There are several different requirements that one must meet in order to become a special education teacher. In addition to completing a state-approved teacher preparation program, which may require taking the Praxis I and Praxis II exams, an aspiring special education teacher must also be able to demonstrate effective communication skills, have the opportunity to learn from experienced teachers, and have the ability to work well with parents.
Special education teachers are responsible for providing special needs students with the individualized, special instruction they require to succeed in school. They work with students of all ages and all disabilities, from those who are mildly disabled to those with severe physical or mental disabilities. While all states require special educators to have at least a bachelor’s degree in education, many states require an additional endorsement or certification.
The requirements for becoming a special education teacher vary by state, but in most cases, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree, as well as some classroom experience and student teaching. If you want to teach students with hearing impairments or low vision, you’ll also likely need to have taken some specialized courses in these areas. You may also need to complete some sort of supervised practicum or internship before obtaining your license.
To qualify as a special education teacher, you need to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. You must also have a teaching certificate and license in your state, which often includes completing an approved teacher preparation program and passing a background check. Many states require teachers to complete additional coursework or a master’s degree.
You may also need additional certification, such as English as a Second Language (ESL) or bilingual endorsements. You should check with your individual state’s education department for specific requirements.
The special education field is growing rapidly. Special education teachers can work with students at any age level, although most work with children between the ages of 3 and 14. Students can be in pre-kindergarten through high school, although some states do not require special education teachers to be licensed for elementary school.
Special education teachers need a bachelor’s degree, which may be in special education or in a content area with a special education minor. However, just because you have the right degree doesn’t mean you’re ready to teach. You’ll also need a teaching license, which typically requires completing an approved teacher preparation program and then student teaching for at least one semester. The student teaching portion of your program is vital, as it provides you with the opportunity to work closely with licensed special education teachers and gain real-world experience.
While you’re completing your teacher training program, you’ll need to take specific courses that focus on issues relating to special needs students and their families. These are important because they ensure that you know how to address their unique needs and provide appropriate instruction. However, if you want to work with students with severe disabilities, additional training is required for certification. Some states require that teachers earn a master’s degree in special education after earning their initial teaching credential. This advanced degree can open up other opportunities in the field as well.