Special Education Teacher: What Do You Need to Have in You?

When special education is your career, you ought to be prepared for challenges. Your students are faced with disabilities- either intellectually or developmentally.

While working as special education teacher, your job requires you not only to teach the little children, but plan their lessons also. This is where the job demands your expertise.

 Who is a special education teacher?

As the name suggests, such a teacher who is involved in teaching children with special needs is termed as this. Imparting knowledge, helping them to grow and develop, nourishing their cognitive development, these are a few of the responsibilities that these teachers perform.

 What do you need to do as a teacher?

Tracking the progress of the students, developing Individualised Education Programme (IEP) for them, keeping track of students’ performances from the parents all are part of your job. You also need to modify the IEP along with the child’s progress along the class.

Which grade do you want to teach? From nursery to high schools- everywhere there is increasing need of teachers who are able to attend those with special needs.

Are you feeling an urge to take this up as your career? You need to know what you need to have to become one. We bring to you every small and large details of it.

 What special education degree would you need?

A bachelor’s degree in special education is your first key to open the gateway. When you choose a teacher training institute providing similar courses, you need to take that up.

Throughout your course you will be taught about the developmental stages of children, psychological changes the children undergo and the policies that are associated with special education. At the end of your course you may also need to choose an area of specialisation and become a special education teacher specialised in a particular field, like speech problems, learning disability etc.

After completing bachelor’s degree it is recommended you complete your masters too. That will increase your employability.

 What certification would you need?

Besides the bachelor and master degree certificates, you would also need to possess a certificate showing your hands on skills or professional abilities. A number of teacher training courses are going on in this manner to award you with such a certificate.

 What characteristics do you need to have?

Though educational degree is important, it is not all when it comes to teaching learners with disabilities or special needs. If you are truly considering this to be your career, you need to tick off a certain set of qualities in you. Read on to know more.

A good sense of humour always comes in handy while teaching these special ones. Disability may be there in them, but the sense of identifying positive reactions and enjoyment is never dull. Your good humoured nature will definitely invigorate your whole teaching process.

Being organised is another quality you must possess. Your organised nature will actually help induce an academic structure into your classroom that will elevate the learning process.

You must keep in mind that your students are diverse in their disabilities. While some suffer from dyslexia, some are prey to physical deformities. Thus being organised will actually help both of you.

Be accessible and acceptable. Learn to accept everyone despite their special needs. It is the capabilities that actually call for your appreciation. Being easily accessible makes the children like you and be more open with you if they have any particular difficulty in learning.

A particular characteristic combination that is must in this field of work is creativity and innovativeness. The more you incorporate these two in your lesson plan and class activities, the more will be the successful outcome you receive. This will also boost up the classroom environment.

Keeping your calm and remaining cool tempered is absolutely necessary when you have the huge responsibility of teaching special needs children thrust upon you. There will come many moments where you will be on the verge of losing your patience but not being kind, helpful and calm will only make the situation worse.

It will be difficult for the children to follow you if you do not have direct instructions laid in details. Being firm in difficult situations will help the children and you overcome the occasional emotional disturbances.

Intuition and confidence are another two set of qualities that you must have in yourself while taking up teaching special needs children. If you have self doubts about the steps you take or measures you choose, you will soon lose control over the situation.

Your intuition will help you understand the students’ needs. Keep in mind that these are not regular learners who can identify their needs and communicate the same to you. You have to stay ahead of them and cater to their developmental needs.

Excellent communication skills are also necessary for you have to understand what the special ones are trying to deliver as they often are confused about their needs. Also, you have to communicate with other teaching associates and the parents of the children also to get a better grip on how the child is performing behind your vigilance.

Dedication is a last but not the least characteristic you need to have. Diversity and disability will always accompany your workplace and sometimes put pressure on your nerves. It is only with dedication that you can have a control over them.

 When these children complete the process to climb the ladder of success and be a part of the mainstream society, trust us, there is nothing more satisfying than it.

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