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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Introduce Yourself

Introduce Yourself

Related Tags: Special Education
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Its nice to see so many new people arriving here. Please take a few moments to tell us about yourself, especially about your interests beyond the classroom.

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Jeanne's picture
10th Grade Self -Contained Special Educator from New York

Thanks for the info, LPS...I'll check it out to see if they have distance learning, since I am in NY.

Mr. Dodger's picture
Mr. Dodger
SDC Science in Los Angeles

I've been teaching Special Ed at the Middle School level for 14 years, after a two-year stint in Elementary. I just finished my first assignment as a Master Teacher - hosting a "Novice" Teacher in my room for six weeks. (She did great, btw).
It's great to see such a mixture here; veterans with sage advice, enthusiastic teachers still looking for some answers, even administrators trying to find a better understanding of what really goes on in the classroom.

Marys's picture

Hi! I've been teaching Special Ed at the high school level for 26 years. I was actually the first special ed teacher hired for the high school at this district. I began with a total of 8 students for the day. They would stay at the high school for about 2 years, get some vocational training and then drop out. We worked hard over the years to make school more meaningful for them. Translation: we were able to get the students working toward high school credits and earning thier local diplomas. Once they realized they could graduate with a diploma, the kids stayed! My class is now a 15:1:1 self contained class. I work with another self-contained classroom teacher and together we make sure the students are working toward graduation. Some leave with an IEP diploma, some with a local diploma. Some develop their basic skills enough to get back into the mainstream classes and I never see them again. Feel free to make comments. I'm proud of Special ed teachers and what they accomplish daily!

American Joe's picture

I am Joe Kerley and I wish you a good afternoon from Anchorage Alaska where I teach Life Science, Physical Science and Study Skills in a local High School. I turned to teaching after retiring from the US Navy. I spent 26 years with Navy, 14 as an enlisted man and 12 as a Commissioned Officer. I am looking forward to sharing experiences and ideas with you all.

Lorraine Cissner's picture

Hi! I'm Lorraine. I've been a special education teacher for 16 years. How time flies! I have a wonderful preschool that I'm a part of. In our classroom, there is a general education teacher, myself, a general education assistant, and a special education assistant. There are approximately 15 general education preschoolers and 7 or 8 special education preschoolers. We have two sessions (same numbers of kids) per day, Monday through Thursday. Friday's are for planning and paperwork. This has been my favorite assignment so far. Unfortunately, it is one of the programs that the district is considering closing due to the massive budget cuts.

Todd Lotz's picture

Hey Joe,
I am Todd Lotz, I live in Wisconsin, smaller city on Lake MI. I teach Junior High Special Ed (Cognitive Disabilities & Autism). I also was in the Navy 10 years active and 12 years active reserve. I retired 2002 as a Chief HM. Loved every minute of my career and still miss it.
Those experiences were great, and have helped me to manage some of the the politics in education. Hope to hear from you again.

Kelly Muthersbaugh's picture

Hi all! I'm in Nebraska's capital city and have been in the field for 7 years, having worked with a variety students with a variety of needs. My current caseload is 18 2nd through 4th graders, with an unbelievable amount of autism identifications. In fact, of the 18 I serve, 8 are autistic. All varying degrees. My school seems to be a magnet for autistic kids. Am wondering if any of you are experiencing a huge growth in this identification? As much as I love my job, the amount of time spent programming for these kids leaves me little time for "true" teaching, at least the kind of teaching I went to school to do. I love my kids, but am beginning to see the edges starting to fray on my sanity! Anyone else in that boat too?

Lori M's picture
Lori M
Special Educator/Educational Technologist in Nevada

[quote]jeanne, Northern AZ Univ has a MA in Assistive Tech. Susan Marks is the Professor I know works with the program.[/quote]

Jeanne-I took the Master's in Educational Technology route to get into Assistive Technology. A school that is closer to where you live that also offers a Master's in Assistive Technology is Simmons College in Boston. I'm not aware of any programs in New York, and I'm not aware of any online programs. You will definitely find more options for programs in Educational Technology than Assistive Technology. Know that your experience in Special Education, plus any schooling you get in Educational Technology, will make for an excellent combination in the field of Assistive Technology. Hope this helps. -Lori

Lori M's picture
Lori M
Special Educator/Educational Technologist in Nevada

Hello, everyone! My name is Lori, and I work in the field of Assistive Technology in Nevada. I have been in the field of Special Education now for 15 years. I have an MAT in Educational Technology and a BA in Special Education. I am planning to start work within the next couple of years on a PhD in Educational Psychology with an emphasis on Educational Technology.

In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, reading, and walking. I also enjoy working the occasional crossword puzzle. I try to stay away from the glow of the computer screen during my spare time because so much of my time at work is spent on the computer.

Julie Schrag's picture

I am happy to find this group today, as I am near tears in frustration, considering leaving my position.

I have been teaching on and off for nearly 30 years, currently in my position for the last 9. I teach in Wa state and I am indentifying with Kelly from Oregon, who posted about her sanity. I am a behavior specialist originally, and decided to create a nested classroom for the autism students in our school. Depending on the year I have between 8 and 10 students in that "classroom" where I do have the equivilant of one full time para educator, with varying hours of other support. I provide inclusion opportunities whenever possible. The program has been a success.

At the same time, I am the behavior specialist for the school... of 900, with 12 to 15 other students on the above caseload with IEP's. I also provide consult to the staff of that school and attend the TAT and MDT meetings each week.

I love my work and my students, but it is just too much. My school supports me as best as they can but the district will not/cannot provide anymore FTE. I just don't think I can to it anymore and I am at a crossroads. I keep trying to think out of the box but feel completely tapped out. As I read the posts here and the caseloads it is validating that I am in over my head. If anyone has other ideas or thoughts, I would be more than happy to read!!!!
Have a good Monday too!!!

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