If you don't know. Being a special education teacher sometimes puts you in a different category, even from others teachers. I still do the same things general education do. I grade papers, plan lessons, communicate with parents, create a bridge from school to home, form relationships with each of my students, and so much more. Special education teachers develop a different set of skills, we fine tune certain characteristics for the students we work with daily.
When asked what I do I simply say, "I am a teacher." I dislike the reaction I get when I answer the next question. "What do you teach?" I really want to say "People/Kids", but if you know me, you know I would never say this. I always end up telling them "Special Education". This is when everyone says something along the lines of "you must have patience", " bless you", " my so and so teaches special education".
The reason I don't like these comments is I don't believe I am any different than any other teacher. A colleague put it perfectly when she said, "It's not a death sentence."
This post went a different route once I started writing. I originally planned to talk about how excited I am to go listens to Temple Grandin speak and my colleagues didn't know her. This was a realization that maybe I am a little different. ;)