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Subbing in Special Ed



I am subbing this week (3 days) in a Special Ed class. Six students, grades 2-5, no parapro. I lost sleep over it before my first day, but it has been great! The students did miss a beat. I came in 2 days last week to sort of introduce myself to the class and tell them how much I was looking forward to being with them. I think that went a long way toward making them comfortable with me. The teacher left great plans and also showed me around her room last week.

These students have a homeroom class, then they come to me just after morning announcements. They basically stay until 10 min. before the bell, then go back to homeroom. A couple of the guys are in and out during the day to return to their homeroom for specials or to have recess with their own class. That "revolving door" had me nervous, but no problems.

One homeroom teacher came to me early this morning to warn me about one of the students. She said he was in a fight on the school bus with the driver (?), and that he was in a REALLY bad way today. She said that I might not even see him, as he might end up in ISS. But, right on time, he came to my class and we had a great day together! (WHEW!) I had told the next-door teacher that if I sounded the panic button, she'd better come running :-)

I would not pretend to know how the Special Ed students are grouped, so I can't say exactly what their needs are. There are certainly some behavior issues, and the morning work is 2nd grade or less. But they do great on "life-skills" work - "routine" seems to be very important to the kids. It has been a joy for me! I hope I can come back again!

What has been your experience subbing in Special Education classes?



I generally avoid them unless there is nothing else on Aesop. Too many "issues" to deal with like the girl with asburgers syndrome (spelling might be of) that had a melt down in a room where I was teaching. On the boy in kindergarten that also had asbergers sysndrom that destroyed, and I mean destroyed, the room so badly that I had to teach pm kindergarten in another room. The principal had to be called out of a PTA meeting to remove the boy from the room. I had already gotten the other kids out of the room and was attempting to calm the boy when the principal arrived. Of course in both cases I was not told of these children beforehand.



New Member
I had eye opening experiences in special ed

One day, I was subbing in a First grade classroom and I was called and pulled out and sent to another school. When I got there, the secretary said that it is a behaviorally challenged intervention classroom. With the little exp I had, I was very intimidated. Guess what? I had two boys the whole day and two Aides. The boys were respectful to me and the male Aides told me that I had a calming effect on the boys. This experience led me to a decision to try all classes at least one time. Next, I had RSP, small groups, fun and easy job. Next would be something I would have never pursued previously, I took a job in a severe/special day class with no prior exp with special ed kids with physical disabilities. I ended up crying that day, just realization of how many of these kids there were all being pushed in wheelchairs, touched by regular ed students being so nice to these kids and just being helpful and hanging around us, and meeting "angels" living in our world. The people that works with these kids were the nicest, gentlest, and sweetest people on earth. They smiled and were happy people. Because I am not going in the special ed field, I do not seek these assignments but I would not say no if they needed me.


Senior Member
Wonderful to horrible.

I did a long term position my first year in 3rd/4th resource room and hated it. It was a class of all boys (9) and all the typical "tough" kids. They weren't bad kids, it was just incredibly hard to teach mainly because they couldn't read. I also had no help from the permanent teacher who was hospitalized with pneumonia. I had to fly by the seat of my pants, so to speak. I made it through and learned a lot. It's the first (and only time) I've ever thought about quitting teaching.

Tomorrow, I am subbing for a teacher who has all the extreme behavior problems from the district. At 10 kids, her class is full. I love her class. Her kids are generally good and she has an aide that takes care of filling in contracts and other things that I would probably be to lenient with. The teacher will only be out if I can sub in her room (she's had big problems with other subs in the past) and now she doesn't worry about leaving her kids with me.

It all depends on the teacher, the kids, and the school.


Full Member
I Love It


I really like subbing in Special Ed classes. I've worked with withdrawal students, in-class as support for the regular teacher, and as a SERT (special education resource teacher) with my own class. Where I am, SERT's usually have 6 to 9 students depending on the severity of the students' disabilities and 3 to 5 education assistants. Of course, the more assistants the more severe the disabilities. I find the children I've taught, usually developmentally delayed, autistic, or learning disabled, are so much more loving than the kids in the regular classrooms. I also like having other adults in the room, so I can talk about "grown-up" things when I need a break.

I plan on becoming a special education teacher, so that could be why I look forward to teaching Special Ed. I have heard that I might end up being type-casted (i.e. unable to get out of special education once I get into it), but that's another post. :)



Junior Member
Challenging but Rewarding

Everytime I have subbed in a special ed room I have had paras there to help me. They are great and can answer questions. Subbing in the elementary special ed room has been fairly easy for the most part. There has been a few students that just didn't want to do any work but that isn't the worst thing in the world to deal with. I have had one student who had ADD and emotional problems and that was a little bit hard to deal with because he couldn't handle things emotionally. I have had a few throw temper tantrums. In high school there has been a few I have helped that had a lot of behavior problems and liked to act out in class and a few autistic students to deal with. That was a little bit hard. Otherwise I would say it has been okay. It feels great when you can help a student to learn who has a lot of problems. I have also subbed as a para in special ed room.