She became a Special Education ( SPED ) teacher by chance. Wanting to raise her family far from the hustle and bustle of the city, Teacher FAM planned on moving to a new school in the province. The school that took her in had a spot for a Special Education teacher due to increased enrolment of kids with special needs. Without hesitation, she accepted the offer and took the challenge of teaching kids with special needs.
Pretty soon, she delved on scholarship training to become certified as a SPED teacher .
For the past five years, she felt that teaching kids with special needs is her calling. Definitely, she took the chance, and loving it.
Teacher FAM maybe new in this special field, even in the teaching profession in general, having served for eight years only, but deep inside, her heart tells her that this is for her and probably for keeps.
What a nice revelation!
What group of special kids are you handling?
“I teach kids with emotional and behavioural disorder, as well as those with intellectual and learning disability and Down syndrome.”
Why did you become a SPED teacher?
“I did not plan on becoming a Special Education teacher. I just took an offer when I moved to a new school. When I began to deal with my special pupils, I realized my purpose and self-worth.
Gradually, I fell in love with my new pursuit and my passion and love to my pupils grew each day. I became more patient with them and more determined to make a difference in their lives.
I believe GOD gave me this opportunity so I can understand well my niece who is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.”
Can you describe your typical day?
“I teach my pupils, 2 at a time for 3 hours . We usually start our class with a prayer, greets to one another and songs. Before we begin the lesson for the day, I ask simple questions like how they are, what they ate for breakfast and what they did before coming to school.
Then, I let them do the daily living skills like mopping the floor, dusting the desks and tables, watering the plants, washing the glasses and plates and washing some handtowels. Letting them do these household chores will develop in them the values of independence and responsibility.
Our lessons are usually from Monday to Thursday only. On Fridays, they all come together at the same time for play, crafts, zumba class, educational cartoon movies and sometimes, they cook a full meal for themselves, which includes simple dishes like rice, egg and meatloaf.”
How do you face struggles and challenges in teaching special kids?
“Thinking of strategies to motivate the kids to learn the lessons and remember them is a big challenge for me. Many times, I feel it’s a struggle for me to see that because of the kids’ intellectual disabilities, they find it hard to retain what I teach them, thus they forget the lessons easily, so I have to look on their capabilities and conceptualize the proper approach for them to respond positively.
I always have to be patient and repeat the lessons all over again. I believe constant repetition do improve their learning abilities..
Practice makes perfect, so the saying goes.”
Any strategies in handling a very difficult child?
“This is not an issue for me because I love what I’m doing. I learned in my training how to handle these kids and through the years I have developed passion and devotion to my career.
It makes me feel fulfilled and rewarded to realize that I’m making a big difference in the lives of these children with special needs. It may take long for them to acquire knowledge, but with patience and perseverance, they will eventually learn something and I feel great knowing that I did my best in motivating them to improve their intellectual disabilities.”
How do you involve the parents in teaching their children?
” Involving parents and guardians in teaching their kids is very important. They play a big role in implementing home instructions . I encourage them to observe their kids at home if they follow my suggestions because this gauges improvement of their children.
My pupils have a journal where I write down my observations, recommendations and home instructions. I emphasize to the parents that teaching their children is a collaborative effort. They have to read the journals for them to see what assignments their kids need to submit and they should assist them.”
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How do you feel at the end of a school day?
” I feel great and happy because I know that everyday I impart knowledge to my special kids to prepare them to become productive members of society.
There is a sense of fulfillment seeing them become independent. Also, I’m hopeful that by helping them improve their academic skills, I am preparing them to be mainstreamed in regular school to graduate someday.”
Any advise/s to those who want to pursue a career as a Special Education teacher?
“ Teaching Special Education is not an easy job. It takes a lot of effort and patience to understand children with special needs. You have to always look first at the student’s interest and gain their trust and confidence, so you will get their attention.
It is vital to provide motivation everyday in whatever level of curriculum they are in. No two students are alike. They have their own level of capability when they start with you.
Assess each child thoroughly, so you will discover their unique abilities and needs, and from there, you conceptualize your individual approach for a particular kid .
Most importantly, love them with all your heart and be compassionate.
At the end of the day, you will always feel loved back and it’s very heartwarming. Then you can say, this is really my calling.”
Teaching kids with special needs is indeed a calling!
There you go, even if we don’t plan on our careers, we can always be the best on any endeavor as long as we learn to embrace the opportunities presented to us.
Teacher FAM maybe a new mentor in the field of teaching kids with special needs, but because she has been open to the challenges that she faces everyday, she has learned to LOVE her demanding career.
We salute you teacher FAM for wholeheartedly accepting the challenge.
May your tribe increase!
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Do you know an awesome Special Education teacher? Please share us his/her story. We would love to hear from you.
If you are a SPED teacher, thank you for all the work that you do. Please connect with us so we can let our readers know about how passionate you are with your craft.
Please post your comments below.
Originally published: May 15, 2018 Updated: May 18, 2020
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19 thoughts on “Teaching Kids With Special Needs ( Took the Chance and Loving It! )”
Hey FAM, I must say you are an angel sent by God to put joy on the faces of children with special needs.
If most teachers in the world have your kind of heart and mindset, the educational system will be a better place for kids.
Teaching kids with special needs is an avenue to fight against depression, inferiority complex, low self-esteem and giving them that feeling of belonging and loved by others.
i fully agree, teacher Fam has the kindest heart to teach the special kids. And yes, her dedication needs to be emulated by all teachers.
Thanks for reading.
Thanks for sharing this information with us, I was actually doing some research online when I saw your article.
I was really sad, and reading this article left me speechless. I couldn’t think but wonder how the teachers are doing there.
I want to thank them, I know it isn’t easy to take care of those kids that are facing difficulties.
Thanks for your concern and appreciation for our Special Education teachers, like Fam. They have struggles in this job, but with their passion comes fulfillment.
Sometimes we don’t know our calling but it just dawns on us one day what it really is. And it makes us fulfilled beyond what we expect ‐ like teacher Fam.
I wish you both all the best in your beautiful journey in helping kids with special needs. The world needs more people like you!
Right, even if we don’t plan on doing what we do, as long as we do our best, like Teacher Fam, we do touch lives ,specifically our children with special needs.
It’s very important that every help we render is with an open heart, because in helping others we might just discover our purpose, thus the saying goes that we rise by lifting others up, such an interesting experience from teacher FAM.
I believe if someone had told her she will find fulfillment in special education, she wouldn’t have believed it, but with an open heart comes fulfillment.
Thanks for sharing.
Very well said.
Thanks for the nice comments.
What a beautiful calling to work with special needs children and help to educate them to reach their fullest potential and live their best life.
I have a good friend who works in this field and she is passionately dedicated to her work and her students. I was not surprised at all when she went above and beyond to help her students to continue with their progress when schools were physically closed down.
Thank you for sharing this story!
Truly a SPED teacher is one who really goes all out to mold her students to be the best that they can be, just like teacher Fam and your friend.
Passionate people like you are needed in this world.
I am a principal of a private elementary and secondary school, and I always tell my teachers that we need to have the heart of the teacher in the right place.
You do have your heart in the right place and are making a difference in other people’s lives, but not only that, you are changing a community by your actions.
I admire that! Although I have never worked directly with children with special needs, I have had many students that had other needs that had to be covered. And being able to help them and see a change in either their behavior, learning, etc., makes my day!
Wish you all the best in your endeavors,
Thanks for your nice words about Teacher Fam- she really is a passionate and dedicated Special Education teacher.
I will pass on your kind words to her.
Glad that you appreciate her craft, in the eyes of a school head.
I truly relate.
It is very touching when it comes with children with special needs. I know because my sister had angel men syndrome, epilepsy and autism. She truly did not retrieve anything. It was so heartbreaking. Everything is possible in Christ who gives us strength to press on day by day.
I always say children with special needs are angels in our midst. They bring extra joy in our families. It maybe very challenging to take care of them, but their presence in our lives bring more meaning.
And yes, we have to hold on to Jesus for continuous guidance and support.
How old is your sister now? God bless her and your family.
Thanks for reading.
Sometimes we can get distracted from what are the really important things in life. Helping someone to grow into their full potential, by offering our continued love and support, must truly be one of the best jobs, and feelings, in the world. Congratulations to Fam, you really are doing God’s work.
Loving what you do especially as a Special Education teacher is something that will give us real fulfillment.
Teacher Fam is one of those who are so passionate and dedicated to her calling. Her daily challenges in teaching the special kids and overcoming them really gives her strength to continue to offer love and support to her pupils.
Thanks for the nice comments for her.
It is my great honor to teach the angels of God. Thank you so much!
The article is great; supporting is one of the best things to do, of course as stated in the article .
I have actually been to such a home. The autistic children and the teacher there are doing a great job.
Having to deal with the special children could be tasking and tiring at the same time.
The teachers have to be there anyways.
Thanks for reading my post.
Special education teachers do their jobs really well of taking care and helping children with special needs.
Yes, their jobs are tasking and tiring and they need lots of patience and compassion to be good with it.