Special Education Teacher (Ebd) (Male, Age 27) in Shelbyville, KY

This is a REAL-LIFE job profile written by a Male aged 27 who works as a Special Education Teacher (Ebd) in Shelbyville, KY. This professional kindly spent a bit of their time to complete our job profile survey so that prospective job seekers like you could read their insights. Please excuse any punctuation or grammatical errors in this profile.

At a Glance

Current Job

Basic data on your current job

Job TitleSpecial Education Teacher (Ebd)
Salary$35,500
Other Compensation None Set
Hours/Week55
Company Size(not answered)
LocationShelbyville, KY
Years Experience1 month

Career Ratings

Opinions on your CAREER overall (i.e. not just your current job)

Years in Career0
Education(not answered)
Income Rating0 / 10
Interest Rating0 / 10
Work-Life Rating0 / 10
Fulfilment Rating0 / 10

Table of Contents

Current job Q&A

Describe the type of organization you work for.
I work at a Middle School in a District with a dozen schools. Our school has about 50-60 faculty and staff.

Describe your job role and responsibilities.
I am responsible for a caseload of fourteen students with emotional behavioral disabilities. All of my students are in general education classrooms. I provide support and interventions to help them stay in their classes, and I teach a social skills class one period a day. I am responsible for all of the paperwork and legal expectations to provide my students with the services they have a right to.

Please list an additional benefits (beyond compensation) that you receive.
3 personal days, 10 sick days, work 185 days/year, Humana Full Coverage Health Insurance with $1000 Health Reimbursement Account, matched retirement plan

Do you feel you are under/over or well/fairly compensated at your current position?
I feel that I am adequately compensated for my current position, because I am new to the field.

Does your job entail you working with others on a daily basis? Is this something you like/dislike about your job? Please explain.
I work with adults and children every day, which is something I greatly enjoy. Due to the nature of my job (students have emotional behavioral disorders), I can have very challenging days where students are acting out or teachers are frustrated and do not want to work with my students; these days can be exhausting. However, I love having the opportunity to make a difference in my students’ lives and to make things easier for the teachers as well. Working with people energizes me most days.

Do you work collaboratively with supervisors/managers?
Yes

Do you work collaboratively with your co-workers?
Yes

Describe your work location (e.g., office, home, theatre, in the field) and what you like/dislike about working in it.
I work in a classroom and in classrooms all over the school, depending on where my students are during the day. I like the frequent change in environments and styles, as every teacher is different. The variety works well for me, because I dislike monotony. Sometimes I do not like that I cannot leave for lunch and there are not any great options for lunch (just cafeteria food!).

Please rate each of the following aspects of your current job on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest/best):
Income: 4
Benefits: 5
Hours: 7
Co-Workers: 3
Supervisors: 2
Job Title: 8
Level of Responsibility: 6
The Actual Work: 1

A day in the life of…

Please describe a typical workday for you in your current job:

5am to 6am
6am to 7am
7am to 8am7:30 Show up to school an hour before school starts. Process paperwork, check for any upcoming meetings for students, make last minute preparations for the social skills class. Find teachers in the building to have conversations about students.
8am to 9am8:15 Students begin showing up in the gym or my classroom. Check in with my caseload; pay careful attention to how they are feeling and acting. This is a temperature check for how they are likely to do today behavior-wise. 8:30 Check in with my assistants; adjust plans for the day depending on how our students seem to be feeling. 8:40 All students go to first period. One assistant checks on one group of students (6th grade), the other assistant with the 7th grade group, and I spend my day in class with one student who needs heavy support.
9am to 10amBe with my one high need student. Step out of his classes throughout the day to check on my assistants. Frequent calls on my walkie talkie require my assistance throughout the building to deal with behavior issues. If there is a major meltdown, we take a student to my classroom where we work with the student to deescalate and reset. My whole day depends on the state of my students.
10am to 11amBe with my one high need student. Step out of his classes throughout the day to check on my assistants. Frequent calls on my walkie talkie require my assistance throughout the building to deal with behavior issues. If there is a major meltdown, we take a student to my classroom where we work with the student to deescalate and reset. My whole day depends on the state of my students.
11am to 12pmBe with my one high need student. Step out of his classes throughout the day to check on my assistants. Frequent calls on my walkie talkie require my assistance throughout the building to deal with behavior issues. If there is a major meltdown, we take a student to my classroom where we work with the student to deescalate and reset. My whole day depends on the state of my students.
12pm to 1pm12:30 I try to catch lunch; most days I miss it, because a behavior issue comes up that I must deal with. Some days I can eat while doing paperwork on my computer.

Be with my one high need student. Step out of his classes throughout the day to check on my assistants. Frequent calls on my walkie talkie require my assistance throughout the building to deal with behavior issues. If there is a major meltdown, we take a student to my classroom where we work with the student to deescalate and reset. My whole day depends on the state of my students.

1pm to 2pm1:30-2:30 Teach fifth period social skills class to all my students. I teach them how to make good choices, and we process those actions and choices that get them into trouble.
2pm to 3pmBe with my one high need student. Step out of his classes throughout the day to check on my assistants. Frequent calls on my walkie talkie require my assistance throughout the building to deal with behavior issues. If there is a major meltdown, we take a student to my classroom where we work with the student to deescalate and reset. My whole day depends on the state of my students.
3pm to 4pmSchool ends at 3:40. If all goes well, my students leave and I can wrap up for the day.
4pm to 5pmI often stay until five to work on plans for tomorrow, unless I have to drive to school. If I have school (Mon, Thurs), I will be in class until either 7:30 or 8:30 PM.
5pm to 6pmCome home, eat dinner with my wife.
6pm to 7pm
7pm to 8pm7-9 If not at school, I work on lesson plans and behavior intervention plans.
8pm to 9pm
9pm to 10pm
10pm to 11pm
11pm to 12am

How you got your job

How did you get your current job?
I read about it online.

What was the application process?
Submitted resume and cover letter online, answered questions online for a pre-interview.

Did you have to interview for your current job? If yes, what did the interview process entail?
Yes, I had one interview that included the principal and assistant principal and a variety of questions.

If you can remember, what questions were you asked during the interview?
What experience do you have that will help you in this job? Tell us a little about your background. Let’s say you had 10 students with EBD on your caseload, and they all had strong externalizing behaviors: how would you go about managing their behaviors? It seems like you have a lot of behavior management experience, but it doesn’t seem like you have any academic teaching experience; why should we consider you when that is an important quality? Do you have any questions for us?

Do you feel your employer properly prepared you for your job? Explain.
I feel my past experience has prepared me for my job; my employer has done their best with limited time and resources to support me.

Was there training for your current position? If yes, what did it entail?
I am still in an MAT in Special Education program at graduate school. It takes two years of evening and summer classes. Plus I will have to do a state internship program to be fully certified. I have been to a variety of professional development sessions to learn things for the job.

Do you feel your educational background prepared you for your job? Explain.
My undergraduate degree (BA Biblical Studies) has not prepared me for this job. My MAT program has provided some not-very-useful classes and some very, very useful classes so far (such as Applied Behavior Analysis).

If applicable, do you feel your internship experience helped you prepare for your job?
I did not have an internship experience.

If someone wanted to go about getting a job similar to yours, what would you recommend for him or her to do?
If you already have an undergraduate degree, then you can go to graduate school for an Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Special Education Alternative Certification Route. This allows you to get a job at a school as a special education teacher immediately (receiving temporary provisional certification to teach) and to go to graduate school for two years while teaching to get a degree and full certification. I would recommend shadowing an EBD teacher first, however, as the job is not for everyone. Many people do not last their first year, but I doubt this would happen if they shadowed first.

What skills do you think a person should have if they want to pursue a position like yours?
They should have a high level of patience, strong pro-social skills, the ability to proactively communicate with others, and an ability to bounce back from challenges and try new techniques every day. Your students will throw many challenges your way by their behaviors, which can be very stressful; you must be willing to not take things personally, to be patient, and to control your reactions so that you are always strategically choosing your words and actions. This can be true in working with other teachers as well. You need to deal with people all the time–parents, teachers, administrators, visitors, students, etc–so your social skills need to be strong enough to build connections with these people. You must be the first to communicate. You must bounce back each day and try new things, because the same interventions do not work for all students and do not work every day for the same student.

Do you feel that you need a certain level of education or training to be successful in your job?
Yes, to some degree. You need experience or training in deescalation strategies and how to intervene with behavior issues.

What advice would you give to someone who was about to start work in your position/ line of work?
Make some friends who are in the field, so that you have people to talk to for advice or to blow off steam. Collect data on your students, so that you have a clear picture of their behavior issues–this is important so that you can communicate with others objectively about your students’ needs. Shadow other people so you know what you are getting into. Do not give up on your first day, first week, first month, or beyond; it will take some time. Do your best to be good at one thing at a time. Get to know your support team, including assistants; show them care and respect, because they can be your best support too. You are often the only advocate for your students; do it for them.

Long-term career plans

Is your current employment part of your overall career plan? Why or why not?
Yes, I want to be a teacher for a long time and eventually move into a collegiate level to train future EBD teachers.

What are your current career goals?
I want to become a professor in the long run to teach other EBD teachers. First I need to experience it and do well.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your career?
It’s not for everyone, but it’s a great career!

Prior work history

Please list your most recent jobs prior to this current job:

TitleLengthSalaryDescription
Prior Job 1Program Coordinator2 years32000Case Manager for homeless youth in transitional housing and for a mentoring program.
Prior Job 2Director of Student Outreach4 years30000Ran high school youth ministry programs; ran a free music venue for at risk teens.

Educational background

Please list your educational background:

High School GPA:4

GPASchoolDegree
College (Undergraduate)
or Technical/Vocational
3.98Trinity Lutheran CollegeBiblical Studies
Graduate or Professional
(Masters or Doctorate)
4University of LouisvilleMAT Special Education Alternative Certification Route (LBD)

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