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Special Education Teacher Job Skills Needed to Land a Job

special education teachers job skills needed to land a job

Special education is a rapidly growing sector of the education field. The number of students requiring special education services has increased because students with special needs are identified earlier, and there is an increase in the acceptance of services necessary.

As the special needs student population grows, school districts need to hire more teachers to provide these students’ services. And certain skills are necessary to obtain a special education job. The Occupational Outlook Handbook states that the number of special education teachers required will increase by 17% from 2008 – 2018.

If you are ready to apply for special education teaching jobs, be sure to consider the steps needed to increase the chance of being selected for vacant positions.

When districts hire special education teachers, they look for certain attributes, skills, certifications, experiences, and accomplishments. If you make sure you possess these traits, you will be a more desirable candidate and will be more likely to be selected for the position. Knowing how to conduct a job search will be helpful to get the best results. 

Familiarize Yourself With Current Special Education Keywords

Special education is full of acronyms and keywords that a qualified teacher should be familiar with and understand. Study up on these acronyms. If you have to ask them to explain what they mean in the interview, it may deter them from hiring you. When they use technical terms associated with the position, you should know what they are referring to.

Schools want to hire someone current with the latest special education techniques to promote learning. If you are a bit hazy on this, be sure to review some of the common terms, such as intensive individualized instruction, special adaptations, and specific special education software. Comprehend and effectively answer interview questions demonstrating your knowledge by practicing.

Be Knowledgeable About Various Disabilities

It is beneficial to know about all types of disabilities – the students you instruct could be challenged with various obstacles, and you will need to be fully prepared to assist. Be sure you know basic information about a wide variety of disabilities before you go to an interview.

Accurately and impressively answer questions may pose regarding different disability types. As a special education teacher, you are the school district’s expert on disabilities. School hiring representatives want to hire someone they can turn to if they have questions, not someone who constantly needs to consult a resource book.

Know Differentiation

Differentiation is a popular buzzword in education today. It is something that all teachers should do in their classrooms. However, as a special education teacher, you will be required to do more differentiation than anyone else. Consider how you could modify lessons to meet students’ individual needs, and be prepared to give specific examples in your interview.

Demonstrate your Ability to Work Cooperatively

Teachers in special education are frequently required to work cooperatively with other teachers and resource specialists. Most schools want to hire a special education teacher who is a team player. Understand and communicate the importance of collaborating with other teachers to help ensure students’ success.  Emphasize your willingness to co-operate with other teachers in your interview.

Understand the Roles of Support Staff

Depending on the nature of disabilities that may be present in your class, you may be in charge of managing and allocating support staff. Be sure you are aware of the different support staff that generally assist with special education programs. Your interviewer may ask you to explain how you would utilize different support structures. Before the interview, you may want to consider using other staff to help disabled students succeed effectively.

The job of a special education teacher is significant to the entire school community. When schools interview potential teachers, they look very carefully at the applications, credentials, knowledge, and skills. They want to select the proper candidate. If you want to be the candidate who earns the job, you need to make sure that your qualifications are top-notch.