What Do Middle School Special Education Teachers Do?
Teachers in this specialization work with students who have physical or mental disabilities. They help students both academically and with certain life skills. Physically handicapped students include those who have auditory or visual handicaps. Over the next few years, openings for workers in this field are expected to increase by 5%, with about 2,110 positions opening annually nationwide.
Middle School Special Education Teachers Skills and Abilities
To be successful in this position, you should have knowledge about how to run a classroom. This includes information on designing and implementing curriculum, and how to relay information in a way that students can understand. You should also have a firm grasp on research methods and practices and a clear understanding of the English language, including grammar rules and conventions. You will also want to know how to assess student progress. Special education teachers also need to know basics of psychology in order to give their students quality support, and they should also have an understanding of mathematical concepts. Clerical skills are also needed for this job, as it requires keeping student records and keeping abreast of forms. Additionally, you should have social perceptiveness, time management skills, and good critical thinking skills.
Middle School Special Education Teachers Duties
Special education teachers work with both students and staff to enhance students’ learning experiences. They are involved in many different facets of the educational process, like creating curriculum, assisting students in groups and one on one, supervising staff, creating a structured environment, and keeping records of student progress. They often modify teaching methods to accommodate student needs. Other duties include:
- Collaborating with other teachers
- Advising students
- Serving on committees
- Coordinating students’ extracurricular activities
- Reporting to parents, agencies and supervisors
- Evaluating staff performance
- Establishing rules for students
- Reporting abuse to authorities
- Maintaining inventories of supplies and materials
- Teaching life skills and vocational courses
- Tutoring individual students
Middle School Special Education Teachers Tools and Technology
In this position, you might use adaptive communication switches, Braille devices, trackballs or computer mice, game pads, and touchscreen monitors. In terms of technology, you might use text to speech software, device drivers, and common software like email, web browsing software, and presentation software. You will also probably use Microsoft Word or equivalent.
Education and Training for Middle School Special Education Teachers
Most employees in this field have bachelor’s or master’s degrees. Very few have as low as an associate’s degree, and a small number have doctoral degrees. Workers get on-the-job training once they become employed, and the training is usually in the form of a residency or internship. Related instructional programs include education and teaching for individuals with:
- Emotional disturbances
- Hearing impairments
- Mental retardation
- Multiple disabilities
- Orthopedic impairments
- Learning disabilities
- Speech or language impairments
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Vision impairments
Middle School Special Education Teachers Salary
Workers in this field usually make between about $38,300 and $88,400 a year. Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York currently pay the largest median salary per state. Mississippi, West Virginia, and Utah currently pay the least. Other factors that relate to an individual salary include whether you work at a public or private institution, and how many years of experience you have.
Middle School Special Education Teachers by Geography
Florida, Georgia, and Texas are expected to have the largest increase in available jobs in the next few years, with Florida’s increase at just over 25%. States with negative percentage increases are Illinois, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Maine, and Michigan. Maryland currently employs the largest number of workers in this field by double that of any other state.