Working as a teacher of children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) is certainly a challenging profession but at the same time it is extremely rewarding. Working in Special Education or Therapeutic Pedagogy isn’t for everyone, but if you really feel like it’s a job for you, you won’t regret choosing it. Not everyone has the personality to be a teacher of children with special educational needs, but those who do can develop a very rewarding career.
Teach children with SEN on a daily basis
A teacher of students with SEN generally works with children with diverse characteristics, needs, and disabilities. These needs can be mental, physical, emotional, or a combination of all three. Some students may also have sensory problems such as being deaf, blind, or have different disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder.
The job duties of a special education teacher can vary quite a bit, depending on the particular students they are teaching. Standard teaching assignments, such as preparing class schedules and lessons, are part of the job, as are additional assignments. Special needs teachers can do the following things.
- Perform diagnostic evaluations. Work closely with parents, (which can be difficult at times), and other professionals to enhance the learning potential of the student with SEN
- Develop goals and objectives according to the characteristics and capacities of students with SEN
- Go to different ordinary schools where the students of the specific center do shared schooling and thus share goals and objectives with the tutors of the ordinary schools
- Lift and physically care for students with SEN who are not capable of autonomous mobility and require a more dependent job with their caregivers
Both routine and unexpected problems will be a part of every school day with students with special needs, and teachers must always be prepared.
In addition to having the necessary teaching and professional skills, a teacher of students with SEN must have specific personality traits to thrive in this educational field.
Teachers of students with SEN must be very patient and able to maintain a positive perspective, no matter how frustrating the situation becomes. In addition, they must also be flexible in their teaching and know that just as they sometimes move forward, other times they go backward before moving forward again with a small step. They must have significant organizational skills, above-average physical strength, and be able to work closely with a wide variety of different professionals. In essence, a teacher of children with SEN must be relatively "unshakable" … The best thing is that the people who dedicate themselves to this profession do it by vocation and they really are wonderful in their daily work.
Nowadays, a degree and a specialization are needed to be able to have sufficient training to work with children with SEN. In addition, afterwards, there are different specializations and masters that must be chosen depending on the field that interests you the most.
Not everyone is cut out to be a special educational needs teacher. These people must be dedicated, focused, and ready to dedicate a large part of their lives to work. If you have the devotion and the desire, you are on your way to a rewarding career.
While it is true that teachers often take longer breaks than the rest of the world, many of them spend their time continuing their education or participating in required continuing professional development courses. Many also provide extended school year services to their students.
Special education careers can be personally rewarding and, at the same time, quite demanding in terms of time, physical energy, intellectual challenges, and sometimes emotional stamina. Many special education teachers will attest to the fact that there is no such satisfaction as knowing that you helped a child with special needs learn and grow.