A day in the life of a special education teacher

Degree CompletedHigh School Diploma/GEDSome CollegeAssociate DegreeBachelor"s DegreeMaster"s DegreeDoctoprice Degree
Program of InterestAll ProgramsAdministration & LeadershipApplied Behavior AnalysisCompany EdEarly Childhood EdElementary EdEnglishESL & Foregime LanguageFine Arts EdGifted EdHistoryMathPhysical EdMessage Secondary EdSchool CounselingSecondary EdSpecial EdSTEM Ed



Featured Program: (B.Ed.) in Special Education, M.A.T. in Special Education, and also Doctdental Curriculum and also Instruction – Special Education

Job Description

The one-of-a-kind education and learning teacher wears many type of hats. Unlike other teachers that emphasis mostly on academics, the unique education teacher serves both as an educator and as an advocate for students through impairment. His or her schedule is divided among planning, instruction, assessing students and regulating their individualized education and learning programs (IEPs).

You watching: A day in the life of a special education teacher

The task is demanding, and also it needs the teacher to juggle many kind of duties. These can encompass scheduling, attfinishing and adhering to up after IEP meetings, writing IEPs with attainable and measurable objectives, tracking and also reporting student progression on IEP goals, offering guidance to basic education teachers that wish to accommoday students, administering assessments, day-to-day classroom monitoring, planning and instructing, controlling and evaluating instructional assistants and various other paraspecialists, developing behavior management plans and also even more.

A Day in the Life

Although the majority of teaching unions negotiate eight-hour job-related schedules for teachers, it is not uncommon for special education teachers to work-related well beyond this standard. The following is an example of a typical day in the life of a unique education teacher.

Hour 1: Arrive at college one hour before students arrive. Manage administrative tasks, respond to parent emails, examine in through the front office, create the daily schedule on the board and also prepare the classroom for students’ arrival.Hour 2: Manage start-of-day work and delegate to instructional assistants as needed. Prepare students for discovering, read or listen to announcements, collect homejob-related, testimonial the day-to-day schedule, assign learning groups, and so on.Hours 3-5: Supervise instructional time, which includes:Preparing lessons for instructional assistants.Delivering whole-team instruction.Facilitating small-group learning.Meeting with students to assess development on goals.Offering intensive, one-on-one academic or behavior assistance.Assessing students for development on IEP purposes.Collecting information and adding it to IEP files.Offering assistance and also guidance to general education and learning teachers.Hour 6: Manage end-of-day jobs and also delegate to instructional assistants as needed. Tidy the classroom and also arrangement and also preparr for the adhering to day.Hour 7: Attend an IEP meeting for a present student on casefill. Resee progression on objectives, create brand-new objectives and also address parental or governmental concerns. Encertain that the brand-new IEP is signed by all important parties and duplicate paperoccupational and also distribute to parents, administrators, college district, basic education teachers and also the unique education department.Hour 8: Manage bureaucratic tasks: call parents, teachers and also administrators to schedule IEP meetings, respond to parent emails and phone calls.Hour 9: More tasks that may include lesboy planning, grading, filing, staff meetings, extracurricular or adjunct duties and various other needs.

General Licensing Requirements

Though certain teaching license requirements vary from state to state, federal law using the No Child Left Behind Act needs special education teachers to have actually a bachelor’s level and also to finish a teaching preparation regime that includes supervised student teaching.Upon successful completion of an acattributed program, prospective teachers can use for a preliminary credential, which generally expires after 5 years. To acquire a “clear” or long-term credential, teachers have to finish continuing education courses and serve as a classroom teacher for two or more years.

Some says or districts additionally sell “emergency credentials” for teachers who are willing to take hard-to-fill positions. In this case, the teacher forgoes the unpassist student teaching requirement and also assumes all the responsibilities of a teaching place while completing credential classes after institution hrs. Though this option might appeal to individuals who require a steady revenue, it have the right to be particularly grueling because it places the newest and many inskilled teachers in some of the a lot of complex classrooms.

For more information about certain licensing by state, visit the teacher certification area of the Special Education Guide webwebsite.

Areas of Specialization

Special education is a fluid and evolving discipline. As the educational community learns even more about individual students, it attempts to categorize and define their needs; teachers have the right to complete preparation programs and also internships specifically designed to prepare them for meeting those demands.

See more: Sometimes You Get Discouraged Because I Am So Small, Handprint Poems

Special education and learning credential specializations include:

Early Childhood Credential

This credential authorizes teachers to occupational via students from birth to pre-kindergarten. Students might have a variety of cognitive or physical disabilities.

Mild/Modeprice Disabilities

Teachers that hold mild/modeprice one-of-a-kind education credentials often work in reresource specialist programs (RSPs) or one-of-a-kind day classes (SDCs). Their students usually have actually mild academic or behavioral challenges, and deserve to often be exceptionally effective with restricted or moderate distinct education and learning treatment. Typically, this credential authorizes a teacher to occupational through students from kindergarten via age 22.

Moderate/Severe Disabilities

With a moderate/major credential, teachers can work-related in fully had classrooms. These rooms primarily market standard and practical skills instruction for students through major cognitive or physical disabilities. Usually, this credential authorizes a teacher to job-related via students from kindergarten via age 22.

Deaf and also Hard of Hearing (DoHH)

This credential authorizes teachers to support students that qualify as DoHH. Students may selection from those without cognitive impairments to those through major and also multiple disabilities. Many type of DoHH teachers job-related at multiple sites, advising classroom teachers on accommodations and also assistive technology.

Visual Impairment (VI)

With the VI credential, teachers can work through students that are partly or fully blind, from those without cognitive impairments to those via major and also multiple disabilities. Many kind of VI teachers job-related at multiple sites, advising classroom teachers on accommodations and also assistive modern technology. Other sub-specializations incorporate Braille teachers and orientation and mobility professionals.


Many type of states market extra specializations, including credentials in autism, physical and health and wellness impairments, habits and also more.

Previous and Next Steps: Special Education Teachers on the Career Path

Special education and learning teachers come from a selection of backgrounds. Some finish general education teacher preparation programs and uncover even more employment avenues in one-of-a-kind education and learning. Others have actually youngsters or relatives through disability, and also select the career as a way to make positive educational alters for those with disabilities. Regardless, all special education teachers host bachelor’s degrees, and those who teach at the high school level primarily have actually bachelor’s degrees in among the four core subjects: English, background, mathematics or scientific research.

See more: What Three Things Do We Know About Intelligence? ? Sir Ken Robinson Says Schools Kill Creativity

Many type of one-of-a-kind education and learning teachers reprimary incredibly happy in their functions and finish 30 years of educational company inside the classroom. Others go on to be unique education and learning coordinators, school district administrators, directors of educational departments, consultants and even educational supporters and also lobbyists.

National Organizations of Interest

The adhering to establishments serve the interests and demands of unique education teachers: