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Don't forget to look at the how to guide.
Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by pastychucker, Jan 29, 2012.
Look at job description & person specifications.
I teach in a special school. Recently we've had quite a few supply staff who are qualified teachers but who are prepared to come in as a T.A. in order to gain experience and sample what it is like. After a few visits some have returned as supply teachers. Why don't you register with an agency and give it a go?
I recently did exactly as Tryffy said. Although a qualified teacher I was sent by my agency to a special school, initially as an SSA. I gained wonderful experience and then moved on to supply teaching at the same school. As of Monday, following interview etc I am now permanently employed as a teacher. The experience gained as an supply
SSA was invaluable. Give it a try.
I moved from my first year as an NQT in mainstream into MLD special school.
It def depends on the nature of the SEN as this in inself is broad.
It was simply a case of me applying and drawing on mainstream experience with Statemented children in my interview. They are looking for what your character is like as much as any experience you have.
Its great, Id never go back to mainstream.
You do not need any additional qualifications to teach in a special school.
In my experience teachers with an Early Years background or Primary find the transition easier as you really need to understand the importance of early skills (and even then you'll need to go back a few layers!). You need to understand the importance of sensory and physical learning and how to teach and get evidence for learning that isn't about work in books or worksheets - again an Early Years /Primary background helps here. You need to learn to leave your ego at the door - pupils in special schools rarely do what you want because it's what you want them to do - you need to meet the child in the middle and work with what motivates them to get the behaviour you want.
Teaching in special schools is truly personalised learning and is extremely rewarding . You will never get bored as your pupils are always unique individuals and so your practice will always be changing. The relationships you will have with the pupils and their families are amazing compared to mainstream. I moved to an SLD school after 10 years in mainstream - that was 9 years ago - I am now a Deputy in a Special School and would never go back! The only thing I would consider is that once you have been in special schools it would be harder to get back into mainstream and if you want promotion ; there are less schools within a good commuting distance then mainstream - people tend to stay in special schools longer so there may be times when you want to move on but have to wait a bit longer.
Having emphasised the Early Years side of things, ultimately people are either right for Special Education or they just don't get it - my advice would be to volunteer or do supply TA work for a while to really get a feel for it . Good luck !
Thanks to everyone for your replies