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10 Things Special Education Teachers Wish You Knew

Posted by Brian Spence on Jun 20, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Special Education, Developmentally Disabled, Behavioral Health, Autism49 states report a shortage of special education teachers, according to the National Coalition of Personnel Shortages in Special Education and Related Services. These educators should be considered modern day superheroes. Whether scaling mountains of paperwork in a single bound like Superman or knowing what your child needs before they express it like Jean Gray, special education teachers are exceptional.

Here are a few things that go on both in the classroom and behind the scenes that they wish you knew.

  1. There’s no such thing as a standard lesson plan. We have to prepare a customized lesson plan for each student in our classroom. If we have eight students, then there are eight different lesson plans. Unlike regular education teachers who can re-use lesson plans from year to year, we do not have that option.

  2. It takes a village. We need the support of parents, advocates, and regular education teachers to make the best of your child's education experience. The regular education teachers can help us to assess each student so that we understand how to modify their lesson plan.

  3. Two steps forward, one step backSpecial Education students don't progress quickly. They may gain a new skill only to have to re-master that same skill the next day. We might not make any progress for a while, and that's okay, too. We celebrate progress in any capacity great or small.

  4. We can feel isolated. Often special education teachers are in exclusion classroom taking them away from the flow of the rest of the school.

  5. We want to move mountains on behalf of your child. We use all of our available resources to advocate for your child when it comes to special education laws and regulations.

  6. Just another day at the office. For other teachers, being hit by a child means a trip to the principal for that individual. For us, it's just another day at the office. We understand the challenges your child faces and understand to take it all in stride.

  7. We love your children. We love your children and look forward to all associated ups and downs that are a part of their lives.

  8. Trust Building is Crucial. Establishing trust with your child is one of the most important things that we can do. Once we have earned the trust of your child, they can open up and exercise their potential.

  9. We’re Learning Right Along with Your Child. Though we have received extensive training in special education, it is a combination of art and science. Each child is different, and the techniques that may work with one child may not help another.

  10. We Can Feel Overwhelmed. Special Education teachers have to be master multitaskers. Whether it's preparing a different IEP for each student, scheduling meetings with parents, or meeting with the regular education teachers about a student, special education teachers have a lot on their plate.

If you're interested in learning more about this and related topics, visit the Behavioral Health and Education sections of our blog.  

And if you are interest in a rewarding profession in the Behavioral Health field, review our current job postings or just give us a call.


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Topics: Behavioral Health, Education

Staffing Plus is a premier healthcare staffing firm that provides temporary, per diem, temp-to-hire and permanent Staffing Solutions for Behavioral Health, Education, and Healthcare settings. We have leveraged decades of experience to assist organizations with the challenges of managing their HR and Recruiting needs.