Meaningful Teaching in Special Education
People have to choose which direction they want to take their life in, whether it is to become a professional athlete or a professional educator. Regardless of what choice is made, a commitment has to be made to strive to do the best of their ability. Many have made the choice to become a special education educator. Special education educators are people who work with children and youth who have a variety of disabilities. The various types of disabilities include specific learning disabilities, speech or language impairments, mental retardation, emotional disturbances, multiple disabilities, hearing impairments, orthopedic impairments, visual impairments, autism, combined deafness and blindness, traumatic brain injury, and other health impairments (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-09 Edition, Teachers—Special Education, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos070.htm (visited March 23, 2009)).
There are two different types of special education classrooms: inclusive- which special education students are mainstreamed with the general education population and self-contained- which contains only special education students. There seems to be a common factor when it comes to becoming a special education educator, love. You not only need to love your job, but love who you work with, the children. When I interviewed Marcia Rector, self-contained special education educator for Sacaton Elementary School, she described the love she has for her students. She stated, “when I see the smile on their face when they finally achieve their goal, which can be as simple as tying their shoes, that is the reason why I am anxious to come to work every single day.” She has taught special education for over twenty years. She has had her share of challenges but no matter how hard it may seem, seeing the look on the students face when they finally achieve their goal is...
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