What Do Preschool Special Education Teachers Do?
Workers in this field teach preschool students who are physically or educationally handicapped. These handicaps can include visual and auditory impairments, as well as mental impairments. The teachers help students with academic achievement and life processes skills.There is expected to be a 16% increase in jobs in this field over the next few years, with 740 new positions opening annually. By 2022, about 25,900 workers will be employed in this field nationwide.
Preschool Special Education Teachers Skills and Abilities
Preschool special education teachers need to have a balance of firmness and flexibility. They need to be able to set appropriate boundaries with students, while also encouraging them through positive reinforcement. They should have social perceptiveness in order to understand how students are feeling and to anticipate students’ needs. They also need strong organizational skills, as they are responsible for a variety of paperwork and classroom structure. In this position, you should be able to work well with both children and adults and be able to express yourself clearly. You will also need good coordination in order to provide physical support to students. You should have strong written communication skills including grammar conventions.
Preschool Special Education Teachers Duties
Teachers in this field have a wide range of duties in order to support a variety of children on a daily basis. They are in charge of creating and adjusting learning and recreational activities for children, including using techniques during instruction to help children develop their motor and cognition skills. They may be in charge of hiring and training other staff. They administer tests to determine students’ abilities. They often collaborate with other teachers in order to provide comprehensive instruction and support. Other duties for this position include:
- Arranging space inside and outside the classroom
- Feeding and dressing children, and changing diapers
- Addressing behavioral issues with parents, counselors, and administrators
- Taking inventory of classroom resources
- Developing IEPs (individual educational plans) for students
- Helping children transition to mainstream classes
- Attending conferences, workshops, and meetings
- Maintaining student records for government agencies and school districts
- Evaluating student performance
- Serving meals
- Teaching acceptable behavior
Preschool Special Education Teachers Tools and Technology
For this job you will most likely use adaptive communication switches like Jellybean switches, game pads or joysticks, and adaptive craft supplies like scissors and paintbrushes. Other common tools for this job include letter and symbol boards, sand tables, and water tables. Common technology for this job often consists of children’s educational software, an American Sign Language browser, screen reader software, email software, and drawing software.
Education and Training for Preschool Special Education Teachers
Most employees for these positions have a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Work experience is mostly done on the job through residencies and internships. Some related instructional programs to help prepare for this job are education and teaching of individuals with:
- Multiple disabilities
- Hearing impairments
- Mental retardation
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Specific learning disabilities
- Physical health impairments
- Vision impairments
- Speech or language impairments
Preschool Special Education Teachers Salary
The yearly salary for this job ranges from about $33,100 to $90,200. The states that pay the highest median salary are Illinois, Rhode Island, California, and Oregon. The states that pay the least are Tennessee, Arkansas, Maine, and Alabama.
Preschool Special Education Teachers by Geography
Alabama, Montana, and Arkansas are expected to have the biggest increase in available jobs over the next few years, while Minnesota, New Jersey, and Illinois are expected to have the smallest. New York, Iowa, and California currently hire the largest number of workers in this field. This information can be useful when you look for a preschool special education position.