Week 2 Portfolio Project
May 12th, 2021
Week 2: Portfolio Project – Research Questions
Rough Draft of the Career Development Research Paper
According to the occupational outlook handbook, there will be more career opportunities in technology, health care, service, and food preparation. The occupational outlook handbook predicts that the career opportunities in these sectors will grow by an 18-20% increase while other sectors, for example, the industry sector, will grow by 4%. The career ladder positions I chose, Special education and school counselor, fall under the service sector. A special education teacher guides and works with children of varying ages with disabilities, whether cognitive, physical, emotional, or learning. On the other hand, a school counselor is an advocate for the student’s well-being in primary and high schools’ level of education, listening to their problems in a concerned, caring, and non-judgmental way (“Special Education Teachers,” 2021). Choosing a career path is an important aspect of life as it determines and shapes their future. Selecting a career in special education and school counseling is based on several factors such as salary, responsibilities, tasks of the job, growth trends of the career, and lifelong career opportunities.
Components of a Special Education Teacher and School Counselor
Teachers with experience in all levels struggle to manage special learners’ classrooms. Therefore, Special education teachers need to develop a workable action plan to guarantee improvement for even the most challenging child. Teachers and parents play a role in the development of an individualized education plan. An individualized education plan is essential in assisting students with learning disabilities in succeeding in their studies. An individualized education plan establishes the starting point of a child’s learning progress, where they will likely be at the end of the year, and the steps to help them achieve their goals. An individualized education plan is an essential skillset in special education as it ensures that each child receives a thorough assessment of whether they are fit for extra school support.
Guidelines on individualized education plan are provided by the individuals with disabilities education act (IDEA) and require that an individualized education plan is specially designed for its main purpose and contains a minimum set of components that give major information about a child and facts of when and how the individualized education plan will commence. The key components of an individualized education plan include a statement of the current skill level of a specific student, their annual goals, tracking of their progress by the teacher, and specification of the special education services as provided by federal law. On the other hand, a school counselors’ task contains components that involve system support, responsive services, individual planning, and guidance on the curriculum. The support system provides guidance and counseling programs to staff and students. Individual planning involves managing and helping students towards their career paths. Responsive services involve addressing every student’s concerns with the aim of intervention and protecting students. Finally, a guidance curriculum is a systematic guide to all students to assist them in developing skills and apply them in their most critical lifelong situations.
Aspects of a Special Education Teacher and School Counselor
The responsibilities of a special education teacher are to teach and mentor children in small groups or at individual levels, transform the children into responsible people both in school and outside world, update the children’s parents on the progress of their children as they move from one grade to another. Additionally, a special education teacher can work outside of a classroom setting and manage other career opportunities, such as an educational diagnostician or an independent consultant. On the other hand, school counselors’ responsibilities involve listening to students’ problems about education, emotions, or social life. School counselors are supposed to act as mediators between the students and the teachers and organize guiding and counseling programs.
Growth trends in the special education career are projected to grow at a 6 percent rate from 2014 to 2024 averagely as other similar careers, while the school counselor career is projected to grow at 8 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average of other professions. A school counselor is paid an annual wage of 58,120 dollars, while a special education teacher job pays an annual wage of 61,030 dollars (“School and Career Counselors and Advisors,” 2021). Having a bachelor’s degree in special education sets an individual apart from other applicants for a teaching job as special education teachers can teach every student. Teachers who have training in special education have an advantage in the job market search over the general teachers as they have advanced training in special education.
Lifelong learning opportunities of a special education teacher offer many chances in life, more so to those with a degree in special education. Special education teachers can be offered chances outside school programs. For example, in the US, there are many programs within the government to deal with people living with disabilities, along with nonprofit organizations devoted to the cause. A special education degree can be a platform for various career opportunities such as case manager, program coordinator, and nonprofit director. On the other hand, a school counselor can also have lifelong opportunities, including having an opportunity to transform the lives of students for the better. Additionally, being a school counselor helps you to understand life and humans from a different perspective. An individual will have the opportunity of accreditation of life-long work experience and recognition in their career.
Knowledge Expertise Required for Success as a Special Education Teacher
Succeeding in a special education career requires one to be equipped with common content knowledge, skills, and expertise. The educator should have the following qualities to deal with all kinds of students, especially the disabled students: one has to possess organizational skills. The class has to be organized to create a conducive environment for the students to learn. Creativity is a skill one must have if one succeeds in a special education career (Maradia, 2021). The students with disabilities have different learning methods; hence, the teacher must create different teaching methods for the students to learn. Additionally, to succeed in this career, an individual must be intuitive. Being intuitive helps one understand the nuisance in a student’s behavior hence understanding and guiding the student to reform.
Special education teachers must have passion and truly love children with disabilities. Having passion in the field enables the individual to impart wisdom and knowledge to students, reflecting well on the teacher, thus help him/her stand out. To increase the content knowledge expertise in the special education field, one must also dredge for knowledge. Knowledge is acquired by signing yourself to classes that offer courses that act as a subsidiary to special education. These courses can include management, food and nutrition, and science behavior psychology. Networking with those who have experience and success in special education is essential in generating ideas, skills, and knowledge from those who have been in the field for a long (Murayama, 2021). One needs to master the assessment skills. Having assessment skills contributes to assessing the strength and weaknesses of the students. Thus, a teacher will use the assessment and observation results to help develop and grow the students both mentally and physically.
I would choose a special education career because it offers a lot of changes in the outside world. Besides the opportunities, it gives you purpose in life because you get to help persons with disability and making them feels productive just like any other person. Being a special education teacher empowers an individual to be an advocate of social justice. Knowledge in special education will stir one to seek solutions in harnessing the constructive influence of diversity among students and the community. The constructive power of diversity is achieved by precisely understanding the association between the needs of students and the shortages in resources.
On the other hand, a school counselor plays a major role in bringing out the best in every child. Children need good guidance to build on their personalities and manage their emotional and personal problems. Effective counseling is essential in incorporating valuable lessons into a child’s life. Counseling activities can also involve career guidance whereby students are advised on choosing courses and more options in their career life. Counseling students on their career paths is important in preparing them in life after school and teach them what to expect in the various career fields they decide to choose.
Maradia, H. (2021). 10 Important Skills of Special Education Teachers. Retrieved from https://www.toppr.com/bytes/10-important-skills-of-special-education-teachers/
Murayama, T. (2021). Pedagogical Content Knowledge in Special Needs Education: A Case Study of an Art Project with the Multiple/Severe Handicapped. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1103138.pdf
School and Career Counselors and Advisors. Occupational Outlook Handbook. (2021). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/school-and-career-counselors.htm.
Special Education Teachers. Career Trend. (2021). Retrieved from https://careertrend.com/special-education -teachers.html#:~:text=Employment%20of%20special%20education%20teachers,teachers%20who%20leave%20the%20occupation.
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