Like any other job, there are good days and bad days. The good days, however, make this job worthwhile. Being able to see a student excel or learn how to use a better method to express themselves is priceless. When working with students with behavioral issues, any small progress or understanding can be rewarding.
This job is not for everyone. Each day is a challenge and displays great work ethic that others will appreciate. You will learn to have patience beyond belief and push your own boundaries each day. You will learn what works and doesn’t work for your students, as well as triggers. It is important to invest yourself while you’re there so you can learn ways to improve your teaching and behavioral management skills each day.
It’s certainly normal to feel frustration, and it may happen quite often. This means getting used to repeating yourself and truly understanding what it’s like to work with kids who have both learning disabilities and behavioral issues. Long weekends and vacations usually mean a student reverting back to old habits and having a hard time adjusting back to a controlled environment. Keep this in mind and remember it’s okay to go home with a heavy heart some days.
Working hand in hand with a social worker and Department of Children and Families (DCF) means having to report anything a student may share with you. These students are open about the hardships they experience at home resulting in a more challenging aspect to it all when you must make a report.
Being a special education teacher is not easy. Sometimes the students listen and love you…other times they are running out the classroom refusing to work, and you are chasing after them. Keep a leveled head and remember that you are making a difference. Each child is in this learning space because some public school somewhere gave up on them. We will not give up on them.
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