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Jyotsana Kukreti - Special Education Teacher

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Mrs. Kukreti is a special education teacher for juniors in high school. She helps children on a daily basis, and finds the job very rewarding. A special education teacher is very different from a regular teacher, however. Special education students learn in a different way. While their teachers don’t have the pressures of teaching a gifted class, they have difficulties teaching special education students. I decided to ask her a few questions.

Describe your job. What are your responsibilities?
I am a special education teacher for juniors in high school. My responsibilities are to help students with learning difficulties and keep up with their work in school. I teach Earth Science and Math to special education and regular children, but I do other things like modify and read tests to certain students, and go to meetings where staff members discuss what a special education student should be provided with and what their needs are for the following year.

What do you like about your job?
I like that I get to help students. Special education students don’t get the best opportunities and advantages in life, but the special education teachers try to let them bring out the best in themselves. Some of my students could do fine in regular classes, but they just need motivation to learn. I love it when a student who previously didn’t do very well in school finds the motivation to learn in my class and starts caring about their grades and their future life. I also like it when a student’s grade or understanding of something rises. I know then that I made a good difference, however small, in that student’s life.

What do you dislike about your job?
What I dislike the most is the amount of paperwork I have to do every day. Sometimes I have to modify tests for students, or fill out forms, or write letters and e-mails to parents. Another thing I dislike is the attitude I get sometimes from my students. Sometimes, I get no response from my students, especially 1st period. I feel like their in their own little world, dazing off. I’m sure all teachers have this problem every once in a while!

Are your students hard to deal with sometimes? How so?
Yes, sometimes my students are definitely hard to deal with. They might not be motivated to learn sometimes and have a bad attitude, which frustrates me. Sometimes, they just give up and think they’re failures. I always try to cheer them up by telling them not to give up and to keep trying.

What are the working hours of your job and do you like them?
My working hours are from 7:00 AM to 2:45 PM. I am fine with these hours because I don’t have to teach the whole day. I teach 5 periods and then have meetings and prep periods the rest of the day. I like having stable working hours and weekends, and I especially love having two-and-a-half months off for summer every year!

What is the education needed to get your job?
I needed 4 years of undergraduate, which is the 4 years of college directly after high school, and 2 years of a Master’s degree after that. It’s not necessary, but I was a Teacher’s Assistant for 4 years before I applied to be a Special Education teacher.





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