Much like general teaching, special education teachers work to bring general learning programs to a range of children. However, in this instance, it is line with their individual needs. This environment has a variety of children that have emotional, behavioral, and physical disabilities and require a slightly tailored approach to learning.
Teaching in this capacity is extremely rewarding, but it can have its challenges that differ from mainstream schooling. Helping students to progress and succeed is something all teachers strive for. So if you feel this could be an area that would benefit from your skills and experience, take a look at what you’ll need to become a special education needs teacher.
Similar to other teaching jobs, you will need to have relevant qualifications, such as a degree and master’s, to pursue this path. There are a number of options to help you specialize in this field, but with the help of a guide such as the one published by online.bankstreet.edu, you can learn exactly what is a Childhood Special Education master’s program. It will detail what you will learn on the course, so is a good starting point.
After completion of your qualifications, you will need to take up a teaching internship to gain valuable experience in working within this environment, as most states require this. Before you apply for a position, individual states also require you to take a test for special education teachers, and once this is passed, you can apply for a teaching license.
What to expect as a special needs teacher
There are a lot of aspects to teaching in this capacity. On the outset, one of the main areas of the job involves identifying and assessing children to enable you to tailor the program of learning around their needs. This is called developing an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Due to the differences in how people learn, especially in this environment, individuals may require varying learning methods. As a special needs teacher, this can be challenging. However, as part of your training, you will learn how to manage this style of teaching to get the best outcomes for your students.
Attributes required for special needs teaching
This type of teaching isn’t for everyone. Individuals interested in pursuing this career should possess a number of attributes to handle the tasks involved; some examples include:
- Open mind
Excellent communication skills are also vital. However, the need to adapt them based on the situation is crucial. These skills are not just required for teaching the children, either. You will also need to communicate effectively with other teachers, parents, and counselors who will be working together to ensure the best outcomes.
Jobs in this sector are increasing, and prospects are abundant. Recent figures from the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics showed the special education teaching sector could see a growth of around 3% by 2028. The median salary for this profession was $59,780 in 2018, with some of the highest-paid teachers in middle and secondary schools.
It is a developing space in education and a truly rewarding career path. So why not take your career to the next level and explore the possibilities of a special education position?