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How to become a special education teacher

People who choose to become a special education teacher will find their days richly rewarding as their students learn how to do sometimes the simplest of skills. The work can range from a one-on-one basis with a severely disabled student to a classroom helping the intellectually disabled or other students with delayed development.

Educational requirements needed to teach

To become a special educational needs (SEN) teacher, the requirements vary depending upon your location. Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) is required in England and Wales. This is known as Teaching Qualification (TQ) in Scotland. You will need a Postgraduate Certificate of Education, initial teacher training, a Bachelor of Education and a BA or BSc connected to the qualified teacher status.

Criminal records check

For all teachers wishing to work with children or young adults, a Criminal Records Check is required. Without this, teachers are not permitted to work unsupervised. This check can normally be obtained during the training period. A new check must be conducted each time a teacher changes his/her employer.

Qualities needed

Previous experience while working with children is always considered when applying to become a teacher of SEN. Candidates are to show a commitment to working with students requiring SEN. You will also need to be flexible in your approach to responding to the needs of your students and able to remain positive and enthusiastic while showing patience and understanding. Most important of all, you need a sense of humour.

Older and younger teachers of SEN

Many teachers of SEN are more mature in years, many having spent several years in general teaching before changing to teach those requiring more specialist training. There is a shortage of younger and newly qualified teachers and some schools are now actively seeking to recruit younger members of their staff.

Seeking employment

Once qualified to teach special educational needs, the next step is to find employment. There are usually SEN jobs to be found and a search on the internet will list those currently available. There are a number of teaching sites on the internet that will have any current vacancies or some positions hoping to be filled ready for the next term.

Other resources for teaching

The internet is also a great resource for finding teaching aids, lesson ideas or other educational resources that are required for teaching this specialized area of teaching. Another area of SEN is home teaching. For some students with more severe mobility problems, it may be of greater benefit if the teacher went to the student's home rather than the student having to attend the school. Home teaching is ideal for students who have severe physical disabilities that hinder their daily movements like walking, climbing stairs, etc.

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