2 answers

As a high school student what are some ways that I can get myself ready to teach a classroom of special needs students?

Asked Omaha, Nebraska

I am asking since once I get my master's in special education k through 12. I plan to teach them. I want to know if there are any steps I can take to get myself ready. #special-education #special-needs #career-development #career-choice

2 answers

Ken’s Answer

Updated Cleveland, Ohio

Congratulations on being interested in such an important area. There are some very important steps to take to prepare for such an important area. From my years in Human Resources and College Recruiting, I have developed the following steps, which will help greatly.

Ken recommends the following next steps:

  • The first step is to take an interest and aptitude test and have it interpreted by your school counselor to see if you share the personality traits necessary to enter the field. You might want to do this again upon entry into college, as the interpretation might differ slightly due to the course offering of the school. However, do not wait until entering college, as the information from the test will help to determine the courses that you take in high school. Too many students, due to poor planning, end up paying for courses in college which they could have taken for free in high school.
  • Next, when you have the results of the testing, talk to the person who tracks and works with graduates at your high school and the college which you might consider to arrange to talk to, visit, and possibly shadow graduates doing what you think that you might want to do, so that you can get know what they are doing and how they got there. When I was doing college recruiting, I encountered too many students who skipped this step and ended up in careers/jobs for which they were ill suited. Here are some tips: ## http://www.wikihow.com/Network ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-questions-to-ask-your-network-besides-can-you-get-me-a-job?ref=carousel-slide-1 ##
  • Locate and attend meetings of professional associations to which people who are doing what you think that you want to do belong, so that you can get their advice. These associations may offer or know of intern, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. These associations are the means whereby the professionals keep abreast of their career area following college and advance in their career. Here are some tips: ## https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/find-professional-associations.aspx?&frd=true ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-navigating-your-first-networking-event ##
  • It is very important to express your appreciation to those who help you along the way to be able to continue to receive helpful information and to create important networking contacts along the way. Here are some good tips: ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-informational-interview-thank-you-note-smart-people-know-to-send?ref=recently-published-2 ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-tips-for-writing-a-thank-you-note-thatll-make-you-look-like-the-best-candidate-alive?bsft_eid=7e230cba-a92f-4ec7-8ca3-2f50c8fc9c3c&bsft_pid=d08b95c2-bc8f-4eae-8618-d0826841a284&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_20171020&utm_source=blueshift&utm_content=daily_20171020&bsft_clkid=edfe52ae-9e40-4d90-8e6a-e0bb76116570&bsft_uid=54658fa1-0090-41fd-b88c-20a86c513a6c&bsft_mid=214115cb-cca2-4aec-aa86-92a31d371185&bsft_pp=2 ##

Amy’s Answer

Updated

I have substituted in special needs classrooms before and I would say this is an excellent way to determine if this is a good fit and how well you interact with the students.  Every high school, middle school, and elementary school normally has some sort of special needs programs you can ask to observe and help.  I think you will find that the teachers will welcome the help and your interest.  The teachers are also very informative about the environment, challenges, and the amazing experience you will have!