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How to become a special education teacher?

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Ankida Balamurali

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A special education teacher is a teacher who works with students or young people who have physical or emotional disabilities. A career as a special education teacher involves instructing students who are blind, deaf, autistic or have any cognitive and learning disabilities.

Skills required:
As a special education teacher, you’d help students with disabilities to develop problem-solving and social skills, not just academic advancement. You’d be needed to help your students on specific personal skills. Therefore, it is essential to have specific skills and traits to deal with special needs children. Following are some of the essential skills required to become a special educator:

  1. Good organizational skills.
  2. Calm nature.
  3. Detail-oriented.
  4. Adaptability.
  5. Communication skills.
  6. Effective instructional skills.
  7. Leadership skills.
  8. Must be even-tempered.
  9. Deadline oriented.
  10. Highly intuitive.
  11. Encouraging quality.
  12. Creative as well as flexible.
  13. Genuine love for children.

These are some of the essential skills that special educators should have.

How to become a special education teacher?

Get a degree: It is important to have a degree in particular education teaching. Many universities offer a degree program in special education teaching at Bachelor’s, Masters and Doctoral level.  

Teach students and add to your experience: Once your degree course is over, you can either volunteer with an organization that works with children with disabilities. You can also do an internship to get some hands-on experience.

Take your state’s required tests and become certified: To become a public school teacher, you need to qualify your state’s licensing exam. Having a license is very important, and every state has its requirements for special education teachers. So, you should check out the conditions in your state and prepare for the test accordingly.

Continue education and do specialization: If you want you can study further and do a specialization in any particular area. You can do specialization on teaching students with speech problems, behavioral disorders, autism, hearing problems, and emotional disturbances.

Start looking for specialized education jobs: After completing your studies, passing the state’s exam, and adding to your experience, you can start looking for jobs in this field. Start searching for jobs in your respective states. Other than a teacher, you can apply for the following posts after completing your special education degree program:

  • School counselor
  • Librarian
  • Library Technician
  • Tutor/ Teacher assistant
  • Occupational therapy assistant
  • Childcare worker

Acquire the above-listed skills and finish your education and required training to become a special education teacher.

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