As a teacher, working with children is an equally rewarding and challenging responsibility. Educators choose to draw from their own wealth of academic and life experiences in order to help cultivate both intellectual and emotional growth in their students. Often, this role places them in a unique position to observe and care for developmentally struggling children in ways parents cannot. Some of these students fall into the category of special education - requiring teachers who can adapt the general curriculum to meet individual needs. These specialized teachers must demonstrate patience and flexibility to ensure that their students can learn and thrive with the rest of the class.
Within the field of public education, special needs teacher opportunities are expected to increase by 17 percent overall, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. making them some of the most in demand teachers (2010). The goal is to create an inclusive environment where young children who are both typically developing and with special needs receive high quality care and education by well prepared early childhood professionals. Here are some signs that an Early Childhood Education degree -Special Needs specialization might be right for you.
Desire To Educate
While special needs education might fall into a distinct category, the overall mission is the same as any other academic program - learning. Special education teachers must possess an innate desire to help shape young minds and introduce them to new aspects of our world. This already challenging goal becomes even more complex when working with children who do not learn through the traditional means - for reasons ranging from minor learning disabilities to more severe social or psychological issues. As such, special education teachers must exercise exceptional patience and understanding so that their students may receive a quality education.
Historically, special needs education has dealt with students who may have been overlooked by mainstream society or educational institutions. Only within the last few decades has significant progress been made in ensuring that people with some level of disability have been provided equal opportunity and assistance by public and private institutions. However, there is still significant need for support and reform in the disabled community. Teachers must be among the strongest advocates for special needs programs - educating the general public about the reality and success of individualized education. This support ties in with the larger battles waged in defense of public education every day.