How Can I Specialize a Degree in Special Education?

Special Education TeacherIf you are trying to special a degree in special education, you are choosing a field that is both rewarding and challenging. You’ll also find that you will be more versatile when it comes to job placement as administrators utilize your talents in a variety of ways. There is always the possibility that you will have a self-contained classroom as you work with children with special needs. You may do resource room services or push in to other classrooms to provide additional support for the regular classroom teacher. Another option is the possibilty of having a general education classroom where children with special needs are integrated as well. Specializing in special education can truly open many doors for the future.

A Bachelor’s Degree in Education is the Best Place to Begin

While it is possible to pursue a Master’s in Special Education degree even if you have a Bachelor’s degree in a field that is not related to teaching, your best bet is to plunge into education from the start. You’ll want to get your feet wet, take all of the general education courses that are required, and begin the observation process to ensure you really do want to teach. As you sign up for classes and pursue a degree in education, you can specify the area you want to specialize in for your area of concentration. You can choose primary education, secondary education, or special education. You can also choose to pursue a combination, making yourself a more inviting prospect in the job market. When school officials know that you can wear many hats, you will find that there is greater flexibility in finding a position. Special education is an area of education that is particularly in need and will always require teachers to address the growing number of students with behavioral or learning disabilities.

Requirements for a Degree in Special Education Vary

You’ll find that the requirements for a special education degree will vary by state. Every state requires special education teachers to obtain a license, according to the Council for Exceptional Children. From that point, certification or licensing requirements can differ. In some states, you will need to obtain a general education degree and then pursue a special education degree, choosing a particular area of focus. Other states allow you to fulfill all of your educational requirements through one degree program. You will need to inquire with your state education department or college of choice to learn about the specifics for your state. You can also consider national certification, an extremely rigorous program that will allow you to teach anywhere in the country.

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Your Personal Characteristics Must Be a Match for Special Education

Special education is an extremely demanding field. You’ll need a great deal of patience, the ability to multi-task, and a firm understanding of the many ways that children learn. You’ll often be dealing with the most challenging students in any school setting and will need to think outside the box. Your main goal is to provide a safe, least restrictive environment where your students can reach their full potential.