What Do Secondary School Special Education Teachers Do?
Teachers in this specialty work with students who have physical, mental, or emotional impairments. Some relevant handicaps include vision impairments, auditory impairments, and mental handicaps. The teachers help with academic subjects as well as helping students learn life skills.There is expected to be a 5% increase in secondary school special education jobs over the next few years, with 2,850 new positions opening annually. By 2022, about 137,400 workers will be employed in this field nationwide.
Secondary School Special Education Teachers Skills and Abilities
To work in this position, you will want to have a number of different skills and abilities. You need to know how to teach others in a way they can understand, and to make adjustments to curriculum and teaching styles as necessary. You should have a firm understanding of the English language, psychology, and math through calculus. It is also important to have good critical thinking skills, strong empathy skills, and to have strengths in customer service. You will also need to know how to monitor students in order to assess their capabilities, and to have active listening skills so you can fully connect with your students.
Secondary School Special Education Teachers Duties
There are many duties involved with this job, all involving helping students improve their cognitive, behavioral, and physical processes. In this position, you will enforce guidelines and procedures and teach students proper behavior. You’ll work with others, like parents and administrators, in order to create individual education plans that work for each student. You’ll disseminate tests, coordinate activities, and keep records of student progress. You will also teach students how to use certain software so they can get the most out of their education. Other duties for this position include:
- Helping students explore learning opportunities
- Counseling students and providing guidance
- Teaching important life skills like self-advocacy
- Teaching students through lectures and discussions
- Being involved in helping students transition into mainstream classes
- Supervising teaching assistants or other teachers
- Attending meetings, conferences, and trainings
- Keeping stock of classroom inventory
Secondary School Special Education Teachers Tools and Technology
There are certain tools that teachers use in this position to help students progress academically, socially, and physically. They use adaptive communication switches like Sound switches, Braille devices, trackballs or computer mice, and touch screen monitors. Relevant technology includes text to speech software, presentation software like Microsoft PowerPoint, email and browser software, and screen magnification software.
Education and Training for Secondary School Special Education Teachers
Most teachers in this line of work have completed either a bachelor’s or master’s degree. A very small percentage have less than a bachelor’s and an equally small percentage have doctoral degrees. Training is usually through residencies and internships on the job. Some of the related instructional programs are education and teaching of individuals who are developmentally delayed and those with:
- Emotional disturbances
- Hearing impairments
- Vision impairments
- Orthopedic impairments
- Specific learning disabilities
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Mental retardation
Secondary School Special Education Teachers Salary
The yearly salary for this line of work ranges from between about $39,000 and $92,000. Connecticut, New York, and Alaska currently pay the highest median salaries for this position. Other factors that affect salary include the applicant’s education level and work experience, along with the type of secondary school he or she is applying to.
Secondary School Special Education Teachers by Geography
States with the highest projected increase in jobs in this field are Georgia, Texas, and Utah, while states with the lowest are Vermont, Michigan, and Maine. Texas, California and New York currently employ the highest overall number of workers for these jobs.