Do you know that most countries just recognized the concept of inclusion? Previously, the educational sector paid little attention to people with disabilities (special people). However, this field is now a hot cake because many people with disabilities want to be functional for themselves and their communities. As a result, they are ready to make sacrifices and pay to obtain an education that will allow them to be useful and self-sufficient. They frequently meet philanthropists, NGOs, and government agencies eager to support them in their endeavors. In this article, we will look at benefits of working as a special educator, the organizations you can work for, and how to become a special education teacher.
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How To Become A Special Education Teacher
Special Education as a Discipline: Meaning and Scope
Special education is a system of teaching in ways that embrace individuals’ uniqueness, disabilities, and special needs. The educational arm was created to assist individuals with special needs in achieving a high degree of personal consciousness and performance at school and in their society. It would not be possible if such students received a traditional classroom education. The term “special education” is commonly used to refer to the instruction of disabled students.
Special education as a discipline focuses on the following areas:
- Learning disabilities (LD)
- Dyslexia and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Communication Disorder
- Emotional and Behavioural Disorders
- Developmental Disabilities, among others.
Steps to Follow to Become a Special Educator
Here are the steps to follow if you are wondering how to become a special education teacher.
Examine Your Teaching Interests
Teaching plays a role in shaping young minds in ways that last a lifetime. To be the best special educator possible, you must have the right attitude, temperament, and mindset. Before investing the time, cost, and money required to obtain a university degree and training, consider whether your professional and personal interests are compatible with the teaching profession.
Before enrolling in a special education teaching program, you should recognize your teaching preferences. Simply put, consider why you want to be a special educator. By answering this question, you’ll be able to identify your preferred degree level, area of specialization, and whether you’d like to teach any special students. Knowing this information influences which teaching degree and training course to pursue, coursework, and organizations to join.
Analyze Your Educational Degree Options
You should make informed decisions about your education options once you know your career objectives and where you want to specialize. You can determine which degree you should pursue and which levels or majors to pursue. The following section goes into greater detail about the various degree and specialization options available to you:
- A. in Special Education
- S. Exceptional Student Education
- Bachelor of Science in Special Education – Learning Behavior Disorders
- Ed. in Special Educational Needs and Disability
- A. Applied Disability Studies
- Ed. Educational Psychology and Special Education
- Ed. Autism and Behavioral Science
Choose Your Learning Method
You can learn in various ways because there are many educational paths to becoming a teacher. The first two major decisions you must make are the period of learning and the method of lesson delivery.
You can live and study on campus or learn virtually while the lecturer delivers lesson content. You can also choose whether to learn part-time or full-time.
Funding for Your Teaching Degree
Aside from the time and effort required to become a special educator, there are tuition, expenses, and other attendance costs. Finding a way to pay for tertiary education is a significant barrier for many. Fortunately, several possibilities are available to assist in easing the financial burden. Most of these require future repayment, while others are gifts.
Obtain Your Teaching Certification
To teach after graduation, you must have a teaching certification. Although becoming certified is not difficult, each country and state has its requirements. Many special educators are unsure which country they will teach in after graduation.
Africa Universities that Offers Special Education
If you wondering where to start in answering your questions on how to become a special education teacher, Below are some universities that offer special education degrees across Africa:
- University Of Ibadan, Ibadan
- University of Zambia
- University of Cape Coast
- University of Goma
- University of Zambia
- Gideon Robert University
- John’s University of Tanzania
- University of Zimbabwe, Harare
- University of Uyo
- University of Lagos
Benefits of Being a Special Educator
You will be a better teacher to every student
Recognizing the best way of teaching all types and levels of learners allows you to understand how more students, not just those with exceptionalities, learn. It is beneficial because classrooms are now more inclusive than they have ever been.
It elevates you in a teaching job hunt
A special education degree can set you out from other applicants for teaching positions, not just special education teaching. It’s because a special education degree demonstrates that you are capable of teaching all students — those who are ahead, those who are behind, and those who have exceptionalities.
It may lead to new career opportunities outside of teaching
Aside from the regular classroom, advanced training in special education provides a variety of career options, such as becoming an educational diagnostician, working in a clinical setting (such as early intervention in health facilities or even in a rehabilitation centre), and working as an external consultant or trainer to institution districts or state departments of education.
It provides a lifetime of learning opportunities
Working with students, particularly special education students, is a rewarding profession. Suppose you learn to focus on learner-centred learning. In that case, you will understand each student’s unique goals, challenges, and needs, which will necessitate constant change and adaptation on your part. To reach every student, you must be creative and compassionate.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many years does it take you to become a special education teacher?
To specialize in special education, you must have at least a bachelor’s degree, which takes about 4 or 5 years of study to complete. A special education teacher must also have a teaching license which they can obtain in the process of getting their bachelor’s degree from the University.
What are the qualities that special education teachers need?
Below are some of the special skills required for a special education teacher to have;
- Devotion to improvements
- Assessment skills
- Knowledge of theory and practical
- Listening and communication skills, among others
Can special education teachers teach general subjects?
Many schools and states do not allow special education teachers to take general subjects, but some do. Some private schools can also allow a special education teacher to teach general subjects.
Final Thoughts on How to Become a Special Education Teacher
Becoming a special education teacher is very fulfilling as you will be shaping the future of special students. So if you are thinking on how to become a special education teacher, think no more, follow the steps outline above and become an inspiration to many special students who are patiently waiting for you to guide them to believe in themselves and become a solution to many societal challenges.