Becoming a Special Education Teacher in Maryland

Maryland expects their special education teachers to enter the field with extensive knowledge about the laws and expectations of special education programs. This article looks at Maryland's requirements for certified special education teachers.

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If a career as a special education teacher interests you, then you may want to consider teaching in Maryland. As of 2016, the state was experiencing a shortage of qualified special education teachers. In addition to earning a degree from an approved program, special education teachers must pass two certification tests to qualify to teach in Maryland.

Maryland Special Education Teacher Requirements

Average Salary for Special Education Teachers in Maryland (2016)* $55,550 (Kindergarten and Elementary School);
$62,490 (Middle School);
$64,980 (High School)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree and an approved educator-preparation program
Degree Field Special Education
Testing Requirements Core Academic Skills for Educators in Reading, Writing & Mathematics;
Praxis Special Education: Core Knowledge and Applications

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Complete Education Requirements

Maryland approves several bachelor's degree programs that incorporate the practical and academic components needed to fulfill Maryland's teacher qualification requirements. Those that study special needs will learn how to effectively instruct special needs students in the LRE (least-restrictive environment). They will also acquire teaching skills through internship assignments. Academic course requirements include studies in human development, the history of special needs education, educational psychology and how to develop curriculum plans for special needs students. Students are also expected to pass courses in the arts, history, literature and natural sciences.

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  • Teaching Gifted and Talented Students
  • Teaching Special Education - Autism
  • Teaching Special Education - Developmentally Delayed
  • Teaching Special Education - Emotional Disturbances
  • Teaching Special Education - Hearing Impairments
  • Teaching Special Education - Learning Disabilities
  • Teaching Special Education - Mental Retardation
  • Teaching Special Education - Multiple Disabilities
  • Teaching Special Education - Orthopedic Impairments
  • Teaching Special Education - Speech Impairments
  • Teaching Special Education - Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Teaching Special Education - Vision Impairments
  • Teaching Special Education, Children and Young Children

Step 2: Complete Certification Requirements

Basic Skills Testing Requirements

The Basic Skills tests are designed to assess a person's reading, writing and mathematics skills. All teacher certification applicants must pass the three Basic Skills tests or earn a passing score or higher on the ACT, SAT or GRE.

Option 1: Basic Skills Tests Passing Score
Mathematics 150
Reading 156
Writing 162
Option 2: ACT 297
Option 3: SAT 1100
Option 4: GRE 24

Content and Pedagogy

The content and pedagogy test requirements ensure that teacher certification applicants have the applicable skills and knowledge needed to teach in their chosen subject areas. Special education teachers must pass the Special Education - Core Knowledge and Applications test with a score of 151 or higher. This 120-question test takes two hours to complete. The test assesses things like the applicant's knowledge about child development, classroom instruction and student assessment methods.

Step 3: Apply For Certification

Send an application for certification with proof that you have passed the certification tests and earned an approved degree. You must also include a letter with information such as your date of birth and the last four digits of your social security number to establish your identity. This letter must also state you want to be certified to teach special education.

Teacher Certification Resources

All teachers in Maryland must fulfill the Basic Skills testing requirements. The links provided here link to resources to prepare for the three Basic Skills tests.

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