Neag School Special Education Program

Neag School Special Education Program

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I’ve never met someone who regretted going into special education. Everyone who’s gained an experience working with a kid with a disability or being in a special education setting has fallen in love with it. So if you’re considering special education, or education at all, go out, gain an experience. Because you are going to fall in love with it. Now more than ever, I think it’s important for educators to acknowledge and affirm diversity, and I think diversity of ability is something that’s often left out of the conversation. Now more than ever, it’s important for us to pay attention and advocate for the needs of students with disabilities. I’ve seen special educators be real leaders in their schools, and I’ve seen the general education teachers look to them for advice on how to best teach their students or how to deal with a behavioral issue. There are so many kids with disabilities who are a part of our education system, and they’re in the general education classrooms, and they need support and they need personalization and differentiation. You are presented with rigorous coursework; you are going into new environments; and you are one hundred percent challenged, 24-7. But you’d think that would be daunting and it is not. I fall in love with the profession more and more every day. That’s something that the faculty within the program and the structures of the program itself really fosters, and I think every Neag student can say that. The faculty here is incredible. They’re all experts in their fields and they want you to do well. On top of that, we have so many opportunities to be in classrooms, even before our full-time student teaching. I’ve been able to see such a wide variety of classrooms, from being at the American School for the Deaf, and working in a high school classroom, to being in an elementary resource room, to being now in a specialized autism program. I just finished up a semester at Natchaug elementary school in Windham public schools and that was a fantastic experience, and seeing boots on the ground teachers do what they do I think is really important. I feel so prepared and so amazingly supported by everybody in this program. I’ve never felt unsure. I always felt like I had a plan and I felt like that plan has really equipped me to enter a career in education. performance

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