Career Story: Elementary School Special Ed Teacher

Elementary School Special Ed Teacher

Job Title: Special Education Teacher

Type of Company: I work for a school district in suburban Sacramento.

Education: California State University at Northridge

Previous Experience: I was a camp counselor for children with learning disabilities.

Job Tasks: I teach students who are having difficulty learning their grade level materials. Currently my job is in an elementary school where I assist students in grades 1 through 6. I do one of two types of teaching: I teach material that students may not have mastered, or I help them with their grade-level work. Many of my students come to my room for short amounts of time to work. They often bring assignments that they need assistance on. Many of the students can learn; but they learn more slowly than their peers.

I also test students to see if they qualify for special education services and fill out state and federal paperwork that they require to help substantiate their claims. I work with a variety of people on campus, including regular education teachers, office staff, principals and, sometimes, the most important people on staff: the yard duties. My job requires me to teach and sometimes to manage the students' behavior. So people management skills are important, especially if you have an assistant who can provide you with insights you might not come up with yourself.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is seeing a student struggle and later master a skill that has given him so much heartache. The worst part is when parents or administrators get cranky about what needs to be done.

Job Tips:
1. Think carefully about the age group of children you might want to work with. 2. Use the opportunities the school district will give you for training. You never know when that information will come in handy. 3. Students with learning disabilities want to succeed, listen to what they are telling you! 4. Pay attention to the history and family life of your students; that information could help you figure out how to work with them most effectively.

Additional Thoughts: Working with kids is great. Special Educators are in short supply. Patience is important as well as a good knowledge of special education law.

Popular Schools offering Special Education Teaching Programs

quickinfoThese schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).

Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.

Matching School Ads

Earn an NYU degree from anywhere in the country using our state-of-the-art online platform. You’ll attend live online classes, complete self-paced course work, and gain hands-on clinical experiences at field sites in or near your community.

  • Programs: Master of Science in Communicative Sciences and Disorders
  • Degrees: Master

Concordia University - Portland offers several fully online 14-month Master of Education (M.Ed.) programs and a fully online Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) program.

  • Programs: M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: The Inclusive Classroom (SPED), M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Social Studies, M.Ed. in Career and Technical Education, more...
  • Degrees: Master

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

  • Programs: Special Education - Doctor of Education, Special Education - Master of Education, Special Education - EdS, more...
  • Degrees: Doctorate, Master

Advance your teaching career with an online master's degree from University of Southern California Rossier School of Education.

  • Programs: Master of Arts in Teaching
  • Degrees: Master

Recognized by the U.S. News and World Report for: Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s 2017, Best Online Programs, Grad Education 2017 and Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s for Veterans 2017

  • Programs: Technology Education (Master of Education) - Online, Early Childhood Education (Certificate Only) - Online, Early Childhood Education (MEd plus Certification) - Online, more...
  • Degrees: Master, Certificate

Learning at Full Sail University has always centered around interaction and the exchange of ideas. Our online curriculum fully embraces this philosophy.

  • Programs: Instructional Design & Technology
  • Degrees: Master
Matching School Ads
You are visiting:

Find a school near you

What are Career Stories?

Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.

Most stories include:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

Back to Top