Many graduates face doubts over getting a certificate in Special Education (SPED). It normally takes 4-6 months to get a special education certificate along with the elementary school teacher certificate. Career advisors mostly recommend taking the opportunity of going into Special Education for one simple reason. This makes you stand out on the job market. With the constant abridgement of budget for high schools, getting an extra certificate can boost your chances of getting on board with your education direction.
As well as teaching SPED can be the work of your dreams, it is not the easiest job in education industry. In fact, there are a lot of challenges that, as a rule, are encountered by SPED teachers in their daily life.
This can be detaching job. Working and interacting with a small amount of students and their parents may detach you from the rest of students and teachers in your building. Such isolation can sometimes be aggravating.
Enormous paperwork. At times, it is hard to concentrate on the main job – teaching – because of all the paperwork. The official forms teachers have to submit sometimes grow to twenty pages in volume. As a Special Education teacher, in addition to lesson planning and monthly progress reports, you will have to deal with medical billing forms and REED.
Tough schedules. SPED teachers have to be in touch with practically all teachers to coordinate their schedule. Too frequently teachers of Special Education even have to skip their lunch breaks to cooperate with psychologists, speech therapists and doctors. In fact, developing a comfortable schedule is quite a laborious deal. A minor change in the schedule may enhance further changes in a monthly schedule.
Data validation. The responsibility of data collection is preying on every SPED teacher’s mind. In fact, Special Education teachers have to collect and monitor all the information about a student to make sure it is pointed out in his IEP. Any drawback on it, even the most inconsequential, may bring the whole report down. It takes a huge part of the collaboration with other teachers, as well.
Individualizing. The hardest part of teaching special kids is that there is no a commonly accepted pattern. What seems to be suitable for one student may not fit another. In this regard, seeing and assessing students’ abilities is a crucial part. The instructions and teaching methods need to be as much differentiated and individualized as possible which is the biggest challenge for SPED educators.