The first thing you will need is a bachelor’s degree; there are places that offer a four year degree in special ed. Some states require students to take up credentials in special education; they can do this while teaching. After the credential program the students can finish their teacher certification. Competency exams are required to be taken by all teachers beginning their careers. They are designed to test students on their knowledge and everyone who is considering a teaching career has to take these tests eventually.
One of the most important things to do is research; you’ll need to see what the state requirements are in getting a teacher certification. This differs in every state. As it was mentioned previously it takes about 4 years to finish the bachelor’s degree and in some states you’ll be required to do a maters degree that will take about one to two years to complete. Being a special education teacher can only ensure growth, you don’t stop learning after you’ve finished your degrees. It’s a learning progress every single day. Depending on where you teach and the students you teach, you need to make sure that you’re up to date on how to meet every single child’s individual needs.
Teaching lessons need to be modified and you need to keep a record of the child’s progress. The salary might be worth while but you’ll need a lot of love and patience to work with these children. You also need to keep it professional, there is a fine line between being too involved and in keeping a professional relationship with the child and his/her parents. You’ll also be under a lot of pressure, your day won’t start when your students day start. You need to meet with other teachers before hand and you’ll have parent teacher meetings afterwards. You’ll need to prepare for the following day’s teachings. The hours are the same as any other teacher’s, but extra work it takes to prepare makes the hours longer.
If you love working with kids who have disabilities or if you could see yourself in this career then do as much research as you can in getting a teacher certification in special education. Your choices and options are endless, everything depending in the field you’d like to specialize in.