Jamie Goodwin

Should I Become a Special Education Teacher?

Should I Become a Special Education Teacher? -magoosh

So you want to become a teacher. But what grade should you teach? What age group? Also, have you considered becoming a special education teacher? Working with students who need extra assistance can be a very challenging but rewarding experience. To determine if this is the right career path for you, check out the following duties that a special education teacher might do.

Create IEPs

IEP stands for Individualized Education Program. For students who require an IEP, the special education teacher meets with the student’s teacher and parents to talk about accommodations and lesson adaptations that would benefit the student. Maybe the student has a difficult time following along with slides and requires a hard copy of class PowerPoints. Maybe the student needs a quiet space to work during class time. Whatever the case may be, these accommodations should be documented with everyone signing off on the plan.

Adapt Lesson Plans

The special education teacher supports the regular classroom teacher by adapting lesson plans. In some cases, the student comes to the resource room for help with the lesson. This way, the special education teacher and his or her teaching assistants can help the student.

Track Students’ Progress

Special education teachers need to assess their students on a regular basis. This helps determine how well the student is doing. It might be necessary to change the IEP to better meet the needs of the student. For example, the student may need additional resources or assistance in order to succeed.

Work with Students

Working one-on-one with students allows the special education teacher to form a special bond with them. The teacher needs to discover new ways to teach the material on the student’s level. While working with these students, it’s important to have the following qualities or abilities:

  • Flexibility
  • Dependability
  • Creativity
  • Compassion
  • Problem solving
  • Service-orientation
  • Resourcefulness
  • Even-temperateness
  • Dedication

Collaborate with Others

It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes a group of people to help that child succeed. Special education teachers work with classroom teachers, parents, psychologists, social workers, speech therapists, physical therapists, and many others. Everyone collaborates to determine how to help the student succeed in school.

If you’re asking yourself “Should I become a special education teacher?” it’s important to think about what the position would be like. These are some of the duties, but there is so much more to being a special education teacher. It would be helpful to reach out to a special education teacher in your area that you could shadow. See what it’s like to work with students, and find out if it’s something that would really interest you as a career.


  • Jamie Goodwin

    Jamie graduated from Brigham Young University- Idaho with a degree in English Education. She spent several years teaching and tutoring students at the elementary, high school, and college level. She currently works as a contract writer and curriculum developer for online education courses. In her free time, she enjoys running and spending time with her boys!

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