Are you interviewing for your dream job? You might be, but it’s always important to look out for these red flags!
When interviewing for a special ed teaching job, red flags can be easy to miss if you don’t know what to look for. Here are some red flags that you should take note of when assessing a potential employer. If you ignore them, you may end up regretting it later!
Red Flags Worth Noting
No Support Staff
Teaching special ed is challenging and often requires the help of support staff and paraprofessionals. If the school does not currently have or is not hiring for paras, this is an alarming red flag. It tells you that you will not have the in-class support that you need.
Low Salary Expectations
Schools may have lower salary expectations than those offered by other districts or organizations in the area. Before signing any contracts, be sure to research the average pay for teachers in your area. Alternatively, if they refuse to discuss salary during the interview, it could be a sign that they either are offering wages that are too low or they are not sure they will actually have the funding for the position.
Inadequate classroom space or funding can be red flags that the school is not adequately prepared to meet the needs of special needs students. Ask about the availability of necessary supplies and materials, and inquire as to whether any additional funds are available for special ed resources.
Lack of Support from the Administration
If the principal does not appear to have a vested interest in ensuring that your students receive the best education possible, this should raise red flags for you. It’s important to find out if there is a clear commitment from the leadership to invest in providing quality education for all students, including those with special needs. If the administration has no experience working with students with special needs, this is also a huge red flag that you may not get the support you need.
Poor Communication with Parents
If the school has a history of poor communication with parents, this is another red flag. Building a community is essential, and parents are integral to that equation. Schools that do not have a strong parent community supporting them often need more leadership and resources.
High Teacher Turnover Rate
High teacher turnover can indicate that the school needs to be more supportive of its teachers or may lack good working conditions. Make sure to ask about the current staff and inquire as to why previous teachers have left to better understand what you are getting into.
Some schools may have a fast-paced environment that is not conducive to teaching students with special needs. Be sure to ask about the expectations for teachers and the level of support you will receive from administrators in helping your class succeed. A fast-paced environment can also mean a heavy workload!
Just as the school expects you to provide them with clear answers to their questions, so should you expect the school to provide you with clear answers to your questions. If the interview team is vague and unwilling to answer your questions about caseload size or other important details about the job, it is a warning sign that there may be issues with the position or the school.
By being aware of these red flags, you can make an informed decision about whether or not the special education teaching job you are interviewing for is right for you. Look for signs that the school values its special education program and provides adequate resources and support for its teachers. Taking the time to research a potential employer thoroughly will help ensure that you land a position where both your skills and those of your students are recognized and appreciated. Doing your due diligence will help ensure that you find a workplace where your skills and experience can be best utilized.