One of the most rewarding and toughest teaching careers to choose is a special education teacher. This teacher needs to be strong and strict enough to keep students in line and engaged. The special education teacher has to be caring, and patient enough to meet the needs of students with challenges. For the right person this is the perfect career.
The job of the a special education teacher has all the same requirements of recording keeping, lesson plans, classroom management and attention to detail that is expected of any teacher. The teacher does not get a pass on any of the normal requirements.
Here are just a few of the duties that are listed in the job description of a teacher.
*maintain clear, relevant records of each students progress and behavior
*attend department, administrative and parent teacher meetings
*be punctual and prepared
*use relevant and new technology in the class room
*provide appropriate feedback
*manage student behavior in the classroom by establishing and enforcing rules and procedures
*communicate necessary information regularly to students, colleagues and parents about the needs of the student
While the special education teacher is the daily hands on contact for the students and family, the teacher is not alone. There is an entire team of professionals who are there to support, give advice, and help meet the needs of the student. It is the job of the teacher to bring all these resources together,schedule sessions and meetings and be the liaison with the family. A special education teacher who understands this can be very successful and take away stress with the team approach. It is not easy, but worth it.
Children with special needs are sometimes very loving and others can become truly violent. The flexibility to change things up quickly and react calmly is paramount.
Many special education teachers are happy to tell you about all the wonderful things they learn from their students. They learn to celebrate the small successes and live in the moment. They are more grateful for the simple things in life that just seem to work. Those who see things in this manner stick with it and teach for longer periods of time.
Every special ed teacher needs to know that special needs parents have a different set of stresses. Their child is not their only concern. They still need to maintain schedules, work, marriages and perhaps other family members. While this child is very important, there are other things they must do as well. They may be more protective of the child and worry about new activities and failures. They may at times seem uninvolved and just want to drop their child at the door of the classroom and run away. Be slow to judge and quick to help.
The real job of any teacher is giving students enough skills and confidence to no longer need the help of a teacher. If you can be committed to giving your heart away and strong enough to take it back, then special education may be the perfect job for you.