I am ready to change the world….so I landed a job as a ‘co-teacher’. What is that you wonder? It is a special education teacher who works with teachers in public school to support identified children. Great idea in theory but not so great in practice. This particular district had not prepared or offered any trainings for co-teaching before my start date. The first year was quite the challenge. Many of the teachers did not want another “teacher” in their classroom. Also, the district had me bouncing around from class to class all day. The ideal co-teacher should be assigned to one class ALL day. After all, special ed students do not become typical functioning students when support staff leaves the room. My experiences ranged from teaching side by side ☺to being asked to take “my students” to work in the back room with them 😞 (um-segregation anyone?). Overall, this first teaching job proved to be both challenging and frustrating. I only stayed at this job a few years and then got a job as a Special Ed teacher in my own classroom.
See blog part III.