dcsimg

Career Story: Special Education Teacher In An Elementary School

Special Education Teacher In An Elementary School

Job Title: Special Education Teacher

Education: Masters in Education, Harvard University •• BA in Special Education, Trinity College, Washington, D.C.

Previous Experience: *Special Education Teacher at a private 766 school with students having language and learning disabilities *Special Education aide accompanying a student with significant disabilities to his general education junior high classes (English and History)

Job Tasks: I work as a special education teacher in an elementary school. I work with individual students and small groups of students who have special needs. The children I work with have all been diagnosed as needing specialized support. Currently, I teach reading to first, second, and fourth grade students. The first and second graders are learning to decode and encode single and multisyllabic words. They are learning to read stories-both fiction and nonfiction and answer questions either orally and in writing about the text. I also teach the students strategies to increase their comprehension of the written word.

I work in the general education classroom providing math support. This may be in small groups where I provide more examples for students to learn a specific skill. I may also break down the skill to smaller, parts.

I evaluate students who may have special needs. I test students in language arts and math. I write up reports and meet with parents to review the results. If it is determined that a child has a disability, I will write an Individual Education Program which includes goals that should be achieved by the child.

I meet regularly with classroom teachers, giving suggestions regarding academics, and behaviors.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is teaching reading. I love helping children learn to sound out words and begin to read sentences and stories. I enjoy helping children learn to "think" and write in complete sentences. I enjoy teaching children strategies to increase their comprehension. I enjoy working with different teachers and learning new ways of teaching skills. I love watching children I worked with in grade 1 or 2, graduate in grade 5.

The worst part of my job is the paperwork required by Federal law when working with children having disabilities. MCAS takes away too many days from learning. It is very stressful for elementary school students.

Job Tips:
1. Please make sure that you enjoy working with children. Be clear what age group best suits your personality-elementary, middle school, or high school.

2. Become proficient in a specific area - reading, math, science.

3. Make sure you are computer/technology savvy! In Special Education most paperwork needs to be done on the computer.

4. An elementary teacher needs to be able to engage the students.

Additional Thoughts: Teaching is a very tough, rewarding career. Children are refreshingly honest, which will keep your days from being boring. There is more accountability than in the past, and teachers do not have as much opportunity to be creative.

Popular Schools offering Special Education Teaching Programs

quickinfoClick 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

Matching School Ads

Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!

  • Programs: Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership with an Emphasis in Special Education, M.A. in Autism Spectrum Disorders, M.Ed. in Special Education: Cross-Categorical (Leads to initial teacher licensure), more...
  • Degrees: Doctorate, Master, Bachelor

Concordia University, Nebraska offers accredited Master of Education and Master of Science degree programs online to help advance your career and become a transformative leader.

  • Programs: M.Ed. In Special Education - Inclusive Practices, M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction with ESL/ELL Emphasis, M.Ed. In Curriculum and Instruction with Instructional Technology Leadership Emphasis, more...
  • Degrees: 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

Technology changes everything®

You’ve found Ashford University, where school comes to you

  • Programs: MA/Education - Special Education (non-licensure), BA/Education Studies, MA/Education - No Specialization, more...
  • Degrees: Master, Bachelor

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

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).

  • Programs: Certificate of Proficiency in Autism Studies, Autism Spectrum Disorder Endorsement, Pennsylvania PK-12 Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Certification, more...
  • Degrees: Certificate

Purdue University offers a strong foundation of tradition and history.

  • Programs: Master of Science in Education in Special Education
  • Degrees: Master

Abilene Christian University is a national leader in Christian higher education and a place where students, faculty, staff and alumni make a real difference in the world.

  • Programs: Doctor of Education in Organizatonal Leadership - Higher Education Track, Master of Education in Higher Education , Doctor of Education in Organizatonal Leadership, more...
  • Degrees: Doctorate, Master

Colorado State University-Global Campus

Colorado State University-Global Campus (CSU-Global) offers career relevant bachelor’s and master’s degree programs for working adults and nontraditional learners.

  • Programs: MS - Teaching and Learning
  • Degrees: Master

Since 1977, Keiser University has provided quality student-centered, career-focused education.

  • Programs: Education Specialist in Instructional Design and Technology, Master of Science in Education, Master of Science in Education - Teaching and Learning, more...
  • Degrees: Certificate, Master, Doctorate
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