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Studies & Degrees in Teacher Training for Special Education

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Teacher Training for Special Education involves learning how to work with children who have some form of disability. This can mean that they either have learning difficulties, or some sort of impairment in their intellectual, physical, sensory, or emotional abilities. These children can either be in primary, secondary, or high school, but also at the college and university level. Usually, the study curriculum is adapted to special education classes, which are smaller in size, and the number of teachers assigned to a class is higher.

Here are some of the tasks you would be undertaking as a special education teacher: employ tests and other methods of assessment to evaluate the abilities and potential of a child or a group of children, and then plan on the course of study that is most suitable for them. On top of adapting the curriculum, special education teachers also assist in the rehabilitation of these children by teaching them self-help skills and guiding them in their communication with other students. Finally, you would have the opportunity to work with other professionals like speech therapists and psychologists, who also work with the child. Not to forget that in some cases special education teachers also work with intellectually gifted children.

Personal Qualities

Teaching jobs require great patience and discipline, and this applies even more to an instructor in special education. Here is a fuller list of qualities you might like to explore:

  • Deal well with stress and difficult environments
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills
  • Be flexible and adaptive to student needs
  • Love of children and ability to easily connect with them
  • Be tactful, encouraging and motivating
  • Prepared to work long hours

Study Options

There are a few roads you can take to become a special education teacher. There are options for you to earn a bachelor’s degree, or undertake a special training course if you already have such a degree in teaching for example. Some employers and regions of the world, though, may also require a master’s degree or a PhD in special education.

It is essential that schools that offer training in special education be accredited by the appropriate organization, and most certainly you would need to gain licensing on top of your certification. There are many colleges, universities, and online education programs that offer the opportunity to gain this form of specialized education, but you have to make sure that, with the certificate you earn, you would be allowed to practice in the region you wish to live.

Finally, you should keep in mind that there are extra requirements for teachers working with children with visual, hearing, or multi-sensory impairment. Such qualifications can only be gained at certain institutions, and can usually be completed either full time, or part time.

Career Options

Career options for this profession are very good, because there has been a trend of deficiency in special education teachers in the last few years. One career choice could be to specialize in working with children with autism, or dyslexia, for example. You can also work in a school, helping other professionals adapt their teaching materials and curricula to students with disabilities. Or, you can work together in the classroom, where you specifically support the children with special needs. However, there is always the option for you to organize your own center for helping such students, where you concentrate on only organizing special education classes and groups. Some special education teachers also concentrate on working with very young children and infants, going to their homes, supporting them and their parents. Finally, there are the adult literacy and numeracy teachers, who help adults with very low literacy.