There are many common myths about special education teachers. They are not just glorified babysitters, they have a true passion for teaching and working with children whose disabilities require specialized attention. This is why they have the patience to nurture each child's individual needs in a way that can't be replicated in a traditional classroom setting. In this article, we'll explore some of the more common myths about these inspiring educators and what some of the misconceptions might be.
What are common myths about Special Education Teachers?
Myth #1: Special education teachers are glorified babysitters.
Not only do special education teachers need to be proficient at teaching all subject areas but also all grade levels as well. Special education teachers teach and differentiate all subject areas, including academic areas for students with learning disabilities, social skills, problem-solving skills, and how to independently navigate the world.
Myth #2: Special education teachers work with only children with obvious disabilities.
A special education teacher's caseload typically includes children who fall under many categories of disability; including but not limited to children with physical disabilities, emotional disturbances, autism spectrum disorders, and specific learning disabilities. Special education teachers must be knowledgeable in all areas of instruction in order to provide specialized support to their students. They work with the child, parents, and other professionals to create an Individualized Education Program (IEP) that meets the needs of the student.
Myth #3: They don't care if their students learn anything or not because they're just there to babysit the kids and bring in a paycheck.
Not only do special education teachers care but they have to chart daily, weekly and monthly progress toward all IEP goals. IEP progress monitoring is an important part of the special education process.
IEP progress monitoring involves reviewing a student's IEP goals on a regular basis and checking to see if they are making progress towards meeting them. If they are not, adjustments can be made to help them get back on track. This process helps ensure that students are making progress and that their goals are still appropriate for them. It also allows teachers and therapists to track how well various interventions are working.
The importance of IEP progress monitoring cannot be overemphasized
Myth #4: They work with those students who have severe disabilities and no potential.
Every student has the potential to learn and be successful. It just might take a little more effort on the part of the teacher to find what works best for that particular student. Special education teachers are experts at finding different ways to help students learn and achieve their goals. They have the patience and passion to work with each child, no matter what their disability might be.
Myth #5: Special education teachers don't have to follow the same standards as other teachers because they work with children who not only need specialized attention but require more support.
Special education teachers must design and implement IEP goals that are aligned with the same state and federal standards as their general education peers. This is important because it ensures that all students, regardless of their individual needs, are held to the same expectations. It also allows for the consistent assessment of all students' progress.
Myth #6: Their students achieve such low outcomes that there is no reason to even try.
Special education teachers' annual review process includes proving student growth and progress made towards achieving IEP goals.
Every student has the potential to achieve and grow. Even small progress is celebrated and helps keep motivation up for all students.
Special education teachers ensure that every child reaches their full potential by working with them, guiding them, and encouraging them along the way. Every minute a special education teacher spends with a student is well worth it because those small moments have the power to change lives.
What special education teachers do
Special education teachers work with students who have disabilities that require specialized attention. They work with these students to help them learn in a way that is best suited for their needs. This often includes adapting the curriculum to be more accessible and helping the student to learn in a way that is comfortable for them. Special education teachers also have patience and compassion, which allows them to work with each child in a way that meets their individual needs.
Special education teachers are held to the same standards as their general education peers. They work with students who have disabilities that require specialized attention and often teach for longer hours because of this. Special education teachers also provide more support than traditional educators, which is something special about them.
The work of a special education teacher is both challenging and rewarding.
They have a tough job but they get the satisfaction of knowing that they are making a difference in their students' lives by helping them achieve their goals!
How to become a special education teacher
To become a special education teacher, you will need to complete a bachelor's degree in special education. After you have obtained your degree, you will need to become certified in special education. This can be done by completing a state-approved teacher preparation program. It is also important to note that most states require special education teachers to complete annual professional development hours.
Teacher financial aid programs
There are many different financial aid programs for teachers that can help you keep the cost low. One such program is the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant. This program provides financial assistance to students who are enrolled in teacher education programs. The TEACH Grant offers up to $4,000 per year in grant money, which can be used towards tuition, room and board, and other school-related expenses.
Another top education program for teachers is the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program. This program offers forgiveness of up to $17,500 on federal student loans for teachers who work in high-need schools. Teachers who participate in this program must teach for five consecutive years in a qualifying school.
I personally used both of these and after 5 years of teaching I had very low student loan debt and after 7 years I was total debt-free all the way through to a master's degree. The reason I got my master's so quickly was that my state offered 10k more to teachers with a master's degree. Do the math and see when you can be debt-free. The math will not lie!
What do you think about these myths? Let us know in the comments!
Thank you for reading my blog posts and leaving your feedback on the 6 Common Myths About Special Education Teachers, Debunked!.
Bran Hicks M.Ed.