Special Education majors will learn how to teach students with mental, physical or psychological challenges. A Special Education teacher may work with one or two individuals, or be in charge of a large classroom with a wide range of disabilities.
These are the people who like helping people. They like being in a classroom setting, but they also like taking advantage of hands-on learning. Special Education teachers don’t stand in front of a classroom and lecture – they get right in there with the students to help them understand the world around them.
Special Education majors have a good balance in all the fields they’ll be teaching – English, history, math, sciences, etc. They have the same skills a regular classroom instructor would have, but in addition they have experience working with students with disabilities ranging from cerebral palsy, autism, paralysis, Downs Syndrome, etc.
The impatient and unenthusiastic should find another line of work. Special Education can be extremely draining. Also, if you are uncomfortable around people who are different from you, be honest with yourself don’t try to make it a career.
Special Education majors learn all the basics that a regular educator would learn. You’ll likely take a more general approach with the education classes – rather than focusing on math or science, you’ll learn about all the topics your future students will need instruction in. In addition, you’ll be trained on teaching students with disabilities.
It’s pretty cut-and-dry that a Special Education major will get a job teaching those with special needs. But there are a variety of places to conduct that education. For one, there are different age groups to work with. Some Special Education majors also seek jobs outside of the school system – places like juvenile detention centers or prisons where the students may have behavioral disorders.
Just like an Education major, you’ll have to go through at least a semester of student teaching. Be prepared to apply all your college coursework in the classroom to make the most of this experience.