Teacher Shortage at Crisis Point in Special Education

Discussion in 'Education' started by SweetSue92, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. SweetSue92
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    SweetSue92 Gold Member

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    The teacher shortage is brutal in Special Education. At present, 49 states report a shortage in Special Ed.

    There are many reasons for this: more students with special needs; fewer college students going into the profession; and a high turnover in the field. From my insider's view--I am NOT a special educator but I do work with special needs students and teachers--the field is much too demanding.

    Here is what I mean.

    1. Working with special needs students is highly rewarding. But federal and state demands and the endless paperwork have made the job administrative as well. So on top of the emotional/mental work of teaching children, add mounds and mounds of (shocker) governmental bureaucracy.

    2. Admin, classroom Teachers and Parents of Special Needs children can be highly demanding.The admin wants his building to be compliant with all laws, etc. The teacher wants the child to follow rules, work with others, etc. And the parents can go from uninvolved to too involved and even litigious.

    3. On top of managing admin, teachers and parents, Special Educators are also often managing their own staff of paraprofessionals. They can be wonderful coworkers--or not, and this too can be stressful.

    4. Special Ed teachers are often physically assaulted at work. This is considered "part of the job". Yes, you understand that your students can't help it. Still, it is not uncommon to hear about Special Ed teachers hospitalized, in surgery, in casts and crutches because of their injuries.

    How long are you going to stay in that job? Is it any wonder the turnover is so high?

    About the Shortage
     
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  2. WillowTree
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    WillowTree Diamond Member

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    My daughter in law teaches special needs children, she gets flak from the parents every day. Admin backs her up because she is an excellent Teacher!
     
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  3. SweetSue92
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    SweetSue92 Gold Member

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    I think Special Ed teachers have some fantastic, very supportive parents and some who are....not. I really wonder about the ones who are not. I mean if their children are being clearly mistreated that's one thing. But if their child's teacher is excellent, what are they thinking? Are they thinking people are just lined up out the door to teach special ed????

    "The customer is always right" has killed so much in our society. People think if you show up somewhere you're entitled to royalty treatment because you're breathing air.

    I'm not saying we shouldn't give our kids a great education--we should. But some parents forget that THEIR children are not the only children in the school.
     
  4. Taz
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    Taz Gold Member

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    Special ed is for retards.
     
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  5. depotoo
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    depotoo Gold Member

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    Unfortunately, not all administrators back up the teacher, when they are right.
     
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  6. BlackSand
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    BlackSand Nobody Supporting Member

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    I am a staunch believer in "the customer is always right" ...
    With the understanding that if they want to buy a Ferrari instead of a Jeep to go mountain climbing ...
    It is the dealer's obligation to help the consumer understand what "special needs" means.

    You cannot have it both ways ...
    As long as we keep trying to treat special needs students in a manner that doesn't appropriately address those needs ...
    Then it is not unreasonable for parents to have unreasonable expectations.

    .
    .
     
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    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
  7. SweetSue92
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    SweetSue92 Gold Member

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    Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

    In my teaching career, beginning in the early 90s, I have seen the pendulum swing somewhat. I started just at the beginning of what used to be called the "mainstreaming" phenomenon, and then that waned a bit, and now we're back into it.

    I have stories. But the stories that bother me the most are now much special education delivery is impacting the education of gen ed students. For example. When a class full of gen ed students have to routinely exit their classroom and walk the building because a special needs student is melting down--AGAIN--and cannot be moved because he can't be touched by law....that is wrong.

    This happens in a lot of places, every day.

    People don't know. Good people do not want special needs children to be neglected and abused, don't get me wrong. But EVERYONE'S rights need to be balanced.
     
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  8. flewism
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    flewism Silver Member

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    My oldest daughter did 4 plus years in college to become a special ed teacher. During the first 2 1/2 months as a student teacher she was attacked three times, once groped and suffered a broken collar bone. It was illegal for her to respond with any force against her attackers. The persons administrating that facility said there was nothing they could do, they wouldn't even re-assign her to a younger class. At 5'3" 120lbs she wasn't cut for that, became scared and quit, became a vet tech, got married and lives happily ever after now.

    Fuck them, If society can't protect people willing to enter that area of the teaching profession they deserve their perceived shortage. Its not like these people get paid exorbitant amounts of money to do it, they have to want to do it.

    If you need more persons in that profession then raise the compensation and people will enter it.
     
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  9. BlackSand
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    At some point it is necessary to understand where direction defeats overall purpose.

    No matter how you feel about the situation ...
    If you intend to go sailing and plan on getting anywhere ...
    You have to either pull the anchor up or cut it loose.

    I am not a teacher, but proctor required statewide computer exams in the school system.
    I am disappointed when I encounter classrooms that are forced to manage situations as a matter of administrative policy ...
    That accomplish nothing more than deteriorating a healthy classroom environment for the students that have done nothing wrong and deserve better.

    .
     
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  10. SweetSue92
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    SweetSue92 Gold Member

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    I am very sorry about your daughter. I "hear" her, I understand where she's coming from and I don't blame her.

    Violence is rampant in the schools and the "dirty little secret" is that a LOT of it, a LOT comes from special needs students. No one wants to say that but there it is, an inconvenient truth.

    We do not tolerate this in society. In any other place the person/s who attacked your daughter would be charged with assault. But for some reason in the schools it is expected that this will happen and the word is, again, "it's part of the job". If you don't like it, quit or leave.

    I once had a chat with a psych nurse about this and she was aghast. She said not in my line of work in the psych hospital. She said they medicate patients if they're that dangerous. Note: I am not advocating for schools to medicate kids. However, violence is so unacceptable at her place of employment that they sedate people who cannot help but be violent.

    But not in schools. Kids are violent and it's a big shrug. So, special ed teachers are just leaving the profession.

    btw, when I was assaulted by a special ed student, my husband made me report it. It blew up into a fairly big deal (not my fault), but my husband was livid. No one wants to see their loved one beat up at work. Even if the student can't really help it.
     

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