I worked as a substitute teacher in public schools for two years and it was quite frustrating at times. I came to find that I enjoyed my days more when I subbed in special ed classes. The general ed classes had lots of kids who were ready to take advantage of a subsitute teacher that doesn't know the rules of the class. I found that in Lifeskills classes the kids were actually happy to see you and not anxious to take advantage.
Before I knew it I was only subbing in lifeskills and eventually was hired on at a local high school. I now love my job for the first time in my life. I've always dreaded work until now. It certainly still has it's own unique stresses but I love the kids that I work with.
I am in a "one-to-one" position where I work with one individual student. He has a condition called Fragile X and also is autistic. He's also hilarious. He sings a lot, knows some sign language, says the most random and funny things you can imagine, blows lots of kisses, makes tons of funny sounds. And he's great with geography. I was so amazed when I heard him identifying countries on a map. He was able to find Peru, Venezuela, Iraq, Russia, France, and several other countries. I am amazed that someone with such severe disorders is able to have that kind of mental capacity. It's so hard to get him to just focus on one thing at a time but when you can get him to do it he has great retention. It's just a matter of getting him to focus.