Are you interested in becoming a special education teacher? If so, you should truly be committed to helping these students achieve everything they can. It requires great dedication and compassion to become a special education teacher – or to choose a career in any form of education. There are certain training courses and degrees that you will need in order to become a special education teacher. For those that feel this is their calling, look over these tips for seeking employment in special education.
What is a Special Education Teacher?
Firstly, let us define what a special education teacher is. Basically, a special education teacher is responsible for the instruction of students with various special needs. This can include children with learning disabilities, physical handicaps, and other disabilities that prevent them from being taught in the same environment as the rest of the student body.
A special education teacher needs to be able to work with these disabilities to teach their students the basic subjects and skills they will require to move on to their next form of education or to graduate high school. While special education teachers can be employed in various facilities, they are generally employed at public schools.
Obtain a Degree in Special Education
It is requirement in every state that a special education teacher has the correct license. Typically, this requires a bachelor’s degree with a major in special education; however, there are several states that allow various other types of programs and licenses. Furthermore, there are some states that require a master’s degree. Before embarking on the path towards earning your special education degree, find out what the requirements are in your state or the states that will consider moving to in order to seek employment when the time comes.
While earning your degree you will probably take coursework to learn about child assessment, communication techniques, and other skills that will help you with the education of students with special needs.
Obtain a License for Special Education
In addition to your degree you may also need a certificate or license that has been issued by the state you live in order to seek employment as a special education teacher in a public school. Depending on where you reside, you may be issued a license that allows you to teach all children with disabilities or you may be issued a license that specifies a specific disability. As with your degree, find out what the requirements are in your state or the states you want to work in.
Specializing Your Education
If you wish, you can specialize in a specific area of special education. You have the option to specialize in the education of children with moderate disabilities, such as autism or various learning disabilities. You could also specialize in the education of children with moderate to severe disabilities, including brain injury, emotional trauma, and severe autism. Other specializations include teaching deaf students, students with visual impairments, physical and health impairments, and the specialization in early childhood special education.
After you have obtained your necessary degree, license or certification, and decided if you want to specialize in a specific area of special education, it is time to begin applying for work. Do not get discouraged if you do not find work right away. Depending on the region you live, there may not be many positions in special education. Be prepared to seek work in nearby cities and then slowly expand your search outwards if you continue to have difficulty finding work.
In the schools that are nearby but currently not hiring you should ask if they will keep your resume on file in the event a position does open up. Given time and commitment, you should eventually be able to realize your dream of becoming a special education teacher. For those that want additional information on special education or education in general, send us a message or leave a comment below.