Excerpted from Resourcing: Handbook for Special Education Resource Teachers.
Resourcing Being a Salesperson
To be successful as a resource in your school, you must first "sell" your program. Both you and your program must be accepted and respected as worthwhile, necessary parts of the overall school program. Your public relations can have a significant impact on your acceptance and effectiveness. Consequently, the role of "selling" your job should be a high priority and an ongoing activity.
Perhaps you are ambivalent about this role or do not see a great need for it. Take a moment and consider the following often-heard remarks:
- "She's got it made only eight kids at a time!"
- "What an easy job!"
- "Oh, you don't know what it's like, teaching 30 kids!"
- "Those special ed teachers get all the breaks planning periods, money to buy materials, time to attend workshops, etc."
- "What do you mean, he doesn't qualify for special education? What am I supposed to do with him?"
- "That's the room where they play games and the kids don't have to do much."
Sound familiar? These complaints hurt special educators and make us angry. They cause barriers between special and regular education and make it difficult to work together as a team. Special educators resent these attitudes, but have we done anything to change them? Have we not inadvertently fostered such complaints, if we have not done our "PR"?
How can you overcome this attitude that teachers in special education don't contribute their fair share and have it "so easy"?