He was okay, fortunately. But not everyone in that classroom is going to get a happy ending ...
This Job Can Give You Emotional Trauma
Between the grueling schedule and the occasional brush with death, our source has been put through the wringer. Unfortunately, this does result in a high number of casualties. With an estimated 75 percent turnover rate within the first ten years of teaching special education, and a national shortage of teachers across the board, school districts are scrambling to fill empty slots.
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"Next question: In addition to teaching, how comfortable are you with administering
emergency seizure care for no extra pay?"
It's not just that these kids require nonstop attention every second of the work day; it's that no matter how dedicated you are, sometimes you can only do so much to help:
"One aspect that is very depressing about my job is working with students who have regressive conditions, because you are fighting a losing battle against a disease, and instead of trying to teach new skills, you are fighting tooth and nail to hold onto skills the kids have. We are required to have annual goals for the students, but every year, the student is doing worse and worse, and there's nothing anyone can do. At that point, you aren't even sure you are making a difference, and it's so hard to see the student struggle to do things that they once found easy, like saying hello or feeding themselves. All you can do at that point is give the student the best experiences possible and love them to pieces, but of course admin doesn't understand, and expects to see data that shows growth, or you could be labeled an ineffective teacher because your students aren't showing growth on standardized tests."
Too bad "Felt like an actual human being, not an object of pity" doesn't appear on many tests.
And if you do manage to soldier through the pain of watching a child deteriorate, you might be unlucky enough to suffer the ultimate loss ...
"I will have the same students for at least four years, if not five or six. I definitely have a close bond with them. When you are working with kids with severe disabilities, there is always that medical component -- that fear that one day, you'll get the news that a student has died or is in the hospital. Especially on days with bad seizures, they will creep into my dreams all night long. But then there are awesome dreams where the student is doing something they can't do now, like running or talking or playing soccer. And it's nice to see them in that capacity, even if it is only a dream."
For more insider perspectives, check out 6 Realities Of Life As The Parent Of An Autistic Child and 5 Shocking Realities Of Working With Disturbed Children.
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