Friday, January 21, 2011

Special Needs Teachers

I think being a teacher is a pretty hard job. And it doesn't pay enough. The thing about teachers is, most of them - especially the great ones - really just love teaching, being with the children, and their job. I certainly don't think I would have the patience to deal with 20 plus children day in and day out, bring work home, and deal with parents. So, my hats off to the teachers out there. 

If being a teacher isn't a challenging enough job, just imagine what it must be like to be the teacher of a child with special needs. I think about Noah's teachers. He's been blessed to have some really good ones over the years. But gosh, what patience they must have. They have to have tons of patience and love to do what they do day in and day out. 

Let's just talk about dealing with Noah. He doesn't communicate verbally and while he does know some sign, it's very modified sign but each new teacher he has ( he doesn't get a new one every single year like typical kids do, it just depends) has to learn his signs. He hits or scratches when he is upset so every teacher he has gets some battle wounds. Sometimes he doesn't like doing his "schoolwork" so his teachers have to get creative and innovative to get him to accomplish his tasks. And Noah's not the only student. Each one of them has different skills, different needs, different ways to communicate, and different levels of mobility. Yes, sounds like a challenging job indeed! 

Recently, a crafty blogger I follow, Michelle from Someday Crafts, guest posted at another blog, Under my Umbrella. Michelle is a special needs teacher and shared her thoughts about what it is truly like to be a special needs teacher. I most especially loved her advice to parents. Her advice is too lengthy for me to copy/paste all of it, so just head over and read it but I love this little piece of advice she shared:

"Most teachers don't expect to hear "thank you" but it sure helps them feel appreciated and like they are making a difference. I still remember a couple of parents telling me that I was the only teacher that tried to teach their children to read using decoding (not just sight words.) They thanked me for the difference and improvement I was making in their child's life." 

That's just a reminder to me that I need to say "thank you" to Noah's teacher a little more often because teaching really is a hard job but one they are doing an amazing job at and clearly love. 


  1. One of my friends teaches a special needs class at a local high school. She gets endlessly frustrated that the administration doesn't let her do her job. She spends all kinds of hours outside the classroom prepping for her days. But she LOVES her job. That's what makes a great teacher - when they love their job. Sounds like Noah's had some good ones over the years...and I'm sure they'd appreciate a thank you! :-)

  2. Your son sounds like someone I would love! A little of a challenge that pulls me in and makes me love him more and more! Thanks for recognizing the hard work of SPED teachers.