Special education teachers work with students, who are diagnosed with learning disabilities. In addition to their general teaching role, these teachers are responsible for writing individual education plans for special-needs students, and meeting with their general education teachers, administrators and parents to discuss this plan. Special education teachers must maintain copious records of their students' progress. While the job has many demanding responsibilities that can create stressful work environments, it also has its rewards.
The demand for special education teachers exceeds supply in all 50 states, according to the Council for Exceptional Children. Special education teachers are crucial to schools, and generally among the last to be laid off during an economic downturn or budget crunch. Elementary special education teachers make on average $50,000 to $70,000 a year, according to All Education Schools. A special education administrator can earn as much as $117,000 annually. Special educatio teachers also receive competitive medical benefits, pensions and paid vacation leave.
A special education teacher has the opportunity to develop a special bond with students as he works with them in small-group settings. He also has the ability to tailor instruction for each child. The teacher sees firsthand how a student progresses, and monitors that progress through testing and record keeping. This can be a tremendous personal reward. In addition, the special education teacher is responsible for social, emotional and vocational development of these children, fostering skills that can have a life-long impact.
Teaching can be a lonely profession. Most teachers are trapped in their classrooms all day, with little interaction among colleagues or other adults. However, a special education teacher works with many teachers on a daily basis to plan lessons and serve as a consultant. She also works with parents, administrators and others to develop individual education plans for each student. These teachers also work in hospitals, medical centers and private practices.
- Photo Credit teacher & students image by Luisafer from Fotolia.com
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