Job Title: Teacher Of Children With Special Needs
Type of Company: I teach in an early childhood education center for a public school system in a suburb of Boston.
Education: BS, UMass-Amherst MS, Education, Lesley College (Cambridge, MA)
Previous Experience: I worked as a kindergarten teacher for ten years.
Job Tasks: My job responsibilities include teaching young children with special needs in inclusion classrooms (alongside other "normal" children). I design lessons according to a child's individual educational program to help them develop communication, social, small motor and reading and math readiness skills. I teach both in large and small groups, as well as, on occasion, one-to-one. To me teaching young children is the best part of my job and what I like to do. I read stories according to a theme and discuss ideas with children or ask them to draw a picture about their ideas. We play games to develop listening, rhyming, speaking and drawing and writing skills. Activities are sent home to their families in the hope of reinforcing what we do in school and to provide a positive home/school connection.
I also write educational plans and do all the paperwork that goes along with it, inviting families and teachers and specialists to consultations. I observe young children in their classrooms, evaluate them using informal and standardized testing and then meet with families and a team of teachers to discuss the best way to implement improvements to their curriculum. Along with other teachers, I plan activities and apply best teaching practices and accommodations to help children on Instructional Educational Plans develop their skills.
Part of my job is to also mentor new teachers, or those who are new, at least, to teaching children with special needs.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is working with children and watching them grow and develop. Seeing the difference that I am able to make in their lives is very rewarding. The inclusion model that we use helps children become a part of a classroom where people's differences are respected and tolerated.
The paperwork at times is overwhelming. A typical IEP is at least twenty pages long and needs to be written at the same time as the responsibilities of teaching are being met.
1. Visit many schools and classrooms and volunteer your time to see if this field is one you are truly interested in. 2. Ask the principal of a school if you can shadow a special needs teacher for a few days during your vacation or semester break. 3. Learn to be an advocate for young children and speak up for what you know is best for all children.
Additional Thoughts: This profession is very rewarding. You make a difference daily in the lives of children and their families. People appreciate your efforts and thank you for the time you spend in making school a positive place to be. I taught "normal" children first and then had children of my own before I taught children with special needs. This gave me perspective and helped bring a lot of patience and understanding to the job, traits which are really indispensable. Apart from those, the most important qualities to develop are a love for children, empathy and an ability to listen and collaborate with others so you can do what is best for young children.
Click the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab. .
Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school
Are you ready to advance or start your career inspiring minds and changing lives? Apply to join GCU's prestigious teaching community.
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.
Purdue University offers a strong foundation of tradition and history.
Founded by the Society of Jesus in 1851, Saint Joseph's University (SJU) has been developing the minds and abilities of men and women in a challenging academic environment steeped in the enriching Jesuit tradition of cura personalis (care of the entire person).
Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.
Pursue your education at Pacific Oaks College.
Learning at Full Sail University has always centered around interaction and the exchange of ideas. Our online curriculum fully embraces this philosophy.
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota's Online Master's Programs
At Saint Mary's, we take pride in offering online graduate degrees designed to complement the schedules of working adults like you. Get an affordable, convenient education from a top-ranked university that's grounded in real-world applications.
Advance your teaching career with an online master's degree from University of Southern California Rossier School of Education.
The inside stories from people actually working in the field.
Click a story title to show the story, and click the title again to hide it.
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:
Please also see our detailed information about Preschool And Elementary School Special Education Teachers, including: