Thinking about becoming a special education teacher?
Wondering if it’s the right career choice for you?
While teaching special education definitely comes with some unique challenges, the truth is that there are a lot of big benefits to the career as well. Few people realize how rewarding becoming a special ed teacher can be and just how much it can positively influence your life.
Luckily, this article is here to help. Below we’ll give you an overview of the top benefits of teaching special education and tell you why it may be the right career choice for you.
1. You’ll Have a Specialized Skill
One of the benefits of becoming a special education teacher is that it will require you to have a more advanced education and specialized knowledge that other teachers don’t have. You’ll have to be licensed to teach special education and this extra education can help you stand out in the job market.
More job opportunities will become available to you and you’ll have a much better resume that you can use when it comes time to look for new positions. As a result of becoming certified and teaching special ed, you’ll become a much more marketable teacher.
Even if you move on from teaching special ed later on in life, your experiences as a special ed teacher will shape your skills and continue to influence your career in big ways.
2. Special Ed Teachers Are in High Demand
If you want to gain a high amount of job security, becoming a special ed teacher is one of the best ways you can do it. Special education teachers are harder to come by than the average teacher and because of that, you’ll be in high demand.
When it comes time for a job search, whether you’re moving across the country or looking for a job close to home, you’ll often find that it goes very smoothly and is over quickly. There are also plenty of jobs that you can do outside of the classroom as well.
3. Work Days Will Be Shorter
One extra perk of working in special education is that, in many cases, your workday will be much shorter. Special education school days are typically a bit shorter in length than average. Along with that, there is also plenty of flexibility in how you can arrange class schedules and the course curriculum.
While the work can be hard, having a little bit less time at school can be a great perk that can give you the rest and relaxation you need after a hard day of teaching.
4. You’ll Develop Great Relationships With Students
When you work as a special ed teacher, few things can compare to the close relationships you’ll form with your students. You wouldn’t always get the same opportunity to form deep relationships with other types of students like you can as a special education teacher.
Your students’ relationships with you will be a big part of what matters as a special education teacher. You’ll find yourself caring for your children deeply and celebrating their successes as your time with them goes on and as you get more chances to further their education.
5. There’s a Better Adult-to-Child Ratio
While it’s not always the case, when teaching special education there is often a much better ratio of teachers to students. For many teachers, this is a big plus since managing a big classroom full of students can be difficult.
While teaching special ed comes with its challenges, having a smaller focus on a limited number of students can be a better alternative to dealing with a large classroom full of students. While only a few special education students can often be just as difficult to deal with, in other moments it can be a much simpler experience.
6. There Will Be More Individualized Education
You’ll also find that it’s a necessity to give each student plenty of individualized attention when you teach special education. Each child will be different and will have different capabilities. You’ll also be working with students at various grade levels.
Big classrooms make it hard to spend one-on-one time with each student and instead teachers usually have to adopt a one size fits all approach out of necessity.
If you would rather focus on giving your all to a few individual students, then special education will give you that opportunity. No matter what your special education specialization is, you’re likely to have a lot of time to focus on each student along with their specific needs and challenges.
7. You’ll Get to Teach the Students Who Need It Most
By becoming a special education teacher, you’ll get a chance to reach the students who are most in need of help. While all students can benefit from strong educational support, children who are in special education need it even more.
By becoming one of their teachers, you’ll be able to know that you’re making a big difference in their lives. You’ll be educating and caring for the children who need your love and support most of all and will develop stronger teaching skills and capabilities as a result.
8. You’ll Go Beyond the Classroom
When you become a special education teacher, you’ll usually be a lot more than that. You’ll also become their advocate and will have to communicate with other people in the students’ lives.
You’ll often be communicating with parents as well as health professionals and other educators to care for the student. You’ll team up with these people to ensure that a student is not only getting a great education but that their other needs are being met as well.
As a special education teacher, you’ll be influencing many areas of a child’s life and impacting them in ways that extend beyond the classroom.
9. You’ll Be Able to See The Impact Firsthand
By teaching special education students you’ll also be able to see the impact you have on students firsthand. Oftentimes, you’ll spend several years with a student. You may even teach them for the entire time they spend at your school.
When you’re not a special education teacher, this usually isn’t the case. You won’t spend the same amount of time with a typical student who has a different teacher as they move from grade to grade.
On the other hand, working as a special ed teacher will often give you a better chance to see your students grow and learn over the course of time. It also allows you to see the full impact of the work you’ve done to get them to where they are.
10. It’s a Rewarding Experience
Few things can be as rewarding as working with special needs students. You’ll know that you’ll be making a difference in the life of some great kids who need it more than most.
You’ll be able to rest assured knowing that at the end of the day you’ve made good use of your time as a teacher. You’ll see that you have been able to impact others in a positive way.
The truth is that the relationships you form with students are everything and knowing that you impacted their lives and their families’ lives in a positive way is a great feeling.
Ready to Start Teaching Special Education?
Teaching special education can be very challenging. However, teachers who have never done it don’t realize just how rewarding it can be as well. If you’re trying to make the decision of whether you should teach special ed, then consider the above points carefully. Your decision may become a lot easier.
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