Special students refer to pupils with a range of behavioral, physical, or learning disabilities. These disabilities may come in different shapes and forms. They may be severe in many and milder in others, ranging from a blurred or totally-impaired vision, hearing loss, loss of a limb, speaking inability, to other disabilities.
A special education teacher or educator should possess skills to provide these students with the most intuitive learning atmosphere. Therefore, teaching special children may be more challenging than teaching normal children. They may need special attention, creative teaching methods, advanced evaluation systems, and a proficient teaching staff.
Mastering the skills needed to provide special students with education more effectively and overcoming the hurdles that may appear in your way guarantees huge monetary as well as psychological rewards.
Assisting students in meeting demands of modern education is in itself a great motivator to follow this career path, but the job stability and benefits make pursuing this career more alluring. The special education-teacher shortage has increased their demand, but special students are still disadvantaged in getting the right teachers because either the special educators are not qualified or have too much on their plate already to be able to provide any quality education.
States are therefore taking steps to incentivize and further reward candidates opting for this profession. Therefore, if you get along well with children, show sympathy, and develop effective communication, this may be the ideal career for you.
How to get a degree in Special Education?
For starters, you can apply for a bachelor’s in special education and further specialize in it through a master’s degree program. In addition to physical institutes, several colleges offer these degree courses online so that you can prepare yourself from the ease and comfort of your own home. If you need more Answers To Earning Your Master’s In Special Education Online, simply visit the site linked.
According to estimates, 12.6% of the US population has some sort of a disability. Though volunteers and family members try to play their parts in helping the disabled cope with their disabilities, they need greater exposure to fun-filled education in order to excel.
That is why special educators play a crucial role in ensuring even the disabled are trained to play their part in uplifting society. As a tutor to special children, you are expected to embody several skills.
Listed below are a few of them:
Professionalism and competency
Professionalism and competency make up the core of any profession. Many special school children feel difficulty in performing regular tasks. When you are working with special children in a classroom setting, your role, in addition to teaching, will also include helping them out and training them to get their tasks done in the easiest way possible.
Therefore, even if they are incapable of doing something, you must not hurt their self-esteem and values and try to make them as autonomous as possible. You also need to be professional when dealing with their family members and keep them updated on their kid’s progress.
This may need high levels of dedication, integrity, and personal investment on your part. When it comes to their education, you must be competent to teach each individual through different means to help them retain concepts better. Thus, professionalism warrants that you adopt principles of mutual respect, acceptance, active listening, encouragement, and collaboration.
Creative and inventive
Special educators should be creative and inventive, so they can come up with alternative strategies on the spot to help a child get their head around a difficult concept.
Many of your students would love to explore their artistic abilities, so for them, you can prepare lesson plans that would make them paint, draw, or color, etc. Additionally, for those with eyesight disability, you need to be imaginative and prepare learning methods that involve more of the tactile sense, or focus more on verbal teaching methods.
Children with hearing disability would prefer more visual methods of learning. That is why your curricula and education methodology should be adaptable and creative in order to cater for each student’s unique disability. You can even arrange co-teaching sessions, group activities, outdoor activities, field trips, and question-answer sessions to bring out their best.
Good communication and interaction
One of the crucial steps in any teaching methodology is developing good communication with your pupils in order to form bonds based on understanding and respect. It lead the students to listen, understand and respond favorably to what you are teaching.
Teachers who do not frequently interact with their students fail to connect with them, and their style does not encourage students to participate. For better communication with special needs students, use hand movements, plain language, use touch, and show signs of acceptance when they answer.
Empathy and patience
Special educators need to practice a great deal of patience and show empathy. Special children may find it difficult to explain their problems and may also take their time in understanding your instructions. In most cases, their physical inability may aggravate emotions like frustration, irritation, and anger.
They may even become difficult to handle, let alone teach. In times like these, you need to calm their emotions and help them find a more relaxed state of mind. You can only do this if you yourself are patient.
The only way you can console them is through showing love and empathy. Try to understand their situation, consider their actions in light of their disability—not in a condescending way but in an understanding manner—and handle their concerns with compassion.
Flexibility and adaptability
Since many of these students are unaware of their own disabilities, there impulsiveness can be troubling. Hence, in order to make them relax, you need to be more accommodating of them. To better assess a student’s response and predict their behavior, you must determine their interests, strengths, and weak areas.
You must adopt new strategies if the previous ones fail in order to evoke responses and keep trying until they’re comfortable enough to unveil their full potential in front of you. Being flexible and adaptable means understanding your students’ needs and finding and developing new ways of educating them by maintaining your composure and staying optimistic.
Working with special children, taking care of their education, and making them prepare for life’s challenges is no mean feat. Many special educators are excelling in their careers and adopting and improving skills that can make them understand the special students’ requirements and develop better strategies to fulfill them.