Special Education Teachers, Secondary School
Also called: High School Special Education Teacher, Special Education Resource Teacher, Special Education Teacher, Teacher
Produced by CareerOneStop
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With patience, resourcefulness and strong communication skills, special education teachers create a positive learning environment for students with special needs. Special education teachers work with students who have learning, mental, emotional, and physical disabilities. They teach reading, writing, and math, and—for students with severe disabilities— they also teach communication and basic life skills. A special education teacher begins by developing an Individualized Education Program for each student, then implementing it and tracking student progress. Communicating with parents, counselors, other teachers, and administrators helps ensure they meet students’ needs. Tasks vary based on the student’s needs; teachers might develop flashcards for a student with hearing loss, facilitate a small group to teach collaboration for a project, or create a quiet corner for students with autism. Many use assistive technology to communicate with students. Most special education teachers work in public schools, with students ranging from preschool through high school. They generally work during school hours, following the traditional 10-month school year schedule. The work can be highly rewarding, but also emotionally demanding and physically draining. Special education teachers need a bachelor’s degree in special education or in an education-related field; or a content area, such as math or science with a minor in special education. A license is required to teach in public schools. States may offer a general license in special education, or disability-specific credentials, such as autism or behavior disorders.
What they do:Teach secondary school subjects to educationally and physically handicapped students. Includes teachers who specialize and work with audibly and visually handicapped students and those who teach basic academic and life processes skills to the mentally impaired.
On the job, you would:
- Develop and implement strategies to meet the needs of students with a variety of handicapping conditions.
- Observe and evaluate students' performance, behavior, social development, and physical health.
- Establish and enforce rules for behavior and policies and procedures to maintain order among students.
Arts and Humanities
- English language
Education and Training
- teaching and course design
Engineering and Technology
- computers and electronics
Math and Science
- arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
- using the best training or teaching strategies for learning new things
- listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
- noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
- looking for ways to help people
- teaching people how to do something
- communicate by speaking
- communicate by writing
Ideas and Logic
- notice when problems happen
- come up with lots of ideas
- pay attention to something without being distracted
People interested in this work like activities that include helping people, teaching, and talking.
They do well at jobs that need:
- Concern for Others
- Stress Tolerance
You might use software like this on the job:
Device drivers or system software
- Screen magnification software
- Screen reader software
Electronic mail software
- Email software