At many of the schools I worked at, Special Ed was always the area where we struggled. One school straight up ignored it, while the other schools had a relationship with Seneca (if you’re in Bay Area education, I’m sure you’ve heard of it. Interesting tidbit: did you know the CEO is on the Alameda Board of Education? Talk about conflict of interest…).
I can’t say anything general about Seneca since some of my friends LOVED their Seneca peeps at their school, and I’ve felt mixed about my personal experience. Anyway, the point is, schools ALWAYS struggle to find special ed teachers so they outsource to places (like Seneca) and end up with subpar results that simply comply with legal regulations but don’t actually help the kid….
AND, now I can see WHY.
I have 3 cleared CA credentials. During my multiple-subject credentialing program, I was told I could just add a single-subject English credential by taking an additional online class and passing the CSETs. So I did. Then later on in my career, I took an additional online class, passed more CSETs and added a Foundational-Level Math credential. Now, taking these classes suck, but they helped me get to where I wanted to be….
To get a Special Ed credential, it seems like what I have to do is not only take those CSETs but ALSO take a full on credentialing course! It’s insane! As a sane adult who no longer has the brain capacity to educate AND take full-on classes, the logical recourse then is just to continue with what I have.
This is so problematic. I don’t think teachers naturally veer towards Special Education because it feels so foreign. I think AFTER teaching for a while, you can start to see the need AND ways that you personally can fill that need. (At least, that’s what happened for me). A lot of the complaints about SPED teachers from gen ed teachers is that they’ve never actually been in the classroom. They’ve worked with small groups so that what they suggest or prescribe to the teacher is not something that a teacher can easily implement. I had the privilege of working with a teacher who used to be a SPED teacher. Watching how she differentiated and helped her kids in an inclusive environment is something I’ll always take with me.
Now, seeing the NEED for SPED teachers, I thought, why not? I’ll add that credential. But NO~! I can’t!
Dear California, I understand the need to properly train and vet our teachers. At the same time, there has to be some way to help teachers reach across and teach in other areas without making them a full-time student again. Also, I’ve TAKEN classes about reading difficulties and the brain and learning.
Anyway, I don’t think I’ll try to go into special ed.