Reuben Albo ’05

Reuben Albo ‘05 works as a Special Education teacher of high school students with mild learning disabilities at the Emeryville Unified School District in California.

He previously worked at Skyline High School in Oakland with students who had autism—a developmental disorder that affects social skills, impairs communication, causes restrictive behaviors, and is associated with cognitive delay. They learned the necessary academic, social, and life skills necessary to live productive and meaningful adult lives.

“The field of Special Education is a fast growing one with many available jobs. Most jobs involve teaching students with disabilities. A specific credential is required by states to teach students with either mild to moderate disabilities or moderate to severe disabilities. I switched to teaching students with mild to moderate disabilities because there was a higher need for teachers to fill this gap.ities available at Williams to broaden their global perspective.

Being a Special Education teacher is a bit different from being a general education teacher. In public schools, funding comes from the Federal government not just the State. You may work with a team including aides, a speech therapist and a psychologist. Class sizes are smaller but instruction will need to be differentiated more. A special educator undertakes more paperwork and legal obligations and as such may earn an extra monthly stipend. Having good behavior management skills is important to ensure a smooth and positive classroom environment. The most rewarding part is seeing students learn, gain confidence, and become contributing members of society.”

Teaching has always been a passion of Reuben’s and since graduating from Williams he has done private tutoring, SAT teaching, college counseling, and substitute teaching. He admits that, fresh out of Williams, he was unsure of where to live and how to make a living. As an international student, from Trinidad, with limited experience of the US, he made it a priority to explore the US and its job market some more before settling on a more steady path.

At Williams, Reuben served as Co-President of SoCA (Students of Caribbean Ancestry), he served on the MinCo (Minority Coalition) Board, and he played the Steelpan with Canboulay. Reuben’s study abroad experience in Barbados was one of his most memorable experiences during his Williams career. Reuben encourages all students to become more “international” and take the opportunities available at Williams to broaden their global perspective.

Reuben hopes to complete his MA in Special Education by June 2011.