Anyone with aspergers a teacher or studying to become one?

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thegirlisdangerous
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23 Dec 2008, 2:27 pm

Hi everyone,

I am at university studying to become a primary (elementary) school teacher and suspect i may have AS (have thought i was a little 'different' my whole life).

I think i have chosen possibly the worst career lol although it has given me confidence (standing uo in front of class etc). Think i am crazy doing this! :lol:

Anyone else becoming a teacher? Or already are a teacher? Is it the kind of career someone with AS would hate, enjoy etc?

ps, i know we are all different, and would like various perspectives on this!



millie
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23 Dec 2008, 2:55 pm

I teach adults onl a few hours a week in my spcial interest area. i cannot do any more than that. I know someone who is a high school teacher and has AS. he is a fantastic teacher. a lot depends on the type of personality you have also. (eg intoverted or outgoing etc.)



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23 Dec 2008, 2:57 pm

I'm studying at college right now and one of my potential goals may be to teach. I don't see myself doing high school or primary school though, I hope to teach college or university. I guess when it comes to confidence in public speaking, I don't much like reading my own work, though I will do it, but if I were teaching I don't think it would be an issue, as I plan on teaching history & geography, and I can blather on about those topics for hours. If I get paid to do it, all the better. :D

I think its a fine career for one with AS to have. I think we're more likely to treat students fairly and also not accept the stupid excuses lazy NT students give out. Though at the same time I guess it depends upon the severity of one's condition, I don't have it that strong, so it doesn't concern me that much.



ike
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23 Dec 2008, 3:01 pm

I've wanted to get into training for a while. That's like... adult tertiary education. ;) Really I've just wanted to be doing software training (for other programmers) for several years, but haven't been able to find my way into that field. And I think you may be on to something regarding it being a challenging job for an aspie -- particularly primary education even more so because that means interfacing with parents of young children. In my experience a lot of them are tragically apathetic about their kids (my ex has done a lot of day-care work off and on and is now working at a school), which may not be such a challenge. Its the folks on the other end of the scale who are really overprotective of their kids who might be the real challenge.

But really either way it's a lot more social interaction than a lot of other jobs or even professions. I have a hard enough time with the social stuff just being a computer programmer. When I was in my mid-twenties I had convinced myself that I'm an ENFP on the myers-briggs / kiersey temperament scale (they're called "idealist / champion"). I'm absolutely not. I'm an INTP (rational / architect). As a matter of fact, being an ENFP would be odd (though certainly not impossible) for an aspie. I'm really glad in retrospect that I didn't try to get myself into an ENFP type job like being a counselor, social worker or customer service specialist. That likely would have had horrible results. Being an extrovert at all would be rather counter-intuitive for an autistic person in general, although given the definition I imagine it's possible.


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thegirlisdangerous
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23 Dec 2008, 3:02 pm

Thanks for the replies :)

I know what you mean about reading your own work - i hated doing that in high school. I have not been diagnosed with AS but since learning about it i have begun to wonder if i have it - i fit A LOT of the criteria :)

It affects me in that i find it difficult to go to school every single day and teach all day. I find it a bit stressfull as i have no time to calm down, relax etc.

On the other hand, i do enjoy working with children and school can be a lot of fun if you make it fun!

Still making up my mind, hope to teach in a school for autistic children eventually anyway :) :)



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23 Dec 2008, 4:18 pm

Everyone keeps telling me I'd make a wonderful special education teacher but I am going to be a veternarian instead.



thegirlisdangerous
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23 Dec 2008, 4:26 pm

I would also have like to have been a vet. I have only one year left and i will be a teacher. It's a bit scary, as i will have complete control over a class of at least 25 children.

Fear usually sets in before a lesson, as does the anxiety. This is something i am trying to get over and adapt to, but i am finding it very difficult :(



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23 Dec 2008, 4:41 pm

I was a teacher for several years, working with kids from pre-school to university level. I found the university level teaching to be exhausting, but the teaching younger kids part was great. It actually gave me energy. It was a lot of fun.

I also homeschooled my daughter and mentored another homeschooling kid, and I absolutely loved it. It was one of the best parts of my life.

I know a couple of Aspies who teach in the NY public schools and they do just fine. So will you!



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23 Dec 2008, 5:06 pm

When I have more time I hope to do some lectures on what I do. And not just online.



thegirlisdangerous
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23 Dec 2008, 5:21 pm

The hardest part for me is getting to school each day - i dread going in because of the anxiety social situations cause. It's strange, because i am fine at university in lectures etc, but feel like i need more support when it comes to going on a school experience placement :) :)

I am very good at appearing to be social. No one would ever suspect i think i have AS! ;0



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23 Dec 2008, 5:25 pm

thegirlisdangerous wrote:
The hardest part for me is getting to school each day - i dread going in because of the anxiety social situations cause. It's strange, because i am fine at university in lectures etc, but feel like i need more support when it comes to going on a school experience placement :) :)

I am very good at appearing to be social. No one would ever suspect i think i have AS! ;0


I know what you mean about the anxiety. To allay my anxiety, it used to work for me to just focus on the kids. I always liked kids better than adults, anyway. They were the reason I showed up.

Do you have a kind of mission about being a teacher? Are you passionate about some aspect of it? Is so, you could try and focus on the things you are passionate about. That often helps me in those kinds of situations. I realize I'm there for a purpose bigger than me in some way, so it stops being about me and my anxiety and becomes something better.



thegirlisdangerous
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23 Dec 2008, 5:39 pm

I do enjoy working with the children, that is what gets me through the days! My ultimate goal is to teach in a school for children with ASD's, so i am working towards that (i also work for the National Autistic Society in the UK).

I don't mind working with adults, but in all honesty, would rather work alone :)

If i could teach for a half hour, then have a five minute break alone, that would help me a lot, but i don't think that would be possible.

I plan to speak to my doctor for peace of mind and find out if i actually have AS! Don't know if it would make much difference to me, but at least i would know :)



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23 Dec 2008, 6:13 pm

I guess I should first mention that I am still undiagnosed. I´m quite sure I´m on the spectrum, my guess is residual AS. I just thought I should get that information out of the way, since I am about to answer your question.

For years I was a dancer- that was my special interest- and now I am a dance teacher. In my case, going into teaching was probably one of the easiest roles I ever slipped into...(well, after that first day when I freaked out because I noticed all those EYES staring at me)...however, as you plan to teach children with ASDs, that shouldn´t be a problem...

In any case, I enjoy teaching because I am teaching the next generation all about my special interest. I have trouble talking to people generally, but just get me in a class and I feel comfortable. It can be scary when you have a new class, but I´ve noticed, through experience, it always works somehow. I think also, because I was a student myself for so long, it was pretty easy to evolve into the role of teacher; it seemed pretty clear what it was I should do. It can be tiring too, as mentioned, so try not to overextend your schedule.

Wow, so you´re thinking about teaching children on the spectrum! What a great idea! I´d also like to do something like that, maybe someday...probably not teaching per se, I´ve just been wondering if there´s a way that I can help autistic children. I´m not sure how yet, hopefully I´ll figure that part out....


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thegirlisdangerous
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23 Dec 2008, 6:28 pm

Thanks for your post :)

I haven't been diagnosed either, but suspect i have AS. I certainly have many of the traits. I think teaching ASN (additional support needs) children would be more satisfying and easier to cope with. The problem with teaching primary (elementary) aged children is that the curriculum is just so broad, sometimes it bothers me that i cant go into detail about anything, you know?

I thought about teaching in high school, but that terrifies me, could never do that. I have just finished a school placement (we get each year at uni) and on my report it said

"Melissa (me!) found the nursery setting daunting at firs, but adapted well as the placement continued" - story of my life! But at least someone has noticed that i am not at all comfortable in new social situations.

I am very good at appearing to be 'normal' but inside i just know that something isnt right. I feel like i am watching the world from the outside and thinking wtf?! :)



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23 Dec 2008, 7:01 pm

thegirlisdangerous wrote:
Hi everyone,

I am at university studying to become a primary (elementary) school teacher and suspect i may have AS (have thought i was a little 'different' my whole life).

I think i have chosen possibly the worst career lol although it has given me confidence (standing uo in front of class etc). Think i am crazy doing this! :lol:

Anyone else becoming a teacher? Or already are a teacher? Is it the kind of career someone with AS would hate, enjoy etc?

ps, i know we are all different, and would like various perspectives on this!


I have taught 3rd grade, 2nd grade (summer school), substituted, assistant student teacher for college, and I start my student teaching for secondary math in January.