Ryan Brumwell: Sparking Change in Special Education

Whether it’s a pile of paperwork or classroom conditions, special education teachers everywhere are being chased out of their profession for a multitude of reasons.

Ryan Brumwell, this year’s Student Academic Conference featured graduate lecturer, will cover the issues that lead special education teachers to leave their career for one less demanding, as well as potential fixes to this prevalent problem.

“Most teachers, especially special education teachers, feel like they’re on an island,” Brumwell says.

MS in Special Education

Brumwell’s talk, which will take place at the 26th Annual MSU Moorhead Student Academic Conference on April 23, explores how schools can keep special education teachers in the classroom. He surveyed special education teachers to find out what they see as important to keep them in the profession longer and will talk about possible solutions that could be implemented.

Brumwell has his own experience with special education classrooms. Though he started his teaching career as a social studies teacher following his undergraduate graduation at MSUM, circumstances led him to teach special education for the past five years. Now, he is pursuing an MS in Special Education at MSUM.

“It wasn’t what I envisioned going into teaching, but now I would never want to leave special education,” he says.

The MS in Special Education program has helped Brumwell learn more about instructional strategies, while also allowing him to work with students he hadn’t had the opportunity to work with before. He hopes the program will help him provide better instruction to his students.

His personal experience has shown him how necessary and important special education teachers are, especially considering the staffing issues.

“As it is, special education teachers last around five years. The State of Minnesota has just over 3500 vacant positions or positions held by people like me, who are working on out-of-field placements,” he says.

He hopes that his lecture shows educators that they aren’t alone, especially as they take on classrooms full of students with different needs.

“When we’re in it, it feels like we’re one against the world. I hope everyone can see that we’re all in this together.”

MS in Special Education

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