Teacher - Special Education

Summary

Special education teachers develop and conduct learning programmes for preschool, primary and secondary students who have learning difficulties or an impairment in their physical, sensory, emotional or intellectual abilities. Some also teach students who are intellectually gifted.

Duties & Tasks

Special education teachers may perform the following tasks:

  • assess the abilities and potential of students requiring a specific study programme using a variety of tests and other forms of assessment
  • plan special courses of study to meet the needs of students
  • teach academic subjects and practical self-help skills using various methods and aids to assist in the education and rehabilitation process
  • develop and adapt the curriculum to make it relevant for students with disability
  • observe students to evaluate and record their progress and to detect signs of developmental disorders, ill health or emotional disturbance
  • work closely with other professionals, including guidance officers, speech therapists and psychologists
  • promote health and safety concepts and social interaction with other students
  • assist students with toileting, feeding and other personal matters (this may require lifting the students)
  • discuss aspects of students' development with parents and other educators
  • discuss the aims of the education programme as a whole with parents
  • participate in community activities and on school committees.

Specialisations

Adult Literacy and Numeracy Teacher

An adult literacy and numeracy teacher specialises in teaching literacy and numeracy skills such as reading, writing and mathematics to adults with low literacy or other people with literacy or numeracy problems.

Working Conditions

Special education teachers may work in schools for children with special needs or in mainstream classrooms, either with groups of students or on an individual basis. In mainstream schools, special education teachers are involved in the planning and implementation of programmes to enable students with disabilities to function successfully in a regular classroom setting.

Personal Requirements

  • dedicated, patient and tactful
  • able to relate easily to children
  • flexible and adaptable
  • able to motivate students to learn
  • able to communicate simply and clearly
  • understanding of people's special needs
  • prepared to work outside of school hours.

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