Top Ten Reasons to Work with Children who have Exceptionalities

If you are thinking about taking on a role of working with students with exceptionalities than this is the blog for you! Below are my top ten reasons why every teacher should consider working with students with developmental disabilities at some point in their career:

  1. The laughter never stops! I have never laughed so much as I have this year. My students say the funniest things and have the best sense of humour. They are continuously trying to make me laugh! They are motivated by my positive responses and are always trying to get me to crack up.
  2. Teamwork!! Teaching is such an isolated profession for the most part. You go to your classroom and spend all day with your students. No one else interacts with them as much you do and you have to make all the decisions alone. The only teaching job when you are not by yourself is when you have students who have additional support. Working with my ERFs this year has been awesome. It has been great to discuss things together and get input from another person’s perspective. It also has meant that I didn’t have to be everything to all my students at all times.
  3. Constant learning. Every day that I learn some new strategy or technique for helping my students be successful, I know that I am gaining skills to serve students that I will be teaching over the next 18 years. Taking this job has allowed me to focus on developing skills that are very specialized and take a lot of time to develop.
  4. Meaningful Work-In this role I am serving the part of the student population that is really vulnerable. I feel rewarded every day with every gain that my students make and every milestone that they cross. After 15 years of teaching this role has had some of the greatest rewards!!
  5. The families- The families that I serve are nothing short of awesome!! Due to the fact that my class is smaller and my students have a hard time communicating, I speak to my families multiple times in a week. I care about them deeply and it is the closest I have ever been with my student’s families before.
  6. Community- Since my class spends 3 years together, there is a really closeness that develops. We are like a family. They are a bonded little group and really enjoy the company of each other.
  7. Connections with my students are really meaningful- There is a very special relationship that develops when you don’t use words to communicate. You are really tuned in to how they are feeling and you can respond so much more emotionally when there are no words. It is a very deep connection.
  8. WOW moments!!!!!! When a student speaks to someone in the school for the first time or feels confident to walk around the school after a year of trying, it is the best feeling in the world!!
  9. Every day is different. For those of you like me that need constant change,  this is the job for you. Every day is completely different than the day before.
  10. Finally, just like I said at the beginning, the laughter never stops!

 

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The Author

Tammy Axt

I am a teacher of students with special needs in the Peel District School Board. This is my first year in the role and I am in the middle of a steep learning curve! I am loving every minute of this new experience with my amazing and cool students.

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