Are you interested in a career as a Special Education Teacher? Do you have what it takes? The field of Special Education takes a special kind of person… one with a huge heart and full of love for the special children who have developmental disabilities, autism, cognitive and psychological needs or perhaps, physical challenges, such as deafness or blindness. With whatever age group you may be working with, whether they are small children or adolescents, your mission will be to help them achieve their academic goals, in addition to, preparing them for the real-world experiences that await them after graduation.
When contemplating a career in Special Education, you must be a good communicator, must have patience and above all, you must be creative. You must learn to communicate effectively with students in a way they can understand, as well as, speak to parents and other faculty about progress and the learning process. Patience with your students will be key and creativity enables a student to learn when otherwise traditional classwork and curricula may not be effective. Dealing with children of different learning abilities, will require the creation of individualized lesson plans.
A bachelor’s degree in this field is the preferred minimum degree, however, if you wish to pursue other related careers, a master’s degree or doctoral degree may be required. In your online Bachelor’s degree program, you will learn how to construct individual learning plans, administer psychological assessment tests and develop and implement procedures to help students reach their goals and personal potential. You will learn how to create a dialogue with parents, administrators and other healthcare and educational professionals involved in your student’s everyday life. You will learn how to be your student’s biggest supporter and cheerleader by using encouragement and motivational practices.
Other coursework involved with an online Bachelor’s degree in Special Education program may consist of classes in how to deal with legal and ethic issues, adaptive physical education, vocational disabilities, remedial reading, hands-on research, behavior modification techniques, addressing language barriers and classroom management.
If ease and convenience is important to you, then please be aware that Bachelor’s degrees in Special Education programs are readily available online. Online distant learning will allow you to work a full-time job, if desired, while furthering your education. However, before graduation, you will be required to fulfill a student teaching component at a local school or facility. Through an online class, you will be allowed to interact with your fellow students and professors through e-mail, discussion boards or Web sessions. Depending on your program, some will require specific lecture times while others will permit you to attend when your schedule allows.
Upon completion of your bachelor’s program, you will be prepared to take a state approved licensing exam to qualify to teach. On-going education will be required to maintain your licensure.
The median salary for a Special Education Teacher is approximately $56,800 annually, depending on the grade level you are teaching. With a 6% job growth increase between now and 2024, job opportunities can be found in public or private school settings, as well as, residential facilities and assistance agencies.
As a career in Special Education can be rewarding, it can also be stressful, so you must be emotionally stable within yourself. Each human being must be appreciated in their own unique way and deserves your respect, along with, your full dedication and love for them. If you are not sure just yet about a career in Special Education, then consider volunteering at a school or youth organization that cares for students with disabilities. You may also offer to tutor a student or obtain a part-time job working with people who have disabilities to see if it is a good fit for you.
If you are interested in this field, please see our choices for the Top 20 Online Bachelor’s in Special Education Degree Programs that we have compiled for your convenience.