What is special education?

You've heard about special education. However, do you know what it is and who it helps?


What is special education?

Special education focuses on helping kids with disabilities learn. This learning can take place in a variety of settings and approaches. So, teachers may work with kids that have very different needs. There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach. Whether behavioral, developmental, physical, or sensory disabilities, teachers must adapt their lessons to the students they are working with.

What role do teachers play?

Special education teachers have a large impact on their students. They provide each student with the guidance and tools needed to succeed. In addition, they help to define what success looks like for each student.

Roles may include:

  • Assessing children’s skills and learning requirements
  • Designing Individualized Educational Plans (IEPs)
  • Collaborating with parents and school staff to track students’ progress

A team collaboration

Many people work together to ensure the best plan of education for each student. They need to know where the student is at, their needs, and what they need to be successful.

Each special education student has an IEP. An IEP outlines the learning needs, goals, and outcomes of a student. As well as, stating what services will be in place to achieve those goals.

An IEP team includes the:

  • Student
  • Parents
  • Special Education Teacher
  • General Education Teacher
  • District Representative
  • Psychologist
  • School Social Worker
  • Physician/ Nurse
  • Service Provider
  • Parent Member

All of these different roles help to establish the best services for the student.

Removing barriers

The goal is to open the door to all possibilities for students with disabilities. Teachers use instruction and processes designed to help students with disabilities learn. As a result, students go on to become adults who pursue degrees, attain careers, achieve goals and set records.

How do I start a career in special education?

CUW offers a Master of Science in Education- Special Education Initial Licensure program, for students to earn their initial teaching license. You can earn your Master of Science in Special Education with add-on licensure if you already have teaching licensure.

We offer 3 tracks in the program:

Ready to start?

Want to make an impact in students’ lives? Feel free to visit us here. No matter where you are in your journey, the Inquiry Support Team is ready to help you figure out your next move.

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