How to Become a Special Education Teacher

Are you looking for a role where you get to make a positive impact on the lives of students with learning disabilities or developmental delays? If so, a position as a special education teacher could be exactly what you’re looking for.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at what a special education teacher is, what their responsibilities are, and the requirements needed to become a special education teacher. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about becoming a special education teacher.

What is a Special Education Teacher?

A special education teacher is an educator who focuses on students with special needs, including learning disabilities or developmental delays. A key responsibility for special education teachers is to develop individual education programs for students with special needs to ensure that reachable goals are set and progress is tracked.

The role of a special education teacher also requires them to work alongside parents and other educators to ensure students’ developmental goals are being met. They are also tasked with keeping parents informed on the progress of students.

What Does a Special Education Teacher Do?

The primary responsibility of a special education teacher is to work with students with learning disabilities to empower their academic development. Additional special education teacher responsibilities include:

  • Support students with varying disabilities
  • Design customized lesson plans for students
  • Coordinate with classroom teachers on lesson plans
  • Evaluate student learning preferences
  • Develop individual education programs for each student
  • Foster transparent communication with parents or guardians
  • Employ clear and effective communication in teaching

Special Education Teacher Requirements

To become a special teacher, individuals must obtain a bachelor’s degree in special education. Some roles will also accept a degree in elementary education or math; however, this may not be the case for every position.

In addition to a degree, special education teachers must also gain licensure and required certifications for the state in which they work. These certifications vary by state, so it is important to research the requirements in your area to understand every required certification.

If a role as a special education teacher sounds like something you’re interested in pursuing, we offer a wide selection of job openings all over the country. Explore our special education teacher jobs page to learn more. 

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