I have been a Special Education Para-Educator for eleven years now. My decision to do this was based on the needs of my family and kids. When my last child was born, the doctors did not think that he would make it. He had a heart malfunction and was born with RSV and Von Villibrantds disease (which I did not find out until he was three); those factors lead me to want to work with special education kids, knowing that I could make a difference.
When I was twenty three I went to college to get my science degree, thinking that was all that I would need before I could go for my Bachelor in teaching. I was wrong. I am now going back to school, for my second half of the degree, which is my arts, and then I can go for my BA.
I have worked with many teachers in this line of work and have watched how they interact with the kids. I have worked with all kinds of kids with special needs, ranging from reading disabilities to severe mental retardation. Some of the teachers that I have worked with, I have not approved of their tactics on how they handled the kids, but you learn and you adapt. Eventually you will know what is right and what is wrong.
I started working for the school district and really enjoyed working with the kids, but they were only mild special education, kids who had reading problems or language barriers, some with more severe problems. I knew that I wanted something more challenging.
I realize that it will take me a few years since I will only be able to go part time as I will still be working as a Para educator, but that is fine by me. I enjoy being a Para educator and working with the students that I am with. Right now, I work with students that are classified as "Developmentally Delayed Behavioral Disorder" (DD/BD). These students have severe problems and can be violent when they don't get their way. You can get hurt on the job, these particular kids will...