Children, no matter their disabilities, should not be deprived of a quality public education.
Equality and excellence in education are why the Individuals With Disabilities Special Education Act was established more than 40 years ago for infants, toddlers and children across the United States. Today, 6.5 million children have been diagnosed with a disability that qualifies them to receive special education classes under the Act.
Special education professionals offer their knowledge and skills in this rewarding career to bring out the fullest potential in students.
Christian virtues in the special education profession
More people are becoming involved in education. They see the education field as a way to help others and uphold the principle of servanthood while contributing to our society. The New Testament teaches the need to adopt inclusiveness of all individuals and empower others to make a difference in the lives of those they encounter — especially by teaching.
Special education professionals possess the strength to provide quality education to all types of students, the moral compass to advocate for disabled children vulnerable to social injustices that hinder and prevent the realization of their potential, and the patience and care to help these children embrace their self-worth.
Key qualities of special education professionals
Special education teachers possess several key qualities that allow them to successfully work with children and adolescents. Special education teachers can create the ideal learning environment for the children who gain the full benefits of receiving a great education. Use this list of necessary key qualities to determine if becoming a special education professional is right for you.
Children with disabilities have different ways of expressing themselves. Sometimes, they may have difficulty successfully communicating what they are feeling and thinking, and they may become angry and frustrated, lashing out.
A special education teacher should have highly intuitive qualities when analyzing behavior so he or she can sense issues and diffuse them quickly to prevent disruptions in the class. The teacher should also be able to help the child through difficult situations that he or she may face.
No “one-size-fits-all” model exists for teaching children in a special education environment, and teachers should be adaptable to sudden changes in the classroom. This allows for the quick modification or adoption of a certain teaching style, facilitating better student understanding of the lesson plan. The special education teacher should also be able to keep the lesson moving forward during disruptions or changes to the schedule.
A child may not immediately grasp the right answer for a relatively easy question. A special education teacher must be patient and allow the child to work out the problem at his or her own pace, so the child can learn to come to the right conclusion.
A structured environment helps the special education teacher maintain control of the classroom environment at all times. The teacher should set clear and understandable expectations in order that students reach the desired goals when completing lessons.
In addition, a special education teacher will need to constantly collect data and information so as to provide a tailored Individualized Education Program (IEP) that must be adjusted to suit education level and skills.
An organized classroom makes it easier for both the students and the special education teacher to follow established schedules through the day. The teacher may create special notebooks for the children or color-coordinate the classroom to help children remember where items are located.
Having organizational abilities allows the teacher to stick with the established routine that children are both familiar and comfortable within the classroom.
Having consistent qualities allow for the special education teacher to reach desired goals that are attainable for the students and create a conducive learning environment. The teacher should treat every student with disabilities with the same care and respect while setting up an intentional tone in the classroom.
By maintaining this tone, children get used to the routine and feel safe.
A special education classroom can be a very stressful environment. There will be days when it seems many things are happening all at once, none of them planned. A special education teacher should maintain a calm demeanor for the children since this behavior can help lower the stress levels in the classroom. Then the teacher can coax lessons back on track.
A teacher with a calm demeanor can also make the classroom feel safe and comforting to students as they will be encouraged to do their best when learning.
A positive attitude can be very contagious in a classroom environment. When the special education teacher has a positive attitude, children feel happier when they reach their goals. They feel encouraged and empowered by the teacher. The teacher’s positive attitude can also make the children enjoy their classroom time and seek to learn even more.
Some people find themselves called to the teaching profession because they want to make it their vocation to help others succeed. If you are interested in becoming a special education teacher and believe you possess the qualities needed to serve others while maintaining Christian virtues, then find a degree program that fits your professional goals.
At Spring Arbor University Online, you can seek a range of graduate programs in the teaching field and take classes directly online. Answer your calling and help children gain the education they need to be successful throughout their lives.