Ever since I was in fourth grade, I have enjoyed helping kids and watching them learn new things and grow. The best feeling is helping children with something and watching their faces light up as they discover what they can do all by themselves. While in fourth and fifth grade, I was a part of the buddy program at my school which entailed spending every lunch in the special education classroom at my elementary school. A trait I possess is being sequential and that is useful for the career I want because it will help me with staying organized and grading papers.
I am an analyzer, I like to know what is going on around me and love to know how things work. This is a trait that comes in handy with being an elementary school teacher. Every student is different and I need to be able to take into consideration that each student has a little bit different way of learning and I can help them most by analyzing the situation and adapting to the students differences. Over years, I have found that I have adopted the habit of being proactive in everything I do.
Thave learned to turn negative situations into positive ones by taking something that is having a negative effect on me and looking at the positives. Instead of worrying about all the bad things that could happen in a classroom environment, I would focus on ways to prepare myself for those and have solutions to the problems planned ahead. I would prepare myself by expecting the unexpected. Students aren’t always predictable, I may go into my first day teaching thinking | know what is going to happen but something way different will happen. I will be better off if I expect that things are not going to completely go as I planned.
I can deal with that situation by preparing myself to adapt to change. As I have grown and experienced more, I have learned a lot about myself. I possess a lot of strengths and positive habits that will help me with the career of my choice. Considering the attributes that I possess, I believe I have found two careers that I would succeed most at. Therefore, I will be researching two careers, a social worker and an elementary special education teacher. The career of a social worker begins in the 19th century essentially in the United States and United Kingdom.
After feudalism, the government generated the Poor Law and created a system to provide care to those in poverty because those in poverty were thought of as a threat to the social order. While the Industrial Revolution started an incline in technological and scientific advancements, migrations to urban areas throughout the Western world led to more social problems and then to social activism (“What is the”). This is saying that because poor people were treated different, they had a lot of social problems and needed people to help them.
To obtain this career, a person needs to have a high school diploma or equivalent. High school is very important because it is what moves a person to the next part of their education. High school helps people find out where they are going in the next part of their life and where they want to go to college and further their education. The amount of education required to pursue this career is to have at least a bachelor’s degree in social work, and have a license (“Social Worker”). The nount of education needed is required to understand each client and to be able to give the advice to reach the needs of each client.
Being a social worker requires the daily tasks of “a high degree of social interaction. They work with clients, families, and other social workers” (“Social Worker”). A social worker spends a lot of time communicating with people, so being comfortable with speaking to a lot of people throughout a day is very important in the life of a social worker. Social workers also “interview clients individually, in families, or in groups, to assess their situation and problems and determine the types of services required” (“What Is a”). There will be a lot of ocial interaction going on through the day, so enjoying the presence of other people is a big requirement in the day of a social worker. In a day in the life of social workers, they “provide counsel and therapy to assist clients in developing skills to deal with and resolve their social and personal problems” (“What Is a”). A lot of personal problems are discussed between social workers and their clients. The key to balancing all the information received is not getting too personally involved, but showing sympathy about the information the client shares.
There are many positives and negatives to becoming a social worker. The challenges of being a social worker include how “social work involves helping others and getting involved with people in such a close way can sometimes put you in harm. The risk is real and social workers need to be cautious” (“5 Pros”). No matter what career a person chooses, there will always be risks. Social work comes with big risks. Most people go to or are assigned to a social worker because they have a problem in their lives that they need help solving. That can sometimes mean they did something dangerous and you may be in harm’s way.
Another negative thing about being a social worker is that it “might be labeled by some to be rewarding, but it can also be emotionally draining” (“5 Pros”). A social worker spends most of their day listening to the problems in the lives of their clients, and giving advice to their clients. That can be very emotionally draining because a certain amount of patience and listening skills are required to get through the day. Some days a social worker may have a more difficult client, and they put more effort and time into that one client which can be very exhausting.
Although there are some challenges to being a social worker, there are also many positive parts. A positive perk to being a social worker is that they have the ability to make a difference in a person’s life. There are few jobs where you have the opportunity to help others and make a positive difference. Helping others in need can be a very rewarding job that not everyone gets the opportunity to do. A social worker may not get paid very much, but the work they do on a daily basis can be extremely meaningful and rewarding (“5 Pros”).
Another beneficial element to being a social worker is that there is a lot of flexibility in the workplace, there is a variety of different settings to find employment. Social workers can work in schools, hospitals, clinics, and even some that go inside prisons to work with inmates. The variety of places to work is great because this allows a person to choose an environment to work that is most meaningful to them and that they feel they will help most (“5 Pros”). The story of special education started in the early 20th century. “Parents formed advocacy groups to help bring the educational needs of children with disabilities to the public eye.
These groups gained momentum mid-century. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy created the President’s Panel on Mental Retardation. ” The panel recommended federal aid to states. In 1965, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act was signed, and that provided funding for primary education. This is seen as expanding access to public education for children with disabilities (“The History”). To obtain being a teacher, a person needs to go to college to get a bachelor’s degree in either arts or science and then complete an approved teacher training program.
After that, a person would get a master’s degree in whatever subject they are going to teach, or in elementary education. For special education teachers, they would get their master’s degree in elementary special education. Then, the person would go on to complete a student teacher internship. When someone completes their student teacher internship, the next step would be to take a state licensing exam to get their teaching license (“Special Education”). Being a special education teacher requires the daily tasks of having “a high level of jobrequired social contact.
They work closely with students, parents, and other school staff. ” Also, someone who wants to be a special education teacher should enjoy being indoors and outdoors for playground time and possible field trips (“Special Education”). Jennifer McBride, a special education teacher at Kennedy Elementary school, states, “the best thing to do when becoming a special education teacher is to expect the unexpected because nobody can prepare someone for the real challenges to come of making your own decisions for your classroom. ” Children with special needs require so much more attention to little details than other children.
Their behavior can change so quickly and drastically and nobody warns the teacher of the exact challenges to come. There are many challenges to any job, but especially big challenges when it comes to a special education teacher because the behaviors and drastic differences of each individual child can be extremely challenging to adapt to. A big challenge is the variability of student’s needs. There are so many students with different levels of ability, and different levels of understanding. Multi-aged classrooms are especially difficult because the difference in ability and understanding is especially drastic (Ferry).
Having multiple ages in one classroom can be extremely difficult when it comes to special education because a child who is the age of an average third grader can be at the mental level of a kindergartener. Special education teachers can have a difficult time reminding themselves of those ability levels. A positive perk to being a special education teacher is that “classroom management is much more of a challenge for a special education teacher, but special education work can make them better and more patient teachers and people in general” (“5 Benefits”).
Being a special education teacher takes an incredible amount of patience. Because a special education teacher requires an incredible amount of patience, a teacher can learn and develop new ways of handling situations every day. Another beneficial part of becoming a special education teacher is that there are multiple job openings available. This is probably because most teachers don’t want to teach special education “because of the added difficulty that comes with the behavioral and emotional aspects of the job” (“5 Benefits”). Special education is a very tough class to teach but at the end of he day, a teacher learns to be proud of the littlest accomplishments that the students make because something so little as using their words when they are frustrated can be extremely difficult for a special education teacher. The joy the children get when they accomplish something is so rewarding that it outweighs all the challenges of being a special education teacher.
After all of my research, a special education teacher is most appealing to me because I enjoy hard work that has a rewarding outcome. Both a social worker and a special education teacher re rewarding careers but a special education teacher is where I feel I will make the biggest impact. This career is extremely important in our society because it takes a certain amount of patience for someone to work well with children who have special needs. Also, not very many teachers are willing to teach children with special needs because of how difficult it is compared to other children. I am very caring and sympathetic. I have a great amount of patience that will help me with my career choice of becoming a special education teacher.