Special Education Teachers, Secondary School

Teach secondary 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: $57,810

Education: Bachelor's degree (68%); Post-baccalaureate certificate (19%); Master's degree (9%)

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

Related Job Titles: Teacher; Special Education Teacher; Special Education Resource Teacher; Learning Support Teacher; Resource Teacher; Exceptional Student Education Teacher (ESE Teacher); High School Special Education Teacher; Learning Disabilities Special Education Teacher (LD Special Education Teacher); Career and Transition Teacher; Interrelated Special Education Teacher

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

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

  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • 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.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

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

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