Two of the focuses of my blog are Career Discussions and General Education. In important part of the education sector is Special Education. There will always be a need for Special Education teachers and their valuable skills. The following contributed post is entitled, How To Gain A Career In Special Education Teaching.
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Special education teachers play an essential role in the education system. They help and support children with a wide variety of different mental and physical needs to ensure that they get the maximum benefit from their education.
Special education teachers support children with differing needs including dyslexia, hearing and visual impairments, autism, and emotional disturbance. It can be a very challenging role, however, if you are interested in this career, it can also be very rewarding in many respects.
This type of teacher can often be found in the classroom supporting children on a one-to-one basis, however, they may sometimes teach whole classes.
In this article, we’ll discuss the role of a special education teacher and how you can get a career in this area.
What Skills Are Required
First and foremost, when looking for a career as a special educator you will need to demonstrate excellent communication skills. This is so that educators are able to interact effectively with students, parents, and other educators. Being able to communicate with students with very specific needs is essential. That means that they must be patient listeners who are able to get the message across as required.
In addition to communication skills, you will also need good IT skills and the ability to keep accurate records of each and every student’s progress. Technology will also come into play when it comes to helping students access the technology required within their education as well as any study support aids that they may need.
You will need to have a good understanding of the specific special needs of the students that you are teaching. Knowing specifically how to communicate in a positive way can be learned, but having the patience to deliver education in this way takes the right personal skills.
For teachers working with hearing impaired, they will need to know how to communicate using sign language.
Above all else, special education teachers need to have a positive and encouraging demeanor. They need to be creative thinkers with flexibility and the ability to motivate and inspire all of their students while helping build confidence and encourage learning. They also need to be resilient. There may be times when teaching special needs students can be challenging.
What Training Will Be Required
The type of qualifications will vary depending on where you are applying to become a special education teacher. In the United States, special educators are required to hold a license in addition to their qualifications.
You will need to at least have a bachelor’s level degree in special education in order to be considered for licensing. You may need a master’s degree in some areas.
In addition to a degree, you may need a qualification such as Dyslexia Professional Development and Dyslexia Training or other specific additional courses relating to a certain aspect of special needs education. This might be additional training delivering education to visually impaired students, or managing and teaching students with behavioral issues.
Because there are always developments in this field, training is often ongoing and you may be encouraged to keep engaging in your personal and professional development throughout your career. This may mean regular training days, or it could mean taking a part-time course alongside your work.
What Are The Alternative Career Options?
If the classroom setting is not for you, there are other options for helping others while making use of the skills and qualifications that you might have gained for working in the special education sector.
Because the special educator role can be very mentally and physically demanding, it is not uncommon for people to change lanes in their careers as they progress so that they can continue putting their hard-earned skills to good use in a different setting.
The types of jobs that are available with this skillset might include management level roles in special educational needs schools, recreational therapists, or occupational therapist.
A recreational therapist will have obtained a degree in recreational therapy or something very similar. This type of therapist will work with people who have cognitive, emotional, and physical disabilities. As part of their job roles, they will assess those that they work with and create and implement training plans and programs. They may use activities such as art, music, sport, and theater in beneficial and therapeutic ways.
An occupational therapist will have obtained a master’s level qualification in a related subject. Occupational therapists will treat those who are disabled or injured through the use of various different types of therapy.