dcsimg

Career Story: Director Of Special Ed At An Elementary School

Director Of Special Ed At An Elementary School

Job Title: Special Education Director

Type of Company: I work for an elementary school district in southeastern Massachusetts.

Education: BA, Elementary Education and Math/Psychology, Simmons College (Boston, MA) •• M.Ed., Counseling, University of Hartford

Previous Experience: I started out as a guidance counselor and elementary school teacher.

Job Tasks: My job entails supervising and organizing the special education department at an elementary school, which is made up of therapists and special education teachers. I am responsible for making sure the educational plans are being followed and that students are getting the appropriate support that they need to be successful. I am also responsible for finding other placement options if students need more support than is available in a public school. This might involve going to observe private placements, including special needs schools, and determining the best placement for student.

In addition, I am responsible for entering pre-school and kindergarten students. They each have to be screened to determine if there are ways that they will need support upon entering the public schools. I spend much of the day in coordinating services of students by talking to their parents, their regular education classroom teachers, and their special education teachers. Sometimes I do observations as well. I am responsible for making sure that every student's educational plan is up-to-date and has been reviewed in a timely manner. This means that I have a list and check to make sure that each plan is reviewed in the month that it is due and that parents are invited to participate in the yearly team meeting.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The nice part about the job is that every day is different with different challenges! It is rewarding to see students learn and grow with accommodations specially designed for them. The worst part is dealing with parent who are very demanding; and there is also a lot of paperwork that has to be filed.

Job Tips: The best advice is to be organized! Always give people time before responding, and tell them you'll get back to them instead of giving an incomplete answer.

Additional Thoughts: The most important qualities are to be patient and pleasant. Try to understand where the family is coming from and how you would want to be treated if the student you're dealing with were your child.

Popular Schools offering Education Administration 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

Baker College is proud to be the largest independent college in Michigan with the most focused approach to education and training available. With one of the highest graduate employment rates in the country, our mission is to help our students find meaningful employment.

  • Programs: Educational Leadership: K-12 - MSEE (Master's), Educational Leadership: Higher Education - MSEE (Master's)
  • Degrees: Master

Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.

  • Programs: M.Ed. Teaching & Learning: History, AA in Education (Non-Licensure)
  • Degrees: Master, Associate

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

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

  • Programs: International Education - Doctor of Philosophy in Education, Educational Leadership - EdS, Leadership in Higher Education - EdS, more...
  • Degrees: Doctorate

Study online with California University of Pennsylvania.

  • Programs: Administrative Program for Principals (Certification) - Online, Advanced Studies in Secondary Education & Teacher Leadership (Master of Education) - Online, Administrative Program for Principals (Master of Education) - Online, more...
  • Degrees: Certificate, 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: Educational Administration (EDD), M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction - Educational Technology Leadership, Ed.D. - Professional Leadership, Inquiry, and Transformation, more...
  • Degrees: Doctorate, Master

Technology changes everything®

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

  • Programs: MA/Education - Family and Community Services, MA/Education - School Leadership in the 21st Century, BA/Early Childhood Education Administration, more...
  • Degrees: Master, Bachelor

A nationally recognized leader in online education, Lamar University online tailors the on-campus degree program to a flexible, affordable format for busy professionals.

  • Programs: Master of Education in Educational Administration, Master of Education in Teacher Leadership with specializaiton in Special Education, Master of Education in Teacher Leadership with specialization in Autism, more...
  • Degrees: Master

For over 35 years, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals. 

  • Programs: PhD in Educational Leadership, Education Specialist in Educational Leadership
  • Degrees: Doctorate, Certificate

Building on an innovative 25-year history, California State University San Marcos is a forward-focused institution, dedicated to preparing future leaders, building great communities and solving critical issues. Located on a 304-acre hillside overlooking the city of San Marcos, the University is just a short distance from some of Southern California’s best beaches and an hour from the US-Mexico border. CSUSM enrollment is over 15,000 and the university is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

  • Programs: Master of Arts in Education, Educational Administration, Master of Arts in Education, Literacy
  • 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

More Details On This Career

Please also see our detailed information about Elementary And Secondary School Administrators, including:

Back to Top
SPEAK TO AN ADVISOR 1.844.285.6104