Not all kids can get educated through a traditional program. They need accommodations that allow their gifts and interests to shine.
More than seven million students received special education in the 2018-19 school year. That’s one-in-seven public school students. Special education teachers work with kids in a variety of ways.
Many people want to pursue a special education career. But they don’t know how. You can learn how to become a special education teacher and get on your way today.
Here is a quick guide.
The First Steps
All teachers need a bachelor’s degree. You must go to an accredited, four-year school and receive one.
Pursue a major in special education. Make sure you learn theory and practice. Take any opportunity you can to participate in hands-on training, including ghosting teachers.
You can pursue a specialized degree if you wish. You can choose to specialize in elementary or high school education. You can focus on specific conditions, like autism spectrum disorders.
If you cannot pursue a college degree, you can help students outside of a school. You can work in a childcare center or preschool. If you have a background in tutoring, you can tutor individual students.
If you want to teach at a public school, you must apply for a state license. Prepare documents with your bachelor’s degree and teaching experience. Gather references who can speak to your skillset.
You will need to pass specialized exams and background checks. Questions on exams include, “What is core vocabulary?” Exams can include multiple-choice, short answer, and essay questions.
Each state has its own requirements. Consult with your local school board on what those requirements are.
If you have a criminal record, you may not receive certification. You can still help in another setting. Keep multiple career paths open in case you get denied.
Get and Keep a Job
Keep in contact with your associates and mentors from your training. You never know when they know of a job opening for you.
Otherwise, apply for any special education job you find. Be prepared to wait some time before you get hired.
If you receive a license from the state, you can teach at a private school or residential facility. Look for jobs there. You can teach at a middle or high school even if you have a specialty in elementary education.
Once you get your job, the steps to becoming a teacher do not end. Most school districts and state boards require you to continue your education. You will need to hone your skills and learn new ways of educating students.
How to Become a Special Education Teacher
There are many types of teachers because there are many types of students. Special education teachers help students who need new ways of learning. Learn how to become a special education teacher and you can help hundreds of kids learn.
Get a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Once you get educated, you can apply for a license. Take all tests and provide all records they ask for.
You can get a job in a public or private school. You can also get a job as an educator for individual students. Cast your net wide when applying for jobs.
You need to get educated so you can educate students. Follow our coverage for more education guides.