Career Story: Special Needs Teacher In A Public School

Special Needs Teacher In A Public School

Job Title: Special Education Teacher

Type of Company: I work for county public schools in a suburb of Washington, DC.

Education: MA, Special Education

Previous Experience: I have worked privately and in the public school system with children with autism and other developmental disabilities.

Job Tasks: I teach students with special needs, which requires me to work with their parents, the general education teacher and their therapists to come up with an individualized educational plan that's suited to each one. I am responsible both for customizing these plans (known as IEP's) and for writing them up, and for adhering, in the process, to county, state and federal regulations.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job -- the truly wonderful part -- is having an impact for good on the life of a child. I enjoy watching my charges learn new skills and make progress at their own speed, in their own way.

The most difficult part of my job is dealing with adults who've lost sight of the things that are in a student's best interest. But another impediment is the amount of paperwork I have to complete to meet federal and local requirements -- in addition to teaching, planning, attending team meetings, etc. This job takes good planning and time-management skills.

Job Tips:
1.) Understand that this job can be extremely rewarding but is also extremely challenging. Learn how to develop positive relationships with parents and co-workers.

2.) Be prepared to keep learning. The field of special education is constantly changing.

3) Be aware of current issues and trends in special education. There are many occasions when you will be expected to answer questions on hot-button issues in special ed. and you will have to be on top of them.

Additional Thoughts: This job is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling, but it also quite challenging. Be aware of the challenges but always remember why you have chosen a career in special education; to make a difference in the life of children with disabilities.

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

Are you ready to advance or start your career inspiring minds and changing lives? Apply to join GCU's prestigious teaching community.

  • 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 - 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

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

Pursue your education at Pacific Oaks College.

  • Programs: M.A. Education with Preliminary Education Specialist Instruction Credential, Preliminary Education Specialist Credential, Multiple Subject English Learner Teaching Credential, more...
  • Degrees: Master, Bachelor

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

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.

  • Programs: Master of Education in Learning Design and Technology
  • 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
Matching School Ads
You are visiting:

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