Teacher Training for Special Education Teachers
Special education and teacher training go hand in hand. Special education teachers are responsible for the education and socialization of some of the most challenging students around. This is one career that really requires patience! A career in special education requires teacher training that covers a wide variety of teaching skills. More than in mainstream classes, you'll find that every student is unique, and you'll need to customize your work to meet the needs of each individual.
To help bring the subject home for you, let's take a look at one essential element of special education and teacher training in the field today, the individualized education plan (IEP).
Individualized Education Plans
As the name implies, an IEP is a personalized educational map that special education teachers create for each special ed student. IEPs outline educational goals, strategies and special services. Each IEP is created with a collaborative effort from all of the student's teachers, and is reviewed by the student's parents before implementation. For more on the history of IEPs, see our special education history article.
Since such a variety of learning disabilities and special situations exist among special education students, you will find it helpful as a teacher to lay out specific, achievable goals for each student as you go. Like many special education teachers, you may even find that your collection of IEPs determines the way you structure your class time, in the same way a curriculum does for a mainstream teacher.
IEPs in Special Education Teacher Training
Because of the central role IEPs play in the daily life of a special ed teacher, a fundamental part of the special education training you receive will involve how to create effective individualized education plans. Because IEPs direct the flow of your teaching, make sure your teacher training school provides you with instruction and experience in creating IEPs. Effective IEPs will help you become the kind of special education teacher that makes a lasting impact on the lives of your students.