Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Yes I AM a "real" teacher, thanks for asking...

Here's a particular pet peeve of mine, people who think that because I'm a Special Ed teacher I'm not really a teacher. Do you know how condescending that is? Ask any special ed teacher you know and I guarantee that they've heard the same thing. I wonder who exactly people consider "real" teachers? Having taught both regular, and special ed I've seen both sides of the story. When I was a regular ed teacher I had lessons to plan, discipline to keep, parents to conference with, data to gather, standards to meet, and students to teach. As a special education teacher I have to do all of those things plus write IEPs, modify lessons and materials, hold IEP meetings, help regular ed teachers make accommodations and modifications, oh yeah and try and TEACH a kid with a disability. Sure I may have less kids in my class, but that certainly doesn't equal less work!

Here's the big difference...my kids have a disability (have I mentioned that already?). I have students who are reading on a 2nd grade reading level. I have students who can't add (even with a calculator). I am expected to teach these kids how to cope with their disabilities, how to read, to write, to do math, how to function in the classroom. Oh yeah, and I'm supposed to teach them the same exact standards that everyone else teaches. Plus (and here's the real kicker), at the end of the year my kids have to pass the same standardized test as every other kid.

So, people of the world, I'm not sure what you consider a "real" teacher...but let me assure you that anyone with the word teacher as a job title is, indeed, a REAL teacher.

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