What Are the Qualities of a Special Education Teacher?
Teaching special education successfully requires several important skills and personality traits. How many of the qualities below do you possess?
|Do you have strong communication skills?||Yes or No|
|Are you resourceful and creative?||Yes or No|
|Are you patient?||Yes or No|
|Do you enjoy working collaboratively?||Yes or No|
|Are you even-tempered?||Yes or No|
|Do you love children?||Yes or No|
|Do you consider yourself easygoing?||Yes or No|
|Are you organized and detail oriented?||Yes or No|
|Are you accepting?||Yes or No|
|Are you dedicated to achieving goals?||Yes or No|
Why These Traits Matter
Do you have strong communication skills?
Special education teachers need a range of communication skills in order to work with their students, clearly report students' progress to parents, and work with administrators and peers.
Are you resourceful and creative?
Each child in any classroom is unique, but this is especially true when working with special education students. You will need to assess students' disabilities and develop creative ways to teach them according to their needs.
Are you patient?
When students don't learn at the expected pace or present behavioral challenges, patience is critical.
Do you enjoy working collaboratively?
As a special education teacher, you will collaborate with regular classroom educators, counselors and parents on a regular basis.
Are you even-tempered?
Special education teachers lead by example, so they must maintain a sense of calm to diffuse students' stress and frustrations when they arise.
Do you love children?
As with any specialization within the teaching field, the most successful special education teachers are those who care deeply about the well-being of children.
Do you consider yourself easygoing?
Special education students may suffer emotional, behavioral and physical setbacks that impact your teaching plans for them. You will need to adapt well to changes and be flexible in managing expectations.
Are you organized and detail oriented?
Along with creating appropriate lesson plans for multiple children, you will be constantly assessing students, tracking their progress and reporting results. This requires attention to detail and exceptional organizational skills.
Are you accepting?
The children you work with as a special education teacher will have a range of disabilities. To connect with and effectively teach special education students, you will need to accept them for who they are and encourage each child's unique potential.
Are you dedicated to achieving goals?
On any given day, a special education teacher may not make the progress expected or may be derailed by student behavioral issues. You will need to remain dedicated to and confident in your ability to achieve your goals.
What Are My Next Steps?
If you possess most of these qualities, you are on the right career path. To enter this field, you will need to earn a bachelor's degree and meet your state's licensure requirements for special education teachers.