Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Special Education Teacher Jobs - What You Need to Know When Interviewing!

The job of teaching has changed over the years. Teachers have more to do than just teach today. The training for teachers is ongoing throughout their career. This is especially true for special education teachers. Special Ed teachers are teachers, advocates, knowledgeable about various disabilities, experts at creating special education lessons and at writing IEPs (Individual Education Programs). Special education teacher jobs are in high demand because one other thing a special ed teacher needs is dedication to doing everything they can to aid their students in reaching their full potential. If you are looking into a special education career there are some things you need to know in order to make the cut in this field.

You will be asked a number of questions during an interview for a special education teaching position. This means you need to be as familiar as possible with the questions and answers you will be presented with so you can be confident in your answers.

Here are some things you will need to be prepared for in a special ed teaching job interview.

Complete understanding of IEP and CSE: You will need to be sure to be ready to answer questions about IEP and CSE meetings so you can answer with confidence any question that is thrown at you. You must also know about the service and support options in your school district offers.
Show your expertise in special education lessons: Even though all teachers adjust lessons to their students' needs, special ed teachers are required to adapt lessons to suit various disabilities and students. This means you must be an expert at individualize lessons and instruction for each student you teach.
Show your knowledge of disabilities: Since there are so many disabilities that appear in the special educational venue, you need to be familiar with as many as possible during an interview as well as in the classroom. Special education teacher jobs are easier to get if you have the knowledge of disabilities such as speech disorders, autism, emotional disorders, physical and mental handicaps and other disabilities that are categorized in your school district.

Besides the above knowledge requirements, you will also need to know about utilizing your support staff and make sure you mention you work well with your coworkers. When you really want to succeed in getting one of the special teaching jobs in your area, you need to remember to behave as an advocate for special ed children, understand the scope of special education teaching and you absolutely must be willing and able to go beyond the unique needs of the students you will be teaching.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Multiple Intelligences - Educational Success

Howard Gardner's theory of Multiple Intelligences has been grasped by the education community as a wonderful and meaningful way to acknowledge, "We are not all the same, we do not all have the same kind of minds, and education works most effectively for most individuals if... human differences are taken seriously." (Gardner, 1995)

Today's education is riddled with funding issues, dropped music and art classes for economic purposes, and problems with lower test scores. Why aren't new teachers using Howard Gardner's "Multiple Intelligences" as a tool to reach as many students as possible?

The Multiple Intelligences are: Auditory, Kinesthetic, Visual/Spatial, Intraspective, Interspective, Logical/Mathematical and Linguistic. Gardner suggested three more intelligences-Naturalist- Natural Environment, Spiritual/Existential- Religion /Philosophical, Moral- Ethics, Humanity, Value of Life.

These last three "intelligences" are more difficult to assess, but have been recognized in people who have improved the quality of life for others.

Human differences, our uniqueness, offer valuable contributions to society. There is creativity in everyone. Studies have found that after the rigors of raising a family, or after retirement, latent talents have been discovered, and these talents were present throughout life, but not encouraged.

It is up to parents and teachers to provide intelligent environments. Many were educated with teachers and parents who did not encourage cultural diversity, and did not say they could draw a purple tree, or sing an off- beat song. They did not ignite their imaginations, and give them quiet time to process the world's wonder and its' opportunities. No, multiple intelligences was not stressed in the teacher education classes, or spoken in the Pediatrician's office. School systems, so caught up in fiduciary problems, don't even think about getting to the root of education, which is really teaching, tailored toward the child. The IEP's (Individual Educational Plan) rarely include assessing the "talents" of the child and then incorporating that learning style into his curriculum.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

How to Ensure That an Effective IEP Is Developed and Implemented

What frustrates parents the most about dealing with the school in relation to their special needs child?

When parents call me to say that they need help to advocate at a school meeting, it is because their child's educational needs aren't being met at school and they don't know what they can do to change things. When I ask the obvious question; does your child have an Individual Education Plan in place? They say 'Yes, but it is not being followed'. And THAT is what frustrates parents. They've followed the process of requesting an IPRC meeting to identify their child as exceptional and to determine the correct classroom placement, which finally led to the development of the IEP. The IEP is a document...a plan that should guide teachers on the steps to take in order to meet the educational needs of the student. So why is the student still having so much difficulty at school? You can't MAKE a teacher teach a certain way, or provide the modifications and accommodations that are in the IEP. So what is a parent supposed to do?

Perhaps the reason that the IEP is not being followed is that it is too general - it is not specific to the individual student. Perhaps it was processed in isolation as part of a procedure rather than being developed with input from a multidisciplinary team of professionals with each of the student's needs as the focus of the IEP.

I suggest that the parent request an IEP meeting to include all the key players, which is anyone who can provide input and suggest teaching strategies and accommodations to meet the needs of the child. The principal, because ultimately the principal is responsible for ensuring the implementation of the IEP; the classroom teacher and the educational assistant, because they will be the ones providing the teaching and the accommodations that are in the IEP; the special education resource teacher because he or she is the lead person in the development of the IEP; if the child has motor skills difficulties make sure an occupational therapist attends; if the child has language difficulties make sure a speech and language pathologist attends; if the child has behaviour difficulties make sure a behavioural consultant attends, if the child has autism spectrum disorder (ASD) make sure someone from the ASD support team attends, and so on....

At the meeting, the first step will be to clearly define the strength and needs of the student. Then go through the IEP step by step to make sure each need is thoroughly addressed, and that the goals and expectations are specific and measurable. Make sure that any equipment accommodations are readily available and can be provided immediately. Identify who is responsible for what service and how often. And finally, request that all school staff who have dealings with the student, are aware of the accommodations in the IEP.

At the end of the meeting, schedule a follow-up meeting in one month to evaluate what is working in the IEP and what is not working. This is not to evaluate the student per se, but rather the effectiveness of the IEP and whether or not it is being implemented successfully. Make the necessary changes to the IEP, and schedule another follow- up meeting in one month. Do this as many times as is necessary.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Factors Affecting the Academic Performance of Students At Risk With Learning Disabilities

The main purpose of this study was to determine the specific learning disabilities, level of self efficacy, self esteem, multiple intelligences, parent and teacher's involvement of students at risks with learning disabilities and their relationships to academic performance of high school students at risk with learning disabilities in order to design a supportive classroom environment for these children.

This study was based on the theory that academic performance of students at risk with learning disabilities is dependent on the self-efficacy, self-esteem, multiple intelligences and parents and teachers' involvement. The self-efficacy includes general self efficacy and social self efficacy. The multiple intelligences includes the Linguistic Intelligence, Logical-Mathematical Intelligence, Bodily Kinesthetic Intelligence, Musical Intelligence, Interpersonal Intelligence, Intrapersonal Intelligence, Spatial Intelligence, and Nature Intelligence. This study hypothesized that there is significant relationship between self-efficacy, self-esteem, multiple intelligence, parents and teachers' involvement to the academic performance of students at risk with learning disabilities.

The research design was descriptive using cross tabulation technique. The study was conducted at Gingoog City Comprehensive National High School,Division of Gingoog City, Region X. Philippines. The respondents of the study involved the thirty four ( 34 ) students at risk with LD. Five ( 5 ) sets of questionnaires were being administered to gather the needed data such as the Self efficacy Scale, Barksdale Self-esteem Evaluation Index ( SEI), Multiple Intelligence Developmental Assessment ( MIDAS) and Parent Involvement Checklist. Each questionnaire has undergone the test of validity and reliability. The statistical tool used were frequency, percentage, weighted mean and cross tabulation analysis.

It is concluded that most of the second year students at risk with learning disabilities have mild dyslexia, mild dyscalculia and mild dysgraphia. These students have suffered low general self efficacy, low and lack of social self efficacy and all of them have lack of self -esteem. Each of these students possesses different types of intelligences and although the said intelligences are low still, none of them has linguistic and logical intelligences and most of them have average general academic performance. The general self -efficacy and social self efficacy, self esteem, multiple intelligences do not significantly affect the academic performance of the students. However, teachers' support play a major role in the academic performance of LD at risk. While there is a low correlation between parents involvement and general self -efficacy and between parent involvement and multiple intelligences, the kind of parental involvement of the students do not affect the social self efficacy, self esteem, and academic performance of the students.

From this conclusion, the supportive classroom environment intended for students at risks with learning disabilities are consist of the following; knowledge about LD, establishing learning centers like reading centers, writing/ spelling centers, multiple intelligence centers, parent involvement nook, teachers' attitude, academic performance update, remedial reading intervention, accommodations and classroom size. With the right interventions in reading with parents, teachers and administrators' support, these children with LD can succeed in their lives and become worthwhile persons in the community and country as a whole.