Teaching is one of the toughest jobs because they are in charge of molding the personalities of children that will be responsible for handling the country in the future. It becomes more important when children with special needs are in question. It takes a lot to be a special education teacher, effort, degree, time, and most importantly, patience.
Duties of a Special Education Teacher
As a special education teacher, you will have to work with disabled or intellectually and developmentally delayed students; mostly, on a one-on-one basis in a classroom.
You will have to assess every student’s needs and prioritize their strengths and weaknesses in order to determine your lesson plans.
It will be one of the duties to develop IEPs – Individualized Education Programs for students. This will help you track students’ progress. Also, supervise teacher assistants who are working with students in groups as well as in one-on-one sessions.
Steps of Becoming a Special Education teacher
To enter this field, the first step is getting a bachelor’s degree in special education. It is a 4 year program in which you will learn about child development, special education policies, and educational psychology.
However, in certain other cases, you may be asked to do a 5th additional year of school. During this time, you will focus and specialize in areas like speech therapy or nonverbal learning disabilities.
As far as a master’s degree is concerned, there are two types available for special education learning; MA and MEd. For a graduate degree, it is a requirement to choose a certain area of specialty or the type of special needs student you want to work with.
Moreover, education specialist (EdS) or doctoral degrees are options for special education as well. The former is set for special education teachers who already have a master’s degree and want to go for a school counselor or psychologist area.
Other than that, PhDs or EdDs prepare the educators to work in leadership roles. Your time will be mostly spent on conducting research and finishing off certain course requirements.
In various systems, special education teachers require complete hands-on training before they can start working. This is often called student teaching. It is an experience that provides opportunities to work directly with the children. Moreover, helps in better understanding of the classroom dynamics.
Teachers having a degree for severe or multiple disabilities have the opportunity to work in the following sectors. Areas include government agencies, NGOs (non-profit organizations), and even private institutions set for students with severe developmental disabilities. At Rainard School, we make sure that every teacher is trained to perform their best for the development of a special needs child.