Special education may be defined as a field that serves the academic needs of children with mental or psychological disabilities. Over the years, the need for qualified special education teaches has increased. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), a federal law, was enacted to promote services and education towards children with disabilities. IDEA has helped develop a solid framework for special education in all states. Each state's department of education is given authority to oversee the educational services offered in this particular area, course contents and curriculum, and teacher requirements.
Becoming a special education teacher is fulfilling and may also bring a sense of achievement. This career is suitable for those who wish to help underprivileged children and cater to their special needs. To become a special education teacher, one must have a college degree along with a certification or license.
Bachelor in Special Education Degree
A bachelor in special education degree will provide students with knowledge about the field and teaching practices used today. This is an undergraduate program that is designed to prepare students for teaching careers. The program entails a number of subjects and also emphasizes practical skill development.
The first few semesters of the program are dedicated to fundamental skill development and understanding. Students will acquire in-depth detail of various psychological and physical disabilities that exist among young children. Further along in the program, more technical and advanced areas are covered. Students will learn how to work with special children, design coursework and curriculums, and effectively transfer knowledge.
Special education is a broad field that not only covers academic growth of children, but also highlights social development that is essential for future needs. Students will be taught how to work one-on-one with exceptional children and understand their development needs. Listed below are a few of the main subjects that will be covered in special education graduate programs:
Lifelong learning and development
Curriculum, assessment, and reporting
Interpersonal and counseling skills
Motor development and programming
Licensing and Certification
It is important and maybe required to acquire a teaching license before starting your teaching career. The requirements may vary from state to state, but in most states, special education teachers undergo a background check and need a certification in this specialty field. Training is also an important part of becoming a special education teacher. At least 1 to 2 years of work experience may be required for a job.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were approximately 442,800 special education teachers employed in 2012. Special education teachers are mostly hired by public schools, but also be found working in private institutions and students' homes. The job may be demanding and challenging in many ways as special education teachers must adapt and change to meet the needs of exceptional children. From developing individualized education programs to mentoring students, special education teachers conduct a variety of tasks. The median annual income level was $55,060 in 2012 with a steady growth rate.