What does a Special Education Teacher do?
|Citation||Retrieved in 2017 from BLS.org|
A special education teacher helps students who have a wide variety of learning disabilities and challenges that include mental, emotional, and physical disabilities or other areas that make learning difficult.
They adjust lessons in various subjects according to each child’s needs like reading, math, english, and writing. They use techniques in communication and literacy to those students with more severe disabilities. A special education teacher would need to meet with teachers, parents, administrators, and counselors to discuss the student and oversee teacher assistants that work with the student with special learning needs
How to Become a Special Education Teacher
A special education teacher needs a bachelor’s degree in special education, elementary education, or a related field. Coursework usually focuses on disabilities, curriculum development, laws and regulations for special education, and how to present information that students can understand. If one is employed in a public school he or she must have a state-issued license or teacher’s certification endorsed with special education. An applicant working for private school may not be required to have a license, but a bachelor’s degree is still required.
Job Description of a Special Education Teacher
A special education teacher works as part of a team that helps students that have disabilities that affect their learning. This may include mental, physical, and/or emotional impairments. Special education teachers adapt general education lessons on various subjects to meet the learning challenges of each student.
They also assess the skills of students to determine their level of need and create lesson plans to teach them in a way they can understand. Special education teacher’s develop individualized educational programs (IEPs) for each student. This organizes, sets goals, and assigns appropriate activities according to each students’ special need. These teachers may instruct one-on-one, in a class, or in small groups. Special education teachers are also responsible to track each student’s progress, performance, and keep updated accurate records on each student.
These teachers can be found working in resource centers or classrooms that only include students with disabilities. However, at times they are also found in traditional classrooms as well. Here they help the regular teachers with accommodations and adaptations of their teaching techniques to ensure the students with disabilities needs are being met as well. The goal for a special education teacher is to prepare the student to make the transition from grade to grade and after graduation, sometimes up to 21 years of age. They teach academic skills, social etiquette, basic life skills, job skills, behavioral management, and emotional regulation to children with disabilities. Most work full time and in a school setting. They collaborate and work closely with parents, teachers, occupational therapists, support staff, and psychologists to support their students needs.