What does a Special Education Teacher do?
Special Education Teachers are typically employed by public schools to educate students who require additional support outside of the traditional classroom. They work with many different types of children, from those who are physically disabled or sensory impaired to those with speech difficulties or autism. Typical responsibilities for Special Education Teachers include providing small group instruction, writing and delivering lesson plans, assessing student work and collaborating with their students’ other Teachers to ensure they’re meeting their student’s needs.
Special Education Teacher skills and qualifications
To be a successful Special Education Teacher, candidates need a distinct personality to handle the different kinds of children and parents and maintain a level of professionalism. Some of the most important skills they should have include:
- Ability to build good relationships with children, parents, Teachers and Social Workers
- Ability to work well with children from different backgrounds who have different abilities
- Well-organized and self-driven to devise and adopt new techniques for teaching and keeping the class orderly
- Ability to manage the classroom despite challenging behavior
- Strong written and verbal communication skills
- Compassionate, kind and patient with kids
- Excellent leader and mentor for students
- Strong attention to detail and an inquisitive mind to understand each individual student
Special Education Teacher salary expectations
Special Education Teachers make an average of $50,116 per year. This salary may vary depending on a candidate’s education and experience as well as the age range they teach and the type of facility they teach in.
Special Education Teacher education and training requirements
Special Education Teachers need to earn a state-approved bachelor’s degree in special education in order to be hired. They are also required to take their state’s special education test, such as the Praxis Special Education: Core Knowledge and Applications exam, and become licensed in their specific state. Some employers may prefer candidates who also have a master’s degree, though others may only ask for a bachelor’s degree and certification. There are also specific qualifications for children with particular impairments, so it is important to find a candidate with training in the right area.
Special Education Teacher experience requirements
Though education is a big part of the journey to become a Special Education Teacher, candidates should also have experience in the field. Some applicants work as a more typical Teacher before moving into special education, though some employers may prefer applicants who have experience working with kids who have special needs. Most students enrolled in a special education degree in college get experience as a Student Teacher, and some even pursue internships after college to gain experience.
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