Being a teacher is one of the most rewarding careers you can ever pursue. Not only has the education system brought societal development of monumental proportions, but it trains human beings to become the best versions of themselves. Moreover, education as we know it is becoming considerably more inclusive for minorities, disabled people, and those with special needs. The latter will be the major focus of this article.
Working in special needs is going to be one of the hardest tasks you ever undertake in your life. It would be best not to sugarcoat it as you need a profound level of empathy and patience to teach special students. However, as time progresses, you will notice that this is also one of the most rewarding careers you will ever seek out.
This article will talk about just that. How rewarding a career in special teaching is despite the challenges. If you are considering opting for a job with differently-abled children, this article may help. Here are four ways how.
The Diversity of Students
You would think that working with a specific kind of special needs students might do you well in your career, however that may be limiting. If you relegate yourself to working solely with students who fall on the autism spectrum, you are shutting off different avenues for your own learning abilities. For example, when dealing with dyslexic and intellectually disabled children, you can use many of those principles and therapeutic techniques with autistic students as well.
However, it’s also necessary that you have the experience and educational credentials to meet the demands of these children. With remote education, becoming the norm, you might want to consider pursuing your master’s. With a Masters in Teaching Special Education online you learn skills and therapeutic tricks that could help you in the long run.
You will see a diverse array of students during your time as a special needs educator; that’s a good thing. Learn from them, empathize with them and experience the joy that they offer. Most importantly, don’t close yourself off to one kind of student. Broaden your horizons and experience what they all have to teach you.
Development in Social Functioning
One area in which the majority of special needs students have a problem is social functioning. In one way or another, every child suffers some sort of adjustment issue in their life. Stigma still surrounds these students despite education becoming holistic and forward-thinking and that is a tragic truth of our time.
However, as you work in the field you will realize that things aren’t entirely hopeless. Sure it’s going to be hard, but you can work on their social functioning along with building other skills. One of the best ways of doing so is by introducing the concept of independence. Many teachers hover around their students, hold their hands and guide them through the day.
Although it varies from case to case, and some students require more support than others, however, if your student is developing the ability and the desire to become independent, let them. Do not be around them all the time, rather keep a close eye on them from a distance.
With autonomy comes positive social functioning ability. Once they learn how to become their own person, they form their personalities and develop better social adjustment.
There is a Fair Degree of Career Growth
Special needs students will always be part of society and the education industry will always require teachers for them. If you have a degree in special education, it is fairly unlikely that you are going to remain unemployed for an extended time.
The education industry is becoming more and more inclusive of special needs and therefore, you can probably work your way around in the industry. Growing, learning and moving upward in this field shouldn’t be a problem. The longer you spend in this sector, the more likely you are to grow and make your mark.
However, if you are in it solely for the growth and money, you may want to consider a change in career because that’s not what this is about. You need an angelic level of empathy and patience. A profound sense of motivation that does not come from money.
Watching Them Grow
When you start your first job as a special needs teacher, you may feel like a lot of these students have little to no hope. This may take a toll on your mental health as you might feel like you aren’t playing enough of a role here. However, rest assured, there is hope for a lot of them.
First of all, there is no arbitrary standard that we judge growth on. No one is being judged, everyone has the room to develop at their own pace. With society becoming more tolerant, students have time to develop and grow both socially and academically.
Everyone reaches their target eventually and you need to mentally prepare yourself to be there when they do. Trust us, when you see them achieving what they set out to achieve, you will feel 10 feet tall.
There we have some things that make working with special needs students worth it. We talked about factors ranging from diversity to growth and a couple in between. Now you need to decide whether you want to enter this line of work or not.
Take your time, ponder over some things, and make your decision when you are ready. This isn’t something that you want to rush. You need to have your thoughts in order because your actions have profound implications for your students.