A special education teacher’s job is to help students who have difficulty learning, interacting with others, or completing daily tasks because of their condition. A Job Description for Special Education Teacher follows below. Teachers in special education typically work with students one-on-one or in small groups, adapting their instruction and materials to the specific needs of each student.
Those who work in special education are tasked with creating and enforcing IEPs for their students, which detail individualized learning goals and strategies. In addition to teaching, school counselors conduct progress assessments, coordinate with colleagues, and share student information with parents and guardians.
Special education teachers are expected to instruct their students, manage classroom behavior, address challenging behaviors, and engage in professional development opportunities to stay abreast of current best practices in the field. Helping students with disabilities achieve their academic and personal goals is the ultimate goal of a special education teacher.
Jobs as a Special Education Teacher
You can find special education teachers in public and private schools and programs designed to help students with specific types of disabilities. Also, schools, hospitals, and other facilities specializing in educating and caring for students with special needs may employ them.
School districts typically employ special education teachers and spend most of their time in classrooms. Depending on the school, they may be asked to work with students of varying ages and abilities, from preschool to high school.
Teachers with special needs may also find employment in private schools, which may have their policies regarding hiring and licensing teachers with special needs. While some independent institutions may offer their special education programs, others may hire outside organizations to handle the needs of their students with disabilities.
Overall, public and private schools, specialized schools and programs, and community organizations are all potential employers for teachers with special education certifications.
Special Education Teacher Job Description
Here is a sample high school special education teacher job description:
Job Title: High School Special Education Teacher
The special education teacher will provide specialized instruction to high school students with disabilities, including learning, physical, emotional, and behavioral disabilities. The teacher will work with students individually or in small groups, using various teaching methods and accommodations to meet the unique needs of each student. The teacher will also be responsible for developing and implementing individualized education plans (IEPs), which outline specific goals and objectives for each student. They will assess students’ progress and collaborate with other teachers and school staff to support their academic and social-emotional needs.
- Plan and deliver specialized instruction to high school students with disabilities.
- Develop and implement individualized education plans (IEPs) for each student.
- Assess students’ progress and adapt instruction as needed to ensure academic and personal growth.
- Collaborate with other teachers, school staff, and outside agencies to support students’ academic and social-emotional needs.
- Provide a supportive and inclusive learning environment that fosters student engagement and success.
- Manage classroom behavior and address challenging behaviors as needed.
- Communicate with parents and guardians about students’ progress and needs.
- Participate in professional development opportunities to stay up-to-date on best practices in special education.
- Adhere to laws and regulations related to special education, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
- Bachelor’s degree in education or a related field
- Teaching license or certification
- Coursework in special education
- Practicum or student teaching experience
- Experience working with students with disabilities in a high school setting preferred
- Strong communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills
- Patience, adaptability, and a dedication to helping students with disabilities reach their full potential
Special Education Teacher Duties
When it comes to meeting the academic and emotional needs of students with disabilities, special education teachers have a lot on their plates.
Teachers of students with special needs may be tasked with the following activities:
- Lessons and activities for special education students are planned and delivered with each student’s unique needs in mind. To help students learn and succeed in school, teachers may employ a wide range of strategies and tools.
- Special education teacher job requirements dictate that they regularly assess their student’s progress and adjust their instruction as necessary to ensure their students progress toward their goals. Tests, observations, and portfolio evaluations are a few ways teachers can gauge students’ development.
- Supporting students’ academic and social/emotional needs requires close collaboration between special education teachers and other teachers and school staff. Co-teaching with general education teachers is possible, as is coordinating with guidance counselors and social workers to ensure students’ social and emotional well-being.
- Teachers of students with special needs may also be responsible for maintaining order in the classroom and dealing with disruptive students. To address behavioral issues and foster a productive learning environment for all students, they may employ various methods, such as positive behavior support and functional behavior assessments.
- Teachers in special education regularly update the parents and guardians on their students’ development and educational requirements. They may schedule periodic conferences with parents to review their child’s development and update them on their progress.
- Teachers in the field of special education should devote themselves to continuous training and improvement to provide their students with the most effective education possible. To learn new methods for assisting students with special needs, they may participate in professional development activities such as seminars, workshops, or online courses.
Special education teachers are generally responsible for various tasks that meet their students’ academic and emotional needs.
Why Special Educational Needs Teachers
Teachers in special education are indispensable because of their crucial role in meeting the academic and emotional needs of students with special needs. Disabled students may require specialized aid and adjustments to thrive academically. Teachers specializing in special education have the skills and knowledge to provide this assistance and adapt their teaching strategies and materials to the individual needs of their students.
Teachers in special education play an essential role in developing their students’ emotional intelligence, social competence, and sense of agency, in addition to helping them succeed academically. They try to make the classroom a welcoming and safe place for all students so that they can thrive academically.
Special education teachers are crucial in helping students with disabilities thrive in the classroom and reach their full academic potential.
What Is the Role of the Special Education Teacher in Inclusive Settings?
Teachers focusing on special education play a crucial role in meeting the academic and social-emotional needs of students with disabilities in inclusive classrooms. Co-teaching occurs when a general education teacher and a special education teacher work together in the same classroom to help students with disabilities learn and succeed in the general education setting.
Students with special needs have equal access to educational and social opportunities in inclusive settings. Instructors of students with disabilities in general education classrooms may be accountable for the following:
- The role of special education teachers in inclusive settings is to provide individualized or small-group instruction and support for students with disabilities. To cater to the individual needs of each student, they may employ a wide range of instructional strategies, auxiliary aids, and technological tools.
- Teachers of students with disabilities in inclusive settings collaborate with teachers of students without disabilities to design and implement curriculum and pedagogical practices that are accessible to and engaging for all students. Special education teachers may work with their peers in regular classrooms to modify lessons and tests for students with special needs. Special education teacher duties resume each school year.
- Behavior management: Special education teachers may monitor and address disruptive student behavior in inclusive settings. To address behavioral issues and foster a productive learning environment for all students, they may employ various methods, such as positive behavior support and functional behavior assessments.
- Helping students with disabilities succeed in school: Special education teachers in mainstream classrooms may help students with disabilities in different ways, including assisting them to succeed academically, helping them grow socially and emotionally, and helping with their physical and mobility needs.
Overall, the role of the special education teacher in inclusive settings is to provide specialized instruction and support to students with disabilities while also collaborating with general education teachers and managing classroom behavior.
Jennifer Hanson is a dedicated and seasoned writer specializing in the field of special education. With a passion for advocating for the rights and needs of children with diverse learning abilities, Jennifer uses her pen to educate, inspire, and empower both educators and parents alike.