Special Education Teachers, Middle School

Teach middle school subjects to educationally and physically handicapped students. Includes teachers who specialize and work with audibly and visually handicapped students and those who teach basic academic and life processes skills to the mentally impaired.

Median Annual Wage: $56,760

Education: Bachelor's degree (48%); Master's degree (39%); Post-baccalaureate certificate (13%)

Projected Growth: Slower than average (3% to 7%)

Related Job Titles: Teacher; Special Education Teacher; Special Education Resource Teacher; Middle School Special Education Teacher; Exceptional Children Teacher (EC Teacher); Inclusion Teacher; Learning Support Teacher; Self-Contained Special Education Teacher; Intervention Specialist; Exceptional Student Education Teacher (ESE Teacher)

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Source: O*NET OnLine information for Special Education Teachers, Middle School.

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  • Teach socially acceptable behavior, employing techniques such as behavior modification and positive reinforcement.
  • Modify the general education curriculum for special-needs students based upon a variety of instructional techniques and instructional technology.
  • Prepare materials and classrooms for class activities.
  • Instruct through lectures, discussions, and demonstrations in one or more subjects, such as English, mathematics, or social studies.
  • Develop and implement strategies to meet the needs of students with a variety of handicapping conditions.
  • Establish clear objectives for all lessons, units, and projects and communicate those objectives to students.
  • Employ special educational strategies and techniques during instruction to improve the development of sensory- and perceptual-motor skills, language, cognition, and memory.
  • Maintain accurate and complete student records, and prepare reports on children and activities, as required by laws, district policies, and administrative regulations.
  • Observe and evaluate students' performance, behavior, social development, and physical health.
  • Confer with parents, administrators, testing specialists, social workers, and professionals to develop individual educational plans designed to promote students' educational, physical, and social development.
  • Confer with parents or guardians, other teachers, counselors, and administrators to resolve students' behavioral and academic problems.
  • Plan and conduct activities for a balanced program of instruction, demonstration, and work time that provides students with opportunities to observe, question, and investigate.
  • Guide and counsel students with adjustment or academic problems, or special academic interests.
  • Prepare, administer, and grade tests and assignments to evaluate students' progress.
  • Prepare objectives and outlines for courses of study, following curriculum guidelines or requirements of states and schools.
  • Coordinate placement of students with special needs into mainstream classes.
  • Confer with other staff members to plan and schedule lessons promoting learning, following approved curricula.
  • Prepare for assigned classes and show written evidence of preparation upon request of immediate supervisors.
  • Meet with parents and guardians to discuss their children's progress and to determine priorities for their children and their resource needs.
  • Teach students personal development skills such as goal setting, independence, and self-advocacy.
  • Use computers, audio-visual aids, and other equipment and materials to supplement presentations.
  • Monitor teachers and teacher assistants to ensure that they adhere to inclusive special education program requirements.
  • Instruct and monitor students in the use and care of equipment and materials to prevent injuries and damage.
  • Supervise, evaluate, and plan assignments for teacher assistants and volunteers.
  • Administer standardized ability and achievement tests and interpret results to determine students' strengths and areas of need.
  • Organize and label materials and display students' work.
  • Meet with parents and guardians to provide guidance in using community resources and to teach skills for dealing with students' impairments.
  • Attend professional meetings, educational conferences, and teacher training workshops to maintain and improve professional competence.
  • Organize and supervise games and other recreational activities to promote physical, mental, and social development.
  • Attend staff meetings and serve on committees, as required.
  • Perform administrative duties such as assisting in school libraries, hall and cafeteria monitoring, and bus loading and unloading.
  • Plan and supervise class projects, field trips, visits by guest speakers, or other experiential activities, and guide students in learning from those activities.
  • Select, store, order, issue, and inventory classroom equipment, materials, and supplies.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Special Education Teachers, Middle School.

  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Special Education Teachers, Middle School.

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