Special education teachers make more than a salary. They make a huge difference in the lives of their special needs students and their families. If you are adaptable, patient and love working with disabled children, this might be the right career for you.
How to become an elementary special education teacher
To become a special education teacher, you need to be licensed to teach special education in elementary schools. Some institutions may require you to have a master’s degree in special education.
1. Earn a bachelor’s degree
During your bachelor’s degree in special education, you will learn how to assess students with disabilities, manage your classroom and plan curriculums for special needs students. You will also take classes that discuss special education law and develop strategies on how to help students with various learning disabilities.
Most states require future teachers to complete a student teaching internship before they can receive a teaching certificate. While pursuing your bachelor’s degree, choose a teaching internship in a special education classroom.
3. Complete a master’s degree
In some states, it is required to complete a master’s degree to teach special education classes. In other cases, teachers may choose to complete a master’s degree to gain more in-depth knowledge of how to accommodate their students.
4. Obtain state certification
To be certified as a special education teacher, you need to take your state’s required general education test and special education test for elementary school teachers. Some states have additional tests to work with children with specific disabilities. After receiving your license, you can apply to any public school with an opening for a special education teacher.
To maintain certification and stay up to date with best practices for special education, you may need to take continuing education courses.
Get started with Lynn
Once you complete your bachelor’s degree in special education or a related field, it’s time to move onto your master’s degree. Lynn’s master of education in exceptional student education gives you the resources to become a compassionate educator that meets your students’ needs. Learn in a way that fits your life and schedule. This program allows you to learn online, on campus or in a blended environment.