Special education teaching is an important job, and it can be a difficult one. But if you’ve been considering switching to online teaching as a way to be more effective in your position, there are ways you can make sure you’re providing students with the best possible experience.
The first step in getting started with online special education is ensuring you have the proper qualifications. Some states require you to have a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in special education, while others may accept applicants with an associate’s degree and teaching experience. You should also check with your state to verify they will grant you certification, even if you plan on working outside of the state.
Next, you’ll need to decide if you want to work for an online school or work independently as a private tutor. If you choose to work for an online school, then your next step would be applying to the school of your choice. If instead you choose to work for yourself, then it’s time to find parents who are looking for a special education teacher for their child.
Once you’ve found your students, the next step is setting up your classroom space and determining the way in which you will teach. While some educators prefer video chat programs like Google Hangouts or Skype, others use more traditional methods like emailing assignments or meeting face-to-face at a coffee shop or library.
With that said, the content is still important. You’ll need to decide which grade level you’d like to teach for, research curriculum for that age group, and then plan out your lessons. You can make your own lesson plans or use an online platform like Curriki that provides lessons for you in an online format.
Curriculum is important because most students with special needs require structure and consistency. They also have problems with social interaction, so they might not be able to self-advocate in the way that students without disabilities can.
You’ll need to develop a patient, understanding tone with all of your students—but especially with those who have learning disabilities or behavioral issues. This can be challenging when you’re not face-to-face with them every day, but it’s possible even through a computer screen.
Special education teachers face unique challenges when teaching online. The unusual educational needs of students with disabilities may become more pronounced in an online learning environment, and the teacher will need to be able to adapt lessons accordingly.
Many special education students will have parents who are especially involved in their child’s academic life. You will want to set up and establish clear lines of communication so that you can work together to deliver a good online experience for the student and their family.
First, you need to set up your online classroom. If you don’t already have an online presence for your classroom (such as an email address or a website), then this step is easy: just create one! Make sure it has all the information students will need so they can access their lessons and assignments without any trouble.
You could also create a Facebook page for your class or join an existing group chat with fellow teachers who work with special needs students—these channels can be helpful when it comes time to share resources and communicate about new ideas for lesson plans.
Special Education is defined as “specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability.” These services can include physical, speech-language pathology, occupational therapy and/or counseling services, academic instruction and related services such as assistive technology or transportation.
In addition to knowing how to teach effectively and how to provide instruction for students with special needs, you also need to understand the technology used by your school’s online learning management system (LMS). You’ll likely have access to tutorials that explain how the LMS works and how you can use it for various tasks. But you may also have access to colleagues who can help you get started.
There are many different types of special education jobs available. Some teachers work with students who have mild disabilities, such as learning disabilities, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or language-based disorders. Other teachers work with students who have intellectual disabilities or developmental delays. Still other teachers work with students who have physical or health impairments that require special accommodations. And some teachers work with students who have autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or emotional and behavioral disorders.