Special education teachers work with students who have special needs or disabilities, and the Special Education Teacher Master’s Degree is designed to provide expert instruction and training to those who want to enter this profession.
The program teaches students about teaching strategies and techniques that are designed to meet the specific needs of students with disabilities in an inclusive setting. Students explore topics including cognitive development, language development, learning disorders and other special needs.
This degree program may be offered as a Master of Arts (MA), Master of Education (MEd) or Master of Science (MS). Students can earn their degree in one year if they attend full time, but those who attend part time can complete it in two years. There are also accelerated master’s programs that allow students to earn their degree in less than one year.
Special education teachers work with students from kindergarten through 12th grade who have a wide range of learning, mental, emotional, and physical disabilities. As a special education teacher, you’ll be responsible for adapting general education lessons and teaching methods to meet the varying needs of students with disabilities. You may also collaborate with other teachers and professionals to create individualized education plans (IEPs) for your students.
Special education teachers help children and youth with different needs, including learning disabilities, behavioral disorders, emotional problems, and physical disabilities. They work with these students in a variety of settings, including classrooms with other special education teachers, general classrooms with regular education teachers, separate schools for children with special needs, and in homes or hospitals. Special education teachers often collaborate as part of a team that includes students’ parents and therapists.
For teachers who want to work in special education, there are various master’s degree programs available. These programs may be offered through a college of education or a department of education within a university. The programs are designed to provide students with the training necessary to work with individuals with various disabilities, such as learning disabilities, emotional or behavioral disorders, or autism. Students learn about the unique needs of these populations, how to create and implement individualized educational plans (IEPs), and the legal requirements for special education.
Special education teachers work with students who have a variety of disabilities. These teachers adapt general education lessons and teach various subjects, such as reading, writing, and math, to students with mild and moderate disabilities. They also teach basic skills, such as literacy and communication techniques, to students with severe disabilities.
Students interested in educating children with mild to moderate disabilities have the option of earning a Master of Arts (M.A.) or a Master of Science (M.S.) in Special Education. These programs are designed for students who already have a bachelor’s degree and typically take two to three years to complete, depending on whether the program is part-time or full-time. Students take courses in evidence-based instructional strategies, assessment, collaboration and education law that are specific to working with students with disabilities.
Special education teachers may work with children from preschool through high school, as well as adult learners. In some cases, these professionals work with students who need additional resources to be successful in a traditional classroom environment. In other cases, special education teachers may work with students who require more extensive support and will spend most of their day in a special education classroom.
To become a special education teacher you must complete an undergraduate degree in special education or a related field like early childhood development or psychology. In addition to your degree program, you must also complete student teaching experience under the supervision of a licensed teacher before becoming eligible for state licensure as a special education teacher.
Most states require a master’s degree in order to teach special education at the elementary or secondary level. By earning your master’s degree in special education you can develop advanced skills that will allow you to better meet the needs of your students and increase your professional opportunities within the field of special education.