comfort knowing that you care for their child's needs and it is a good way to get better insight on your future student then from just a piece of paper. Also, spending a lot of your own money in the classroom is something I've witnessed first hand. Pretty much all of the women in my family are teachers and I've seen all the little things they have added to their classrooms to make it a fun environment and with all the amount of extra supplies. We should never ever give up. The first few years in my opinion are going to be a challenge especially the first year. Nothing in life is easy. Teaching, in my opinion, is one of the most rewarding jobs out there; going home, knowing that you had a positive influence on one of your students or made them love something they never thought would be fun has to be one of the best feelings. It is definitely not for everyone. One of my family friends that works in a school just told me that one of their science teachers quit the first week of school. She was special ed. certified and when they asked her to take on more of a role with the special ed. department, she said she couldn't handle it and just left. You have to love what you do when wanting to be a teacher and know that when you get into certain things it may be challenging but the reward in the end is fabulous.
9/19/2013 07:47:00 am
I enjoyed this article because it gave advice for things that are not typically taught to people who are going to be special education teachers. It bought learning about teaching down to a personal level. I always heard how being a special education teacher could be taxing, especially if one does not go into it with a positive and open mind. 50 Percent of special education teachers drop out within 5 years? That right there shows that many people who go into this field are not prepared well enough and they are not taught the correct techniques that would help them help their students succeed. A list like this works not only for a teacher who is teaching special education students but for any first year teacher.
9/20/2013 02:55:37 am
I related to this article immediately because my biggest fear is that I will get into my classroom and have absolutely no idea what I am doing. I fear all those faces staring at me to tell them what to do and I am just blank and don't know where to start. It isn't easy to be the one in control of a bunch of teenagers, but I think being a teacher is one of the most rewarding jobs out there. As the article said, you definitely need a lot of patience and shouldn't be afraid to ask for help if you need it--especially the first year. I know it isn't going to be easy, but after doing anything day after day you get used to it and better at it. I can only hope that I will be perceived as a great teacher one day because there really are some terrible teachers out there (I know because I've had some of them!) I am studying to become an English teacher, not a special education teacher, but that doesn't mean I wont encounter kids with special needs. This list is helpful for any type of teacher. I have heard how difficult it can be to be a teacher sometimes, but you just have to pull through and definitely can't quit when the going gets tough.
9/20/2013 03:54:52 am
During our first year of teacher there are going to be many things which we are unprepared for. To be a teacher one most be patiencent. We should try to gain out students intersest and make learning fun. The other teachers in the school are there and if we need help we should go to someone and ask for help, because they are the best resources. When I went to Molloy college, the talk about joining professional organization, I feel that all teacher should join. I feel that any postvite way of getting help is a good way, if it helps the students.
9/20/2013 06:22:11 am
The author of this blog inspired me. I thought it was great that this man did not give up on his students with special needs. Surprisingly he went to teachers for help and got a positive response from them. They were actually the ones that backed him up. Even having to pay for his own supplies to improve his teaching towards these students is breath taking especially because teachers will just make do with what they have whether its beneficial to students or not.
9/20/2013 06:22:16 am
I very much enjoyed these tips. As a new teacher, many teachers forget that they were once in our shoes and are reluctant in sharing any tips on what we should expect for our first day. I am hoping to have an extension in Special Education and believe these tips will help.
10/4/2013 12:22:03 am
It's okay not to know exactly what you're doing! Those words are humble and refreshing. I want to be a teacher, but I am afraid that when I step in front of a class I'll be completely lost. It's comforting just to know other people have the same fear. It is something we don't address in our education classes or at our student teaching positions. Everyone is trying to be courageous, but I think everyone has the same fear. Education classes teach us grand and admirable theories on how to be a successful teacher, but you are always faced with the question, can I apply this when it counts? In a lot of ways learning to teach at school is like learning to swim on dry land, it's helpful but when you hit the water it's a whole new game. I hope I can handle it.
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Whittney Smith, Ed.D.
Dr. Smith is the Principal of Mineola High School in Garden City Park, NY. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Ruth Ammon School of Education at Adelphi University.