The Importance of Being a Special Education Teacher
The essentials of Being a Special Education Teacher
Special education teachers are a very special component of the education system which has to be specially constructed to meet the requirements of all students in the classroom and not just those who have special gifts and are in good health.
Most children benefit very well from regular classroom curriculum, including those students with special needs but there are some others who need a special learning program and a different classroom environment to show any real progress.
The educational system needs to recognize these special cases and then find the proper method of educational program to fit their needs so that a special education teacher can work with these students.
Most high school instructors do not have a special education program as part of their curriculum, but they should still be able to spot learning difficulties where a different approach is called for. Many of these special needs children are not even diagnosed until later years in their life, and consequently it will take more time to change the sometimes hostile learning environment into a more productive one to get the students learning back on track where it should be. All teachers should be taught to be aware on how to spot not just special needs students but how to be alert to any problematic situations.
Studying the methods of being a special education teacher is, of course, a totally different direction for the prospective teacher to take. You will be learning how to help students to retain knowledge that is difficult for them to comprehend. These learning difficulties can be caused by disorders such as autism or ADD/ADHD. There are never any rules which are set in stone as to which method will work with such children and each case is different and may require different approaches. Even with an accurate diagnosis made by a medical doctor, there is still the issue of the severity of the condition and how this condition affects the child.
These specially trained teachers may be required to work with a mixture in the classroom of other unaffected children and the special needs children, or the special needs children may be separated into special classrooms. Many special needs children are afflicted with disorders which prevent them from retaining knowledge as easily or as quickly as other children do, even though they are able to retain knowledge. These children do much better if taught in a normal classroom environment, especially if there are other similar children in the classroom. Being in a normal classroom could be beneficial to these students.
Those who are wondering what a special education teacher is and then study this subject for the first time usually think in terms of the autistic child or children who are more severely afflicted. These are the children with whom regular teaching methods are not practical or effective. Not only will their learning be stunted, they may even be disruptive to the rest of the class.
Becoming a special education teacher is not an easy task. Whether you are preparing for these instruction classes for a career in this field or doing the job that you have been trained for. There are specific training classes required for this field as well as a Bachelors degree to be earned. There is also a teaching certificate which is required.
Completing Your Special Education Teacher Training
Special Education Teacher Training
In order to be a special education teacher, you have to take college courses for this training for success in a career which can bring you a high level of satisfaction as well as stable employment and a much higher standard of living. Teachers in this field are required by law to have a bachelors degree, as well a state issued certificate so getting the right training is of utmost importance. There are scores of colleges which offer both campus and online courses to attain this degree, so making this decision is going to a personal choice.
There are no entry requirements to be met in order to start these courses, since it is for a bachelors degree, but you do have to able to pass the college entrance exam. You will also need to be able to cover tuition costs to complete all of the required courses. This is usually easier for adult students who have had time to work and save up the money for tuition costs. A goodly number of these adult students are already teachers, working in traditional classrooms. Of course, you can always get grants or loans if needed to help cover these tuition costs.
Your college course work will include training which covers all facets of special education teaching, from being able to recognize those children with learning difficulties to using advanced methods which are designed to help these children successfully retain knowledge when they usually have problems with this area. This initial step in the job is most important as many children have been failed by the school system and this has resulted in them not receiving the education that they need. This situation has improved some over the years with better understanding of these actual medical conditions which are the cause of these learning problems.
There are a group of specific courses which must be taken in order to get the bachelors degree needed to teach in this field. These courses can be completed either on campus or at home via the Internet. These college courses have remained the same for a great many years. This is not to say that the material you will be learning is outdated as there have been many medical discoveries in this area due to recent research. Campus courses are sometimes preferred because of the social outlets as well and some of the friendships formed here last a lifetime. However, this is more for those who do not have family commitments to attend to.
For those who have families to take care of, the online learning options are much easier. Plus these people have careers that must be kept as a source of income. This need no longer pose a disadvantage for those who wish a career in this field. Online learning is the answer to these disabilities for those who are looking to build their career. As long as you are willing to do the work, you can get your degree as a special education teacher.
How Earning a Degree as a Special Education Teacher Can Create Opportunities for You
Earning a Degree as a Special Education Teacher
If your hearts desire is a career teaching children with special needs, then you need to take college courses to earn a degree as a special education teacher. Along with a bachelors degree in this field, you will also be required to be state certified in order to teach. There are increasing numbers of children with such difficulties as autism and also those who are unable to retain knowledge due to medical conditions and the demand for teachers who are trained in this field are in very high demand. However, meeting the qualifications needed is not an easy task but if you can do well in these courses and get your state license, there are many job openings available.
There is not much of a history for special education teachers, less than most might think. In fact Congress passed an Act in the 1970s in order to obtain for these special children a proper education in addition to the regular education that most unaffected children obtain. Many dedicated teachers have made efforts to help these affected children but without the proper facilities that are needed for children with learning difficulties. In fact, most of the medical disabilities which affect learning were not recognized as medical conditions at the time.
Once you have the necessary degree as a special education teacher, you will be able to obtain a position as a specialist, but there will also be other specialists working with these special children. In some cases, the child will not have been yet diagnosed as having a learning disability that is a medical condition. Until this diagnosis has been ascertained, the affected child will have no choice but to be placed in a class with regular children. Even though it quickly becomes clear that the child has a problem, a medical diagnosis has not yet been made. Regular teachers need to be trained to be alert to such situations.
There are many different scenarios that a special education teacher needs to be trained for in order to conduct their classes in different situations. Sometimes the student will need to be set apart from the other regular classmates in order to prevent the class from being disrupted but these instances should be kept to a minimum. The main point is not to let other children in the classroom suffer neglect because of the special needs student. If necessary other teachers should be called in to help.
One of the requirements for the position of special education teacher is a bachelors degree. This is most important when children with learning disabilities are concerned. There is also the option of a full study course leading to a doctorates degree for teaching children with learning disabilities. This opens opportunities for an even more involved teaching position. You can even take these courses for special education teacher degrees over the internet if you wish.
Ways in Which Getting Certified as a Special Education Teacher Advances Your Career
Getting Certified as a Special Education Teacher
Getting your certification as a special education teacher is required if you are starting a career which involves teaching children with special needs. You will have to pass the exam given for a bachelors degree in special education and you will also need to fill out an application to be a teacher in this field. These requirements to enter this area of teaching are more than just a formality, but you can get past these challenges and begin a career as a teacher who can help these children with special needs and gain a successful job which will give you great satisfaction.
There are many skills and different teaching methods that you will have to learn to pass your classes and to earn the qualifications that you will need. The first important skill that you will learn to develop is the ability to spot those children who have special needs but who are not yet diagnosed as having problems.
Any teacher who is certified to teach those children with learning disabilities will have the necessary training need to see the first warning signs that extra money will be needed for specialized classes and these financial arrangements can be set up with the school. This extra funding can be used either in a regular classroom or in a specialized location, depending on the circumstances. These special children being taught in a regular classroom is preferred to keep them from feeling like outcasts. It also disrupts the childs life less, and it is much cheaper for the education system. The main focus point is that the special needs child is not the center of attention while other students suffer neglect on their studies.
At some point in time, there will be more of a cost in time and money in getting your special education certification, but it doesnt need to be extravagant. If you have the personality which does well in college campus classes and you can make a commitment to residential study, there are a lot of these traditional learning opportunities available to you. This is the optimum way for you to learn, and you will have more chances to interact on a face to face level with your classmates as well as with your instructors. This can be very useful in reaching your career goal.
Of course, you can always get your special education certification by completing the courses online too and this offers educational opportunities to those who are unable to attend classes on campus. With the advances in modern computer technology there is no problem with not being able to talk to others in the class face to face. There are so many options available for contacting others in the class such as email, instant messaging, and video chat conferences. There are also online forums as well.
Once you have earned your special education teaching certificate, you can apply for your state license and then start putting in applications to schools as special education teacher. You can also take your career to higher levels by taking more advanced classes if you wish to do so.
Constant Salary Levels Are the Rewards Of A Special Education Teacher
Special Education Teacher Salary Levels
The amount of money for special education teacher salaries has stayed the same for many years now, even with an increasing need for teachers in this field to teach those children with special learning requirements. The amount of schools that are equipped to teach such children have increased, although many of these children are still placed in regular classrooms, and the number of trained teachers has risen equally. Even though these teachers do important and valuable work, there will always be some budget limits placed on how much they are paid.
Part of the pay of these teachers is direct or indirect involvement with children who have special learning needs. This is increasing specifically with cases of autism, where children are so severely affected that anyone who is alert can spot this disorder. Many cases, however, are not so easy to spot right away, and it takes a teacher who is trained in this area to spot those who are having learning or attention problems. A regular classroom teacher may also have occasions when they also have to deal with those children with these problems as part of their classroom routine.
A special education teacher who is trained in dealing with these children will often work in the normal classroom surroundings and will be doing regular classroom duties as well. In most cases, the special needs children are much better off being taught in regular classrooms with other unaffected children, with special monitoring and, if necessary, special tutoring. Some have unkind things to say about this method, such as the time spent with special needs children taking away from attention to the rest of the class, but if properly balanced this method does work. This is why teachers who have credentials to teach these children get a higher rate of pay.
These special trained teachers require a higher pay scale in order to attract more potential teachers to this field. Of course, there are certain limits to how high this pay scale can go. It is only right and fare that these teachers be compensated financially for their time and work they spend getting the proper training and certification necessary for doing this type of work. They must take certain course to get a bachelors degree in this profession as well as getting a state issued certification to teach in this field.
To become a special education teacher costs money such as for travel expenses to the school they are positioned at. The teacher will, initially, pay these costs out of pocket, but would later be paid back as the costs would be job related. The school may also pay for extra tuition costs if extra training is required as part of the job. This can also include training for use of equipment which the child may need to use.
Special education teachers salaries will not be going up or down anytime soon. Although the need for these teachers is on the increase due to an ever growing number of students with autism and other learning disorders become more and more common, there will be little rise in their pay.
How You Can Become a Special Education Teacher Assistant
Special Education Teacher Assistant
Once you get your degree, an easy way to gain entrance to the field of special education teaching is to become a special education teacher assistant. Entering this career can help you make a definite difference by working with children who have difficulty learning in a normal classroom environment, or who need extra attention if they are learning. There are an ever increasing number of children being diagnosed with medical learning difficulties which slows their learning capabilities from that of healthy children, so there is also an increasing need for teachers who can help these children. Any teacher who tackles this job is going to be incredibly busy, so a trained assistant will be a definite asset to them.
It is much easier to become an assistant in the special education field than it is to become a teacher, because there is no requirement for a degree. You will, however, still need to prove to the authorities that you are fully capable of taking a positive part in the teaching of children. You will not, though, need previous experience in child care or in education to receive this position. Everyone who works in this field, will have a criminal background check done on them to make sure that there will be no legal issues when they are working with children.
The teachers assistant has the ability to play an important role in many different settings and situations, usually in a classroom which is shared with other normal children. The policy of the school boards is to keep the majority of the children in the mainstream classroom, because with the milder cases of learning difficulties this has had the most positive results. This assistant will have much more time to tutor the special needs child which leaves the teacher free for the other children. This is the main concern in these classes, that the teacher will not have enough time to attend to the regular class.
The teacher can also benefit from the assistant when the teacher is trying to cope with a pupil who has to be separated because they disrupted the classroom too much. This will happen sometimes when one student needs too much attention for the teacher to be able to divide his attention between the special student and the rest of the class or because the special needs child is not allowing the other students to pay attention.
The special education teachers assistant may need to change slides or operate other display equipment while the teacher attends to the other students in the class. Becoming one of these special education teachers assistant is a wonderful way to get the feel of things but if you decide you want to take this career further, you will have to get a bachelors degree as a special education teacher.
How You Can Get Your Certification as a Special Education Teacher
Get Your Certification as a Special Education Teacher
Getting a special education teacher certificate is required by law before you can begin your job as a teacher in this field. This is an area which is only recently gaining knowledge of the conditions which can affect children who have learning difficulties. There is a requirement for college education, which should come as no surprise considering the specialized nature of the job, and there are also the obvious requirements for a state license as you will be working with children. As long as you have no criminal convictions involving children, you can meet the qualifications.
Once you have your certification, you will have the right to apply for positions at all levels from teachers assistant to special education teacher. You can also pursue further education to enhance your career in this field. Once you have completed the necessary courses and have received the needed degree, and pass the certification test, you will be able to spot the children who have learning disabilities. This is a very important step in helping them to overcome their disabilities and to make the most of their inborn talents.
Teaching all of the children together in the classroom is the preferred option whenever possible for many reasons. First, of course, it is much cheaper for the school to have all children taught in groups than the extra tuition needed to teach children as individual cases. The main point, though, is to avoid isolating the child by removing them from the class altogether and making them feel as though they are being punished for something. If the child does have to be isolated, they should still be given occasional exposure to being with the other children.
If you have already made your decision to earn your special education teacher certificate then the next step is finding the proper school for your classes. A lot will depend on the area that you live in as each state has its own licensing board. Some states require that you pass the Special Education GACE test before you can work as a special education teacher. The authorities are very flexible as far as scheduling the test in advance is concerned since they want anyone who is capable to teach have access to the test for licensing. The demand for these teachers is constantly growing.
In the past, it was very difficult for those who already had jobs to spend time at college taking the courses necessary to get their degree and certificate because of their other job and family obligations. Those who are already teaching can usually make arrangements for the extra course time. This is because, in the long run, it would be to the schools advantage to have a teacher with these specialized qualifications that are in such high demand.
With the advancement of technology, it is always possible for someone to get this degree and certification online too. This makes becoming a special education teacher even easier than before.
How to Answer Special Education Teacher Interview Questions
Special Education Teacher Interview Questions
If you are not properly prepared, special education teacher interview questions can be a little hard to answer, even though you have easily passed all the required courses with no problem, and have obtained your license to practice. Many people think that getting the right amount of education will ensure them a job, only to find that in reality, this is more difficult than imagined. In this career area this is much less likely to happen but there are still some pretty hard interview questions to answer.
When you choose a teaching career, every prospective employee has to go through a background assessment and evaluation. There are very strict rules as to who can or cannot work with children, and if you have any crimes relating to children in your record you can forget about finding stable employment. Some background questions can be a little hard for you to answer, but this happens much less often now that employers have access to criminal background records. If your record comes up clean, then you dont have anything to worry about.
One of the first things that you will be questioned about on your job interview is how much experience do you have, especially if it is something that pertains to the position that you are applying for. The job of special education doesnt require experience as a special education teacher, but it does help. Most who earn their bachelors degree in special education have already been teaching for quite some time in the regular teaching circuit and just want to expand their skills. Doing some volunteer work in a related field can help you get the experience that you need.
Some of the harder questions that will be asked during the interview will be concerning your ambition and how far you intend to advance in your career. You want the interviewer to know that you are serious about your career, but on the other hand, you dont want to project the thought that you are only interested in the managerial aspect either. Just be honest about wanting to work with the children for a few years before making any further advancement.
Many government departments have switched over to the competency interviews and often change the type of questions that are asked. You need to convince them that you are fully competent in the skills that are needed to do the job well. Most people find these questions necessary and are more comfortable with them instead of a lot of unnecessary questions.
Practicing for the interview questions is the best way to do well on the actual interview. If you have a friend with a rather dominating personality, then they would be the perfect choice as the interviewer. The more you practice for the interview, the more confident you will become. This will make it much easier to do well on the interview and get the special education teacher job that you have studied so hard for.
Here Are the Special Education Teacher Requirements
Special Education Teacher Requirements
Although special education teacher requirements vary from state to state, they all have certain things in common. Since this is a very highly specialized field to enter into, a bachelors degree in special education is required and a state license must be obtained. These are an absolute necessity as there is a need to protect the child from any exposure to someone who has a criminal record involving children.
A bachelors degree and a state license are all that is required to teach anywhere in your state. A teachers assistant will not need the bachelors degree but will still require a state license to work with children. In order to be a special education teacher, however, you will need to have your bachelors degree in this field which will also allow you to continue your studies if you wish to receive a doctorates degree as well. You will need to give this some considerable thought, however, as higher positions require less actual involvement with the children.
This teaching position does not require previous experience in working with children because the college courses taken provide enough training to acquire the skills necessary. However, many who apply for this position already have at least some teaching experience but this is not a requirement. If you have never taught before, doing some volunteer work in this field may give you an idea of what it is like so that you can accurately determine if this is the kind of work you really want to do.
If you do decide to go ahead and pursue this career, there are a couple of options you have as options on the courses. You can either attend a college campus to take the courses needed or you can simply take them online and still get your degree needed in special education. This is a personal choice, although certain groups choose one or the other. Younger students who arent already bound by family or job commitments choose the campus option since they enjoy the friendships made while attending campus courses.
Many who choose the online course option are those who are already employed and cannot leave their work or family obligations. Thanks to modern technology, a college education is now available to these people. Most of these students have no difficulty at all studying their courses online, but much thought has to go into making this choice. First, you will have to be computer literate and have a high speed Internet connection. If you do not yet have these skills, you might consider taking a basic computer course before starting your special education teachers courses online.
Once you have met your special education teachers requirements, you will then be able to get a job teaching children with special needs. Many people love the idea of being a special education teacher and actually working with these children while others want administrative positions. There are advanced course that you can take for these higher positions.