What Does a Special Education Teacher Do?

Special education teachers work with students who have a wide range of learning, mental, emotional, and physical disabilities.

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Introduction

A special education teacher is a teacher who works with students who have a wide range of learning, mental, emotional, and physical disabilities. Special education teachers work in public and private schools, and in a variety of settings, including self-contained classrooms, resource rooms, inclusion classrooms, and pull-out programs.

Special education teachers typically have a bachelor’s degree in special education or a related field, and most states require them to have a teaching license or certification. Some states offer alternative certification programs for candidates who have a bachelor’s degree in another field but want to become special education teachers.

The job outlook for special education teachers is good. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of special education teachers will grow by 8 percent from 2018 to 2028—about as fast as the average for all occupations.

What Does a Special Education Teacher Do?

A special education teacher is a teacher who works with students who have special needs. Special education teachers work with students who have a variety of disabilities, including physical, mental, and emotional disabilities. Special education teachers help these students learn in a way that is appropriate for their individual needs.

Assessing Students

In order to identify students who may have a disability, special education teachers give assessments that are designed to measure specific skills. These assessments may include academic achievement tests, intelligence tests, and other types of neuropsychological or psychoeducational tests.

Creating Individualized Education Plans

A big part of what does a special education teacher, is creating Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) for each of their students. IEPs are created with input from the student’s parents or guardians, as well as the student’s regular education teacher (if they have one), and other specialists who may be involved with the student’s care, such as therapists or counselors.

The IEP spells out what accommodations or modifications the student will need in order to benefit from their education. It also sets goals for the student’s progress and lays out a plan for how that progress will be monitored and reported. Special education teachers are responsible for making sure that the goals in each student’s IEP are being met, and they adjust their instruction accordingly.

Providing Direct Instruction

A special education teacher is a teacher who works with students who have a wide range of disabilities. The intent of direct instruction is to deliver a well-defined curriculum in a structured and concise manner. This type of instruction provides the foundation for all other types of instruction, including differentiation and accommodations.

Managing Classrooms and Behavior

Most special education teachers work in public schools. Some work in private schools, and a small number work in hospitals or other institutions. Most special education teachers have regular class hours during the day, although some may teach evening classes for adults. Many teachers also provide individualized instruction to students outside of the classroom, either in their homes or in an after-school program.

Classroom management is a big part of a special education teacher’s job. In many cases, students with disabilities can be behaviorally challenged. As a result, special education teachers must be skilled at managing classrooms and student behavior. They also need to be able to develop and implement behavior management plans that are individualized for each student.

Special Education Teacher Salary and Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a special education teacher was $58,980 in 2018. The job outlook for special education teachers is expected to grow by 8% from 2018-2028. Special education teachers work with students who have a variety of disabilities. They adapt the lesson plans to meet the needs of the students.

Salary

The median annual salary for special education teachers was $58,980 in May 2018. The top 10 percent earned more than $85,350, and the bottom 10 percent earned less than $40,140.

To become a special education teacher, you will need at least a bachelor’s degree and a teaching license in special education. Some states require a master’s degree for certification.

Job Outlook

The job outlook for special education teachers is expected to grow by 3% from 2019 to 2029, which is about as fast as the average occupation. Job opportunities should be best for those who have earned certification in specific disabilities and those who are willing to work in rural areas or inner cities.

Conclusion

In conclusion, being a special education teacher is a demanding but rewarding profession. It is important to remember that every child is unique and will have different needs. As a special education teacher, you will need to be creative and flexible in order to meet those needs. However, the satisfaction that comes from helping a child reach his or her potential is more than worth the effort.

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