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How to Answer

When did you realize you wanted to be a special education teacher?
How to answer
This is a more personal question that is best answered using a specific life event.
Answer examples
"When I was in junior high, our class had two special needs students. I would see their aids assisting them throughout their day and it was really beautiful to see how important their role was in that student's life. I had always wanted to be a teacher but this opened my eyes to the opportunity of specializing in Special Education."
"When I volunteered as a job coach helping developmentally disabled individuals, I got a lot of satisfaction teaching my clients how to do a job that they enjoyed. I realized that I wanted to do more than that and to help more individuals at once."
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User-Submitted Answers

When did you realize you wanted to be a special education teacher?
1.
After spending several years as an aide, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher of this special group of students.
2.
At 8 yrs old after learning about a neighbor born with downs.
3.
When working as an assistant in a behavioral classroom. I decided to go back to school to get my special education degree.
4.
When I worked in the Public Schools as an aid, I found out that I love being with the children who have special needs. I heard a child refer to the teacher one day as the "one who makes the hard things easy." It was then that I decided I want to be that teacher.
5.
I realized it when I started working with students in the Special Olympics.
6.
I realized I wanted to be a Special Education Teacher after becoming a Student Helper to a child with Autism. I worked closely with the child, developed progress monitoring and instructional tools to assist the student.
7.
I realized that I wanted to be a special education teacher when I did a long term substitute teacher position and I was successful at it. I loved working with the students and the aides. I had learned a lot from that position and felt that I could contribute my skills and talent best through it.
8.
I realized that I wanted to be a special education teacher when I was getting my Masters in Teaching. My Masters thesis was working with At Risk Youth--teaching using Authentic Instruction. I made great connections with the students who were in my practicum classes of US History and American Government. I saw them blossom when I used their strengths to learn the subject at hand.
9.
I realized that I wanted to be a special education teacher was when I helped out in the preschool. I saw how they developed in their learning and did a lot of hands on activities.
10.
I realized that I wanted to be a special education teacher when I was a preschool aide for special needs children. I like watching them thrive in their developmental skills and watching them smile when they get it right.
11.
Since I was in second grade, I had the dream to be a teacher. My teacher Mrs. Dragone was a teacher the possessed only the best qualities. When I entered second grade I was shy and timid. I knew that my reading levels where low. From the time I walked into her class, she provided me with the skills I needed to succeed. Her skills and daily guidance encouraged me to be most like her. At the end of the day, I ultimately want to help students succeed and have a role model guiding them throughout the most important aspects of their lives.
12.
1996. I worked in a Lifeskills classroom. I watched how even with the littlest gains it was exciting and fulfilling.
13.
I realized I wanted to be a special education teacher when I was a substitute for a learning support classroom, which I had never done before. I felt like I made a difference to those children and it felt wonderful.
14.
When I moved to AL 10 years ago.
15.
I realized I wanted to be a special education teacher after my summers at the Wisconsin Early Autism Project. I felt that I had a connection with the students I worked with and wanted to continue working with students who have autism specifically.
16.
In 2012, I was about to apply for the credential program at Cal Poly Pomona and I went on a mission trip to Haiti. We spent two weeks doing different projects but I spent most of my time working in and orphanage with students with severe disabilities. I enjoyed feeding them, singing with them and playing with them. It helped me realize the resources we have in the United States for student with disabilities and it encouraged me to go into special education.