Job Title: High School Special Education Director
Type of Company: I work for a school district in a suburb of Boston.
Education: BS, Elementary Education, Northeastern University M. Ed., Intensive Special Needs, Simmons College (Boston, MA)
Previous Experience: I was a manager of a residence for disabled adults before to becoming a special education teacher. I taught special ed. for 10 years prior to taking my current position.
Job Tasks: As a high school Special Education Director (also known as a Special Education Team Chairperson) I am in charge of the special education department at a mid-sized suburban high school. I run meetings for students who are on Individualized Education Plans or IEPs. I also lead evaluations of struggling students to determine if they require special services and if so what those services should be. I also supervise the special education faculty and staff -- 25 people -- in their day-to-day activities. This supervision ranges from helping them find counseling resources to troubleshooting difficult situations (e.g. a student who's struggling with math or a parent who is disagreeable).
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is working with my peers to help students. It is very rewarding to enter a situation where a student, and often a parent, feels there's hardly any hope and to help them find a way to succeed.
The worst part is the paperwork. I read and edit all reports generated by the department. I also have numerous state and federal requirements to meet and document.
Job Tips: To be an effective special education director I think you should first be the best special education teacher you can be. The broader your teaching experience (range of ages, range of disabilities, types of schools, etc.) the more prepared you will be to meet the dynamic needs of the students you encounter. Next read special education law. The law drives special education, so the more informed you are the better. Lastly, remember that you are helping children; it is worth it.
Additional Thoughts: No matter what you do, find a way to enjoy it. The more you enjoy and care about your work the more this attitude will rub off on the people who surround you. In the end everyone benefits. In this pursuit avoid negative people; if they say "I can't" or "That's not my job," then they are part of the problem. Being the solution is far more satisfying. Good luck.
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
Want to be a Teacher or Educational Administrator? Learn why GCU could be the best place to start!
Experience an education that helps you realize your potential in a way that fits you best. Request more information about Post University today.
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).
Purdue University offers a strong foundation of tradition and history.
Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.
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.
Pursue your education at Pacific Oaks College.
Advance your teaching career with an online master's degree from University of Southern California Rossier School of Education.
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.
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 Secondary School Special Education Teachers, including: