The 'pay' Is Second to None

I started working with children in the last year and a half, and started a position in January as a Special Education Assistant.  The other day I was walking down the hall at school, and received hugs from 3 different students on my way.  When I got to my first class, I received hugs from two more!!

This is the best paying job I ever had...


Dee67 Dee67
41-45, F
30 Responses May 15, 2008

You know, I really have to say, I love it even more that I do it part time. It keeps me fresh, just going in for a few hours a day. Then all of the responsiblity of a full time job is lifted, and I'm free to focus on other areas of my life more fully. Like being a mom, a friend, and doing "spiritual work".

I am a Sped teacher. I used to be a para. That was okay. Right now I hate my job. I hope to work with little kids next year instead of ******* middle school students.

What is a para ?

Thanks for all your comments :)<br />
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Yes, Mejoe, it's really almost tragic the pay that the professionals and semi-professionals who are educating children receive in the US. I know this first hand as my sister in law has worked both as an assistant and teacher there.

I would certainly agree, concretecowboy :)

That's so great, Miss ex<x>pressionist :) It feels so good, doesn't it? even to make a small difference for someone else. Giving is truly wonderful, and we receive back in kind or even more, it often feels.

That sounds great! :) Isn't it wonderful to see you influence others in a positive way? I work with young adults who have trouble finding their place in the world. And some time ago - after summer break, actually - a girl came up to me and said "Miss ex<x>pressionist I haven't seen you for so long! I need to give you a hug!" I don't know what it is but I seem to make a few things right when I'm there all day long. ;)

:) Follow your bliss and do what you love... and if someone will pay you for it, BONUS! lol ;)

Thank you all. Deadhummingbirds -- enjoy your time in Peru!

you are so lucky. Get a job you like.

Yes, good on you Dee :-) Completely the right attitude to have.

I can't wait to start working with kids! My situation is a little different, I'm taking a gap year and volunteering in Peru but I've done a bit of volunteering before and I know the kids teach me more than I could them. Much love to everyone else involved in this.

Thanks for all your comments!<br />
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Anonny.. coincidentally I'm also working with an autistic 6 year old little girl. Emma loves light and shadow and to dance and sing.. but she won't allow me to sing or dance (I try not to take it personally ;) and she's a joy to work with, I love teaching her. Such gifts to enjoy :)

I work as a teaching assistant and I agree it's a wonderfully rewarding job! The monetary pay itself is **** here in the UK though, but who cares, I am happy.

sounds like a great job

Awww.....what an unexpected and wonderful story :)

I'm sorry to hear of all these difficulties, sobroken. Your son sounds like quite the young man. I would never stand for someone telling me my child was unteachable, either! It's wonderful you were able to step in and provide him with the opportunities he needed.<br />
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Though I haven't been doing this for very long, I love it indeed, and am returning to the same school to work with many of the same kids in the fall. The individual interactions with the kids and developing a relationship with them and watching them grow is what I love best about what I do. We are lucky indeed when we can do something we truly love, and get paid for it.<br />
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Thank you for your kind words. I will indeed continue to collect those precious hugs! :)

Dee, <br />
Please forgive me for this much too lengthy comment, but i feel a need to tell you just how important i believe who you are and what you do is. Praise GOD for educators that care. Please don’t let it go. We need woman just like you to give what you do to our kids. Have you thought about when one or both children leave home? The free time you’ll find, and an empty nest? The time goes fast, i promise. Thought about our economy? Qualifications would be so nice if higher learning becomes genuinely a luxury few can afford. Even if you go the slow boat to your future degree, you've already invested by way of your original educational aspirations. If by chance you choose to stay exactly where you are, and because you'd be doing what you love, you may eventually want a "license" to write a book, improve/start a program, or implement new policy. There are just not enough good teachers able to love special children. Trust me on that. O/our youngest child was drugged and denied schooling. Period! Then he was labeled as "un-teachable". Independently/ob<x>jectively tested, (to prove bad parenting, not teaching at fault) He tested at grade 12.8 years in English, minimum 12 everywhere else. Considering he was ten years old, might I suggest he was genius? He received math and English alone in grade 4! The teacher claimed him as unable to learn. After many years of intense scrutiny, i believe Jesse was hated by many because he was an Audible, walking encyclopedia and Bible. At times this got really annoying, so much in fact that Dad sometimes stopped the car to tell him to walk or stop reciting corrections to errors of the person with the license and the keys. He corrected morals and behaviors relentlessly, often preaching against things like Easter, and Christmas activities. He was uncontrollably passionate as he informed the whole class about the origin, history and theology of Hallows Eve and why “I will not participate in this devil’s celebration!” His teacher was atheist. She accused me of robbing my children of being children, and i informed her i had no right to forbid anyone to read The Bible, but i would attempt to subdue his self ordination. That made her livid. It must have failed too; she called child welfare. That was first grade i believe. He fought well two seasoned police officers regarding their practice of restraint because, “this is not procedure!” Did you hear those screams? Unfortunately it was not procedure. He was taken into custody, and filed a legitimate grievance within 48 hours. Believe me i only carried him. He really was “special” to most adults, especially in matters of immorality, but it was difficult for me to tell him he was wrong most times save that others have rights too.<br />
He completed grades 4 + 5 in just over 8 weeks after i was elected (forced because i doubted my ability) as his teacher. He attained straight A’s for the first time. The school board was suspect, and 100% curriculum was required to accredit. The board to my astonishment exempted him from science. The emotional damage incurred by my son from "adults", so called experts would make you vomit. He suffers still. Teachers were the primary orchestrators to the abolishment of O/our family, and for what? This boy was in special ed and mainstream classes. Was it really too much for a special educator to look in the eyes, or touch the hand of a child? Time out rooms are NOT learning tools no matter what name they hide in. Computers are not child care; the world needs good teachers. The board needs to see children not as $, but as incredible little people deserving and treasuring special teachers. There are many children like Jesse, and they hug the beautiful teachers. Please continue always to see this calling as a joy, and it will always be. Keep collecting those precious hugs. <br />
:)<br />

Thank you, Carrot.. ((hugs!)) I believe we're all special in our own, unique way.

Yes, it's important to count your blessings!

You are so lucky!

Glad you found your niche, WaitingHere! :)

I subbed at our local high school this past school year and eventually found my niche in the special ed department. I enjoyed that a million times more than subbing in a regular classroom. The kids definitely made it a great experience! My mom is also a SpEd teacher and has received more cards and hugs of appreciation over the years from graduating seniors than you can imagine. It is definitely a very rewarding job and I'm glad you love it!

Thanks jp and austinr. There's nothing like getting to do something you love (and get paid for it!).

My mom was in childcare for many years before she had me. My life story is very weird, but I've always had a loving mom. She talks fondly of working with children, and when she had me she was 24. She now has 5 kids, all younger siblings of mine. 3 little sisters, 1 little brother.

Exactly, shawngreen, I couldn't agree more. Good for you for pursuing teaching. I am one year of university away from finishing an education degree (have a previous degree in psych).. but still am undecided whether to finish as I enjoy the support role a lot and have gotten a reality check as to how many hours teachers put into their jobs. With two children at home I'm just not sure I want to get into the full role of the teacher.. but I'm leaving it open for now to decide. All the best to you in your goals.. it takes much dedication and hard work, but the personal rewards are huge.

I am a special education assistant and i am incollege to to it as a teacher. Congrats on your newfound love for this amazing field! It takes a very special person to do what we do, and it is the most amazing job. Not only is it extremely rewarding, but those little ones teach you more than you could ever teach them!!

Hi Tate3 - I actually have a year left on a teaching degree - but I decided to take a break for various reasons and work as an assistant - and I'm thinking about staying there, because it's an incredible amount of work, teaching, and being a mom already I don't know if I really want to dedicate myself to that degree - but as an assistant, it's like being the favorite aunt who comes to visit - I get to spoil the kids and they love me, but then I give them back to the teacher and don't have to worry about all that other stuff - it's really just being with the kids that I love. I went the expensive route - I could've taken the ed. assistant courses - would've been cheaper, but at the time I had my sights set higher. Now I've had a reality check, lol. I think it would've taken about a year for the assistant courses - I already had a degree so the teaching degree was another 2 years (at least for the program I was in). This is in Canada, anyways - and we get paid much better (both teachers and assistants) than in the US - not sure if you're there?<br />
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You're right, Owl, I can't believe I get paid $ to do this! ;)

Wow, five hugs and you hadn't even started. That's not work!

I love it. I look forward to going to work everyday. The kids are really amazing. They teach me more than I teach them, I think!

I would love to do this.