July 7, 2022
Special Education Teacher Requirements
Special Education Teacher Requirements

Special education teachers work with children of all ages who have a variety of learning disabilities, cognitive disabilities, emotional or physical problems. Special education teachers work to promote and manage the growth of students with special needs. Special education teachers modify the general education curriculum to meet the special individual needs of each student. The special education (sometimes shortened to SPED or special education) profession requires patience, acceptance, and understanding of teachers. This guide provides additional information about what special education teachers do, how to become, and what special education teacher salaries and job prospects are.

Being a teacher for children with special needs can be challenging, but at the same time very satisfying. Helping students with mental and physical disabilities can be physically and emotionally exhausting, but helping them develop and succeed is also rewarding. Like teachers in any other subject, special education teachers plan lessons, teach children, and assign activities to children. They also grade assignments and tests, track student progress, and meet with parents to discuss student abilities and issues they may face. They may teach at the elementary, middle, or secondary school level in public or private schools, and their students may range from mild to severe learning and/or behavioural disabilities. Some have their own classrooms that teach groups of students with special needs, others work in individual or small group-based general classrooms where children with disabilities learn together with other students.

The special education teacher’s job includes assisting general education teachers in identifying and evaluating children who may have disabilities or special needs. Lessons are then tailored to each child’s needs as part of an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Developing an IEP is important for these teachers because they are responsible for teaching students with a wide range of disabilities. One child may need to use flashcards to hone their math skills or focus on reading, and another may need a teacher to help with basic life skills, such as how to answer questions or follow directions.