An Inside Look at the Special Education Profession

Special education professionals work to promote students’ overall behavioral, social and academic growth. Special education professionals aide students in developing socially appropriate behavior within their family, school and community. Teachers of special education help students become more confident in their social interactions. Special education professionals administer activities that build students’ life skills.What Does the Job Entail?Are you interested in helping others? Can you handle and care for people who learn differently and have other behavioral problems? Do you want to make a difference in a young child’s life? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you might consider a career in special education. Below is a breakdown of the short and long-term responsibilities of a special education teacher.First and foremost, special education teachers focus on the development and academic needs of children with disabilities. They encourage learning in disabled students by implementing educational modules and behavioral techniques. Special education teachers work alone or with general education teachers to individualize lessons, develop problem-solving techniques and integrate children into group projects with other students. Furthermore, special education teachers are responsible for ensuring that the needs of disabled children are met during assessment periods.Did you know that special education teachers work with a team of professionals, qualified staff and family in order to fulfill their job requirements? It is true. In fact, special education teachers work in conjunction with these entities to create an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for each student. An IEP is designed in collaboration with a child’s parents, school principal, social worker, speech pathologist and general education teacher to ensure effective implementation. An IEP targets a student’s needs and growth areas for maximum response. The specialized goals set by the IEP are woven throughout all aspects of a child’s daily activities. Teachers of special education must monitor a child’s setbacks and progress and report back to parents and administrators. Planned goals and tasks are outlined for family members to refer to while a student is at home as well.The types of disabilities a special education teacher might encounter are difficult to predict. For one, the qualifications for special education services vary greatly from mild disabilities to extreme cases of mental retardation or autism. Types of disabilities include, but are not limited to, the following: speech impairments, hearing disabilities, emotional disturbances, orthopedic impairments, brain trauma cases, blindness, deafness and learning disabilities.Do You Exhibit These Qualities?Now that you have an idea of the job’s demands, let’s see if you have the right qualities to be a special education teacher.Recognize the symptoms and needs of special needs studentsPatienceAbility to work with one or more parties to achieve short-term and long-term goalsStrong communication skillsAbility to motivate othersAbility to multi-taskKnowledge of the most recent education modules, medical research and behavioral practicesCreativityKnowledge of the latest medical technology relevant to special educationTaking the Next Step toward a New CareerOnce you have decided to enter the field of special education, you will need to follow several steps. Due to the specialization of the field, special education teachers in all 50 states must receive licensure before employment. Licensures are approved by each state’s board of education, and the requirements for certification differ between states. Nevertheless, the growing shortage of special education teachers has led institutions of higher education to offer more special education degree and certification programs. In fact, special education degrees are offered at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels throughout the nation. Not to mention, the booming field of distance learning has made certification more accessible from any location in the United States.In many cases, hopeful special education professionals do not meet the requirements of special education licensure due to their prior completion of degree programs outside of the field of education. Therefore, several states have begun to offer alternate forms of certification. The hope of these programs is to attract new special education professionals and fill the growing need for teachers. The chance to positively impact the lives of special needs children is one of the driving motivations and benefits of entering this field.After several years, some special education teachers look for new opportunities within their field. In the most common situations, special education professionals transfer to administrative or supervisory positions. Others, after receiving a higher degree, become college professors and educate new students in the field of special education. Experienced teachers of special needs students have also moved up to serve as mentors to incoming special education teachers.As for the future of special education and employment, there are many changes on the horizon. Most significantly, the job market in special education, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), is projected to “increase faster than the average of all occupations by 2014.” Due to the new emphasis on education and training in legislature, special education professionals will become even more valued.Can I Make a Living as a Special Education Teacher?As mentioned previously, the special education job market is on the rise. In 2004, the BLS reported 441,000 employed special education teachers in the nation. While only 6 percent worked within private schools, over 90 percent were employed by public schools or districts. In rare cases, special education professionals were involved in home or hospital care.Several factors determine a special education teacher’s financial compensation. Such factors include experience, educational background, area of specialty and geographical location. In May 2004, the BLS reported the following breakdown of median annual earnings of special education teachers:Preschool, kindergarten and elementary school level: – $43,570Middle school level: – $44,160Secondary school level: – $45,700
Special education teachers receive increases in salary through additional involvement in their schools’ educational activities and through coaching school athletic teams. In some districts, being a mentor to a new special education teacher carries additional monetary benefits. However, the most common way to increase earnings is through the completion of a higher degree, which can also make a teacher’s instruction more credible and valuable.

Know More About Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is cancer that starts in the prostate gland. The prostate is a small, walnut-sized structure which wraps around the urethra making up the part of a man’s reproductive system which produces a fluid that makes up part of semen. Generally, a tumor grows slowly and remains confined to the gland for many years. During this time, the tumor produces little to no symptoms or outward signs. Some aggressive types of this cancer grow and spread more rapidly than others and can cause a significant shortening of life expectancy in men affected by them.This type of cancer is the most common malignancy in American men and the second leading cause of deaths from cancer, after lung cancer. It is the most common cause of death from cancer in men over age 75. Prostate cancer is rarely found in men younger than 40. According to the American Cancer Society’s most recent estimates, 217,730 new cases of prostate cancer would be diagnosed in 2010 and 32,050 would die from the disease.The prostate specific antigen blood test, or PSA, is often done to screen men for this type of cancer. Because of PSA testing, most prostate cancers are now found before they cause any symptoms. A Prostate biopsy is the only test that can confirm the diagnosis, which is where the tissue from the prostate is viewed underneath a microscope. Biopsy results are reported using Gleason grade and a Gleason score. The Gleason grade is how aggressive the prostate cancer might be. It grades tumors on a scale of 1 – 5, based on how different from normal tissue the cells are. The Gleason score is the sum of the grades from two samples of the largest areas of cancer in the tissue taken during biopsy. A PSA blood test will also be used to monitor your cancer after treatment. Often, PSA levels will begin to rise before there are any symptoms.The best treatment for your cancer may not always be clear. In the early stages, talk to your doctor about the treatment options best for you. Surgery, radiation therapy, and hormonal therapy can interfere with sexual desire or performance. Problems with urine control are common after surgery and radiation therapy. These problems may either improve or get worse over time, depending on the treatment. HIFU is an acoustic ablation technology that harnesses the power of ultrasound waves to destroy deep-seated tissue in areas of the body that are hard to reach with traditional treatments.HIFU can be used as a prostate cancer salvage technique when other non-repeatable treatments fail. Surgery to remove the prostate and some of the tissue around it is an option when the cancer has not spread beyond the prostate gland. This surgery is called radical prostatectomy. Radiation therapy uses high-powered x-rays or radioactive seeds to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy works best to treat prostate cancer that has not spread outside of the prostate. Testosterone is the body’s main male hormone which can cause prostate tumors to grow. Hormonal therapy is a treatment that decreases the effect of testosterone on prostate cancer. These treatments can prevent further growth and spread of cancer.Many patients with prostate cancer that has not spread can be cured, as well as some patients whose cancer has not spread very much outside the prostate gland. Following a vegetarian, low-fat diet or one that is similar to the traditional Japanese diet, which would include foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, may lower your risk.