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Career Connections: Special Education Teachers

7 minutes

(Describer) Beside four different-size different-color circles connected by lines, title: Career Connections.

(Describer) Title: Special Education Teachers.

My name is Julie Davalla. I am a intervention specialist. My name is Nicole Ward. I'm an intervention specialist at Milford Junior High School. The title of intervention specialist can be a very broad title. I do everything from helping plan lessons with general education teachers to meeting the day-to-day needs of students on individualized education programs or IEPs.

(Describer) In a classroom...

Can someone give me an idiom that we've talked about this week? Which number is bigger, ten or one? Ten. Ten, yeah, good job.

(Describer) Duvalla:

(Davalla) My classroom handles multiple disabilities. What colors can apples be? Red. Or... Yellow. I have four students and four classroom aides, so throughout the day, I have students in my classroom for English, language arts, and math, and some for social studies and science. As a junior high MD teacher, I start getting them ready for a job in the real world. It's a mixture of the academic and transitioning to a job eventually. Perfect.

(Describer) Ward:

Students I work with are in the general education classroom. They're not pulled out. We saw some good ones. Who wants to share one?

(Ward) My students have specific learning disabilities in reading, writing, or math, and so I am in a co-teaching position with several teachers. My role is to take the lessons and the curriculum on the plan and provide differentiated instruction to meet the needs of each student. Sometimes we do that through special grouping or taking a worksheet and turning it into a game or activity, providing assessments for students to make sure they are learning what they're supposed to be learning. From a very early age, I've been exposed to teaching and working with kids. I've always enjoyed that. We need to color how many? I received my undergraduate in special education from Xavier and got my master's degree in special education as well. Advice that I give to someone looking to get into education, and especially special education, would be to immerse yourself in your community. All throughout high school and throughout college, I did lots of different types of service projects, working from anything from the Boys and Girls Club to Habitat for Humanity, Stepping Stones, and things like that. I just think that surrounding yourself with as much experience working with people that are different than you really helps build that understanding and tolerance for other people and accepting other people. Also, within your school, depending on the grade level, seek out opportunities, if you have a free period. "Can I be a mentor or tutor? What extracurricular groups can I help with?" Maybe some sort of leadership roles within the school, working with maybe some administrators, some teachers and peers. There are many hats you juggle as an educator, so look at that side of it. Four, five. Sometimes there is a gap between where the students that don't have special needs, or they're not on an IEP, a gap from where they're achieving and a gap from where students with special needs achieve. The beauty of co-teaching is that I can take the curriculum and lesson plan and tweak it in a way that I can meet all their needs. Students all have been assigned a one-on-one classroom aide. I rely on them heavily to make sure the students are getting the services they need and having the best day they can. That's a huge part, collaborating with them. We have conversations throughout the day. "This is what's going on. This is what we'll do." They do a fantastic job of helping out. Seeing students grow academically is wonderful, from the beginning of the year until now. We're wrapping up the year, and you hear from parents and students, "I didn't think I could do this," or "I'm excited my student has come so far." Those are the things I like about coming to my job. There's no day that's the same as before. I'm an educator with the philosophy that the content is the content. You can teach it as much as you can, but a true educator is an educator of a child. There's more than what's in the books. Ready, go!

(Describer) Some of her students start drawing.

(Ward) I always tell my kids, "I'm here to teach you, but you're also here to teach me." The day I stop wanting to learn is the day I should retire. I believe that there's still so much to learn as an educator, and it's exciting to learn new things and implement them in the classroom and then see students respond to them. It really encourages me, and it keeps my job fresh. No two days are ever the same, and that's what I love about it. It really makes me look forward to coming to work every day.

Funding to purchase and make this educational production

(Describer) Titles: For more information, visit OhioMeansJobs.com. CET, Think TV, Public Media Connect. Copyright 2015. Funding to purchase and make this educational program accessible was provided by the U.S. Department of Education. Contact the Department of Education by telephone at 1-800-USA-LEARN, or online at www.ed.gov.

accessible was provided by the U.S. Department of Education:

PH: 1-800-USA-LEARN (V) or WEB: www.ed.gov.

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Go inside the classrooms of two intervention specialists who have different roles in special education. Watch and see how intervention specialists help all kids learn, and hear how the teachers seek ways to learn from others every day. Part of the "Career Connections" series.

Media Details

Runtime: 7 minutes

Career Connections
Episode 1
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 2
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 3
3 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 4
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 5
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 6
4 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 7
7 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 8
7 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 9
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 10
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12