There are many reasons to pursue a career in special education. It can be a highly rewarding and fulfilling profession, and it offers the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of students with disabilities. If you’re thinking about becoming a special education teacher, read on to learn more about what the job entails and what you can expect.
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The Need for Special Education Teachers
Currently, there is a critical shortage of special education teachers nationwide, and the need is expected to continue to rise in the coming years. According to the U.S. Department of Education, the number of students aged 3-21 receiving special education services increased from 6.5 million in 1997-98 to 6.8 million in 1999-2000, an increase of 3%. During the same time period, the number of teachers decreased from 365,000 to 353,000, a decrease of 3%.
The Rewards of Teaching Special Education
Special education offers opportunities to make a difference in the lives of some of our most vulnerable citizens. It can be a very rewarding profession, both personally and professionally.
There are many reasons to choose special education as a career. Here are just a few:
You can have a positive impact on the lives of your students.
You can help your students reach their full potential.
You can be a advocate for your students and their families.
You can gain satisfaction from watching your students grow and progress.
You can build long-lasting relationships with your students and their families.
The Challenges of Teaching Special Education
The challenges of teaching special education are many and varied, but they all stem from the fact that special education students have unique needs that must be addressed in order for them to succeed. In addition to the challenges posed by the students themselves, special education teachers also must deal with the challenges posed by the education system, which is often not equipped to deal with the needs of special education students.
One of the biggest challenges facing special education teachers is the fact that they are often working with students who have a wide range of abilities and disabilities. This can make it difficult to create a lesson plan that meets the needs of all of your students, as well as to find materials that are appropriate for all of your students. In addition, because special education students often have difficulty communicating, it can be hard to get them to engage in class and participate in activities.
Another challenge facing special education teachers is the fact that they often do not have enough resources at their disposal. This can include both financial resources and human resources. Financial resources are often limited, which means that teachers have to get creative in order to provide their students with the materials they need. Human resources are also often limited, which means that there may not be enough people available to help you with your students. This can make it difficult to get the help you need when you need it.
Finally, another challenge facing special education teachers is the fact that they often face discrimination from both parents and administrators. Parents may not want their children to be in a class with other children who have disabilities, and administrators may not want to allocate resources to a class that they perceive as being unimportant. This discrimination can make it difficult for teachers to do their job and can make it difficult for students to get the education they deserve.
The Qualifications for Teaching Special Education
To teach special education in the public schools, you must have at least a bachelor’s degree and complete a state-approved teacher preparation program. Some states require teachers of special education to have a master’s degree or higher in special education, while others require only a bachelor’s degree. A few states allow people with a bachelor’s degree in another field to complete a post-baccalaureate special education teacher preparation program.