In December I completed the required student teaching hours for the Post-Baccalaureate degree in Special Education (severe disabilities and autism) that I’m nearly done with now. The plan was to go back to working as a skills trainer until this summer when I’d have my certification and could apply for teaching positions. In a very surprising turn of events my supervisor for the skills training position recommended me for a teaching position at a middle school that had just become open and the school urgently needed to fill it.
So here I am, a newly hired teacher! Having just completed the first week back, I feel great. There is more than a lot of work to do, but because I’ve never done any of this before it feels so exciting to be planning lessons and grading assignments.
The position is for eighth grade Special Education. It is a resource position, which means my students spend part of their day in my class for certain subjects, depending on their limitations, and part of the day in the general education setting. So I’m currently in the process of coming up with the curriculum for an English class, a math class, and a reading class.
This setting is very different than what I’m used to as the kids I’ve worked with in the past have had severe disabilities and these eighth graders have mild to moderate disabilities. One student in particular suffers from such obvious shame over being in Special Ed, however his skills are the lowest in my class. How can I best help this kid that doesn’t want anyone to know, even his teachers, just how little he understands?