Working in special education is a job that requires a lot of skill, patience and training, but can be one of the most rewarding jobs for the right type of person. Specifically, special education applies to both children and adults who have varying degrees of learning disabilities and require special attention by teachers and advisors.
There are a number of advantages to working in special education, from business to personal reasons. Five of these benefits are listed here, but beyond this list, it is important that potential teachers consider their true passion for the job overall. Special education is generally considered to be a challenging teaching position and should only be taken on by teachers who are fully prepared to help those who need their talents and training the most.
1. The students
Special education students need good teachers even more than students without learning disabilities, and results often depend on how they learn and respond to the teaching environment. As special education teachers often work with students who have difficulty learning anything, each lesson that is taught can be considered a victory. Also, many students who have special needs and require special education teachers have been neglected or were never properly worked with from an education standpoint, and when a good teacher takes the time to do this, students are often thankful for their time and care.
2. More certification, better job options
In all states, special education teachers are required to be licensed as such. Though this may take more time and cost more money for someone who is already a teacher, this extra certification can result in professional advantages. Because special education teachers must also be certified as a teacher in some other subject or course, it makes each individual who is certified to teach special education more diverse in the field of education, allowing better employment options throughout the course of their career.
3. Job availability
Beyond having many job options as a teacher in standard classes, those with special education certifications will almost always find job openings in schools. This may be due to the fact that many teachers don’t want to teach special education because of the added difficulty that comes with the behavioral and emotional aspects of the job. A certified and enthusiastic special education teacher can expect stable and increasing job prospects in the United States.
4. The joy of teaching
Special education teachers often have a tougher teaching job than most—not only do they have to teach a curriculum, they also have to work with behavioral and emotional problems that may arise in their students, a factor more common in special education than in classrooms with students who don’t have diagnosed learning disabilities. Classroom management is much more of a challenge for a special education teacher, but special education work can make them better and more patient teachers and people in general. Honing these qualities and getting paid for it is great thing to be able to do.
5. Shorter work days
Most special education school days are shorter than average school day, as there is a more flexible curriculum and fewer class requirements. This is a benefit for many special education teachers, as it gives them more free time to balance their work and personal lives. This relatively lenient schedule allows special education teachers to step away from the grind of their job on a regular basis so that they can be more focused in their day-to-day roles working with special needs children. For teachers looking for something between a part-time and a full-time job, becoming certified as a special education teacher may be ideal.
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- "Special Education Teachers," Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook