Special education teachers are professionals who have a great deal of training and experience, but the qualifications vary depending on the type of special education teacher. There are some general requirements that most special education teachers have in common. They all have at least a bachelor’s degree and they are all licensed to teach in their state. Most also have teaching experience, although this may not be required for new graduates.
The minimum requirement for becoming a special education teacher is having a bachelor’s degree in special education or a related field. Related fields include early childhood development, elementary education and psychology. Sometimes educators from these fields can obtain alternative certification and then become licensed to teach as special education teachers.
Bachelor’s degrees in education typically include general education courses, as well as coursework in pedagogy and child psychology. Special education programs may help prepare individuals for licensure. Licensure requirements vary but generally include student teaching experience.
Special education teachers provide tailored instruction to students with learning disabilities or other disabilities. They work with students who have a range of disabilities, including autism, communication disorders, emotional and behavioral disorders, intellectual and developmental disabilities, physical impairments, traumatic brain injuries, and specific learning disabilities. Special education teachers also work with students who are gifted.
Special education teachers use a variety of teaching methods to provide different ways of instruction to meet their students’ individual needs. Their methods include lesson plans that divide subjects into smaller sections. These sections make it easier for students to learn information in manageable amounts. In addition, special education teachers often offer more hands-on instruction than other teachers do.
They work with general education teachers and other school staff to develop Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for each student they serve. IEPs state goals for each student’s academic success throughout the year as well as what services the school will provide to help them achieve those goals. Special education teachers may teach classes or co-teach classes with general education teachers. Some special education teachers also teach basic skills such as reading and writing to secondary students who have severe disabilities and require more individualized attention.
Special education teachers are an important part of the educational system. They work with students who have a wide range of learning, mental, emotional, and physical disabilities. Special education teachers work with general education teachers, parents, and administrators to develop IEPs (individualized education programs) for their students and provide lessons that help them stay on track with the rest of their class.
Special education teachers must be able to manage a classroom and give all students the attention they deserve to help them succeed. They need to be compassionate, patient, and understanding when working with students with special needs.