Why I Became a Special Education Teacher

As more developing learners are diagnosed with learning disabilities, schools acknowledge a greater need for a more highly qualified Special Education teacher. Being a Special Education teacher is about more than just helping students to process academics, it’s about giving them the independence to learn and interpret their surroundings in a way they can easily understand. Every educator has a different response to the statement “Why I became a Special Education teacher,’ but to discover the full depth of your own decision, you might consider pursuing an advanced degree. With focused programs like the University of Cincinnati’s Master of Education, educators can specialize in Special Education and gain a fuller understanding of what it means to be a Special Education teacher. As in any education career, the first step to becoming a Special Education teacher is to become certified in your state.

How to Obtain Special Education Teacher Certification
Each state has its own regulations for teacher certification. Additionally, each school can vary with its requirements and expectation in regard to training, education and licensure. However, at the bare minimum, Special Education teachers must have a bachelor’s degree in education and a state license in order to teach in public schools. More and more schools look for a higher level of education, however, especially in a specialized program like the University of Cincinnati’s Master of Education, which provides a Special Education concentration for educators who wish to pursue this career path. Because the degree is fully online, it complements your classroom schedule and can utilize your classroom experiences in order to make your education more meaningful by directly applying it in your actual classroom setting. You must have a formal education in order to apply for a state license, so it’s important to choose a program that best prepares you for your licensing exams. To evaluate whether a degree program will assist you with your certification process, check out their accreditations to ensure they meet the rigorous education standards set by respected education organizations.

Consult your state’s guidelines to see what steps you’ll need to take to become a licensed Special Education teacher. Some states respect the licenses issues in other states, so if you’re already certified, you may not have to complete additional certification if you choose to relocate at any point during your career. Since the Special Education community is in need of higher quality educators, some states may have new certification processes that specifically examine your qualifications as a Special Education teacher. Check with your state’s Department of Education to see if this applies to your region. As part of an education at the University of Cincinnati, educators can feel assured that their Special Education Master of Education will help prepare them for licensing exams because of the approval the program has gotten from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), which follows the standards set by the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC).

Advancing Your Special Education Teacher Career
Once you commit to teaching in Special Education classrooms, the ease in which you’ll learn to accommodate varying special needs will grow over time. Some of the best Special Education teachers are able to ascend quickly within the ranks of Special Education to become team leaders, administrators, specialists and some even go on to teach the next generation of Special Education teachers at the university level. To reach your fullest potential as a Special Education teacher, you will need to pursue the highest level of education to constantly refresh your perspective on the issues, teaching methods and news that are important to working in this education community. The first step to mastery as a Special Education teacher is to earn your master’s degree in education with a focus in Special Education from a reputable program like the one offered at the University of Cincinnati. Completing your coursework online allows you to remain devoted to the strong relationships you have formed with students while bolstering your abilities to help them become more effective learners.

Enhance you opportunities to find work as a Special Education teacher by working with Special Education students in inclusion settings, where you will teach all kinds of learning abilities within a single classroom. Many Special Education teachers have found that successful development in young learners comes from access to the same opportunities as their peers. This lessens the social stigma of their learning disabilities while benefiting the students by keeping them at the same pace as others in their age group.

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