Special education can be defined as specially configured instruction and other education-related services to meet the educational, social, emotional, and professional needs of students with disabilities. Special education teachers educate students who have various types of disabilities, including speech or language impairments, mental retardation, emotional distress, hearing impairment, orthopedic issues, multiple disabilities, specific learning disabilities, vision impairment, autism , combined blindness and deafness, traumatic brain injury and other health problems. A special educator must work with students of all ages from infants and toddlers, elementary, middle, and high school students, as well as youth. The special educator job also involves working with a team of professionals, for example doctors, speech therapists, social workers, orthopaedists, psychiatrists, counselors, etc. Teaching methods and techniques in special education would vary based on the disability and would also vary from individual to individual.
Teaching methods include one-on-one instruction, problem-solving techniques, group work, and special assignments depending on the individual’s needs. They can also develop individual educational programs for each student to help with the child’s activities of daily living. Since technology plays an important role in special education, a teacher is expected to educate students and their parents about the latest equipment and its use in disability, as appropriate. For example, there are now interactive software and talking computers on the market, which would be of great help to students with speech impairments. It requires a lot of enthusiasm, optimism, patience, tolerance and perseverance to be a special education teacher as the job involves a lot of interactions with students of all ages as well as with other people.
In the United States, all states require special education teachers to be licensed. The special education teacher must complete a teacher training program and must have a bachelor’s or master’s degree. As they deal with students with mild to profound disabilities, their work requires specialization in one or another area of disability, which would allow teachers to develop their own curriculum materials and teaching techniques to meet students’ needs.