How to Become a Special Education Teacher

What Makes A Teacher?
To choose an occupation, one needs to know themselves better. It’s your comfort and interest that at the end defines what you want to do. Teaching in itself is a tough job. One needs to be extensively knowledgeable about their subject. On top of that, they need to be able to teach it through extreme patience and interest. Their every day is someone’s first day of knowing about things. Thus it’s imperative for them to maintain a high level of interest too.

What are The Roles of a Special Education Teacher?
While that seems tough, it’s not easy to become a special education teacher. A special education teacher needs to be the epitome of patience, understanding, compassion, and love for another human being. As a special education teacher, one needs to be able to work with students which are affected by mental or physical disabilities. They are required to teach basic course curriculum and at a pace comfortable for the student to grab on and at the same time develop and teach basic life skills to the students allowing them to function outside the classroom environment.

In terms of engagement, a special education teacher needs to get in touch with the school administration, parents and classroom teachers on a regular basis in order to share the progress and learning analysis of the student. ADHD, Dyslexia and other mental and physical disabilities are constantly being researched on by the medical societies so new methods of learning and relief should be employed by the special education teacher consistently.

How Do You Get to Become a Special Education Teacher?
There are several steps which you need to follow before you can attain a position of special education teacher. These are mentioned below, starting with:

1. Earn a Special Education Degree:
Almost all the public schools will require for you to complete a bachelor’s degree in special education. But before that, you’ll need a degree to even apply for a license. Thus it is imperative to hold a degree in order to go to the next step.

You’ll be needed to complete your degree while studying subjects like Child assessment, educational psychology, techniques of communication, behavioral understanding and many others. These courses can be provided by several colleges across the countries both private and public.

These courses can more than prepare a the pursuer to handle the K-12 students with low to mid-level disability. These courses will enable a teacher, unlike the general teaching courses, classroom management, assessment techniques and overall behavioral understanding of a child with the mental or physical disability. Software and hardware tools can also be used by them to provide a genuine learning experience and promote growth and understanding in a student requiring special attention.

2. Get Hands-on Experience:
While you are in the degree program, It is advised to earn experience while assisting and interning. While it is not mandatory to attain such an experience in certain states, it is a recommended procedure as it can help you understand the situations one might have to face and gain helpful experience which could help you when you join as a full-time teacher.

While a lot of these internships are provided by the college itself, many don’t; thus, you may need to go and gain such an experience yourself by volunteering and pursuing research in the said area.

3. Earn Your Certification:
Before you can pursue your job as a special education teacher, you might require to earn a certification as a license to work in a particular state. The certification procedure is different in every state but you usually are required to clear an exam to attain this license.

This, however, is not absolutely required in case of a lot of private schools and childcare centers which don’t require the same from your end so you need be thorough in your research in order to understand the requirements of where you want to work.

You can also pursue certifications as specialization in certain disabilities like Autism and Dyslexia depending upon your state which can really show the in-depth knowledge you have about your field.

4. Find a Job:
By clearing absolutely all the requirements to work as a special education teacher you can now start applying at places you wish to work at. It is however recommended for you to work on special cases of certain disabilities in order to make a headway in your career as a Special Education teacher. By having experience in a certain disability you can assist an organization better and fit the role of a specialized teacher in a family that requires you to be fully equipped in order to assist their child in its educational understanding and mental and/or physical health improvement depending upon their disability.

5. Educate Yourself Some More:
Even after obtaining a job as a special needs teacher, you need to constantly keep working and studying to update your knowledge in a world where disabilities and mental disorders are researched upon by the scientists regularly in order to find a cure for the same. With that said, as a teacher, you are required to keep your skills and practices updated. Follow researches and see what it is you can do to effects someone’s life better.

You can also go for higher degrees. While a lot of employers need a master’s degree as a requirement that needs to be fulfilled from your end, getting one can greatly affect your career. An MS or an M.Ed degree can you in that. While an MS degree is a little more research-based, an M.eD degree helps to focus more in the classroom learning experience betterment. Both, however, are necessary to create appropriate curriculum and effective teaching methods which assist the students that require special needs.

As mentioned before, become specialized in teaching a child with a certain disability is also a great option to continue studying. Become as thorough in your research as possible as you are spreading more than just knowledge, you are spreading hope.

Finally, remember that this is not an occupation but a lifestyle. It is imperative to constantly find ways which can help kids learn better and at the same time equip them better mentally so that they become independent as they step outside in the world and empower it with their skills as an asset and not as a liability.

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