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Career profile Special Education High School Teacher

Also known as Career and Transition Teacher, High School Special Education Teacher, Interrelated Special Education Teacher, Learning Disabilities Special Education Teacher (LD Special Education Teacher), Learning Support Teacher, Resource Teacher, Special Day Class Teacher (SDC Teacher), Special Education Resource Teacher, Special Education Teacher, Teacher

Special Education High School Teacher

Also known as Career and Transition Teacher, High School Special Education Teacher, Interrelated Special Education Teacher

Interests Profile
  • Social
  • Investigative
  • Artistic
Pay Range
$41,270 - $101,050 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Learning Strategies
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
Knowledge Areas
  • Education and Training
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Mathematics
Core tasks
  • Develop and implement strategies to meet the needs of students with a variety of handicapping conditions.
  • Observe and evaluate students' performance, behavior, social development, and physical health.
  • Teach socially acceptable behavior, employing techniques such as behavior modification and positive reinforcement.
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What does a Special Education High School Teacher do?

Special Education High School Teachers teach academic, social, and life skills to secondary school students with learning, emotional, or physical disabilities.

In addition, Special Education High School Teachers includes teachers who specialize and work with students who are blind or have visual impairments; students who are deaf or have hearing impairments; and students with intellectual disabilities.

What kind of tasks does a Special Education High School Teacher perform regularly?

Special Education High School Teachers are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Develop and implement strategies to meet the needs of students with a variety of handicapping conditions.
  • Observe and evaluate students' performance, behavior, social development, and physical health.
  • Teach socially acceptable behavior, employing techniques such as behavior modification and positive reinforcement.
  • Establish and enforce rules for behavior and procedures for maintaining order among students.
  • Employ special educational strategies and techniques during instruction to improve the development of sensory- and perceptual-motor skills, language, cognition, and memory.
  • Maintain accurate and complete student records, and prepare reports on children and activities, as required by laws, district policies, and administrative regulations.
  • Instruct through lectures, discussions, and demonstrations in one or more subjects, such as English, mathematics, or social studies.
  • Meet with other professionals to discuss individual students' needs and progress.
  • Modify the general education curriculum for special-needs students, based upon a variety of instructional techniques and technologies.
  • Meet with parents and guardians to discuss their children's progress and to determine their priorities for their children.
  • Prepare materials and classrooms for class activities.
  • Confer with parents or guardians, other teachers, counselors, and administrators to resolve students' behavioral and academic problems.
  • Coordinate placement of students with special needs into mainstream classes.
  • Teach personal development skills, such as goal setting, independence, and self-advocacy.
  • Confer with parents, administrators, testing specialists, social workers, and professionals to develop individual educational plans designed to promote students' educational, physical, and social development.
  • Plan and conduct activities for a balanced program of instruction, demonstration, and work time that provides students with opportunities to observe, question, and investigate.
  • Establish clear objectives for all lessons, units, and projects, and communicate these objectives to students.
  • Guide and counsel students with adjustment or academic problems, or special academic interests.
  • Prepare, administer, and grade tests and assignments to evaluate students' progress.
  • Prepare students for later grades by encouraging them to explore learning opportunities and to persevere with challenging tasks.
  • Monitor teachers and teacher assistants to ensure that they adhere to inclusive special education program requirements.
  • Administer standardized ability and achievement tests and interpret results to determine students' strengths and areas of need.
  • Instruct students in daily living skills required for independent maintenance and self-sufficiency, such as hygiene, safety, and food preparation.
  • Confer with other staff members to plan and schedule lessons that promote learning, following approved curricula.
  • Prepare for assigned classes and show written evidence of preparation upon request of immediate supervisors.
  • Prepare objectives and outlines for courses of study, following curriculum guidelines or requirements of states and schools.
  • Provide additional instruction in vocational areas.
  • Instruct and monitor students in the use and care of equipment or materials to prevent injuries and damage.
  • Collaborate with other teachers and administrators in the development, evaluation, and revision of secondary school programs.
  • Use computers, audio-visual aids, and other equipment and materials to supplement presentations.
  • Provide assistive devices, supportive technology, and assistance accessing facilities, such as restrooms.
  • Attend professional meetings, educational conferences, and teacher training workshops to maintain and improve professional competence.
  • Meet with parents and guardians to provide guidance in using community resources and to teach skills for dealing with students' impairments.
  • Plan and supervise class projects, field trips, visits by guest speakers, contests, or other experiential activities, and guide students in learning from those activities.
  • Attend staff meetings and serve on committees, as required.
  • Perform administrative duties, such as assisting in school libraries, hall and cafeteria monitoring, and bus loading and unloading.
  • Sponsor extracurricular activities, such as clubs, student organizations, and academic contests.
  • Select, store, order, issue, and inventory classroom equipment, materials, and supplies.

The above responsibilities are specific to Special Education High School Teachers. More generally, Special Education High School Teachers are involved in several broader types of activities:

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Training and Teaching Others
Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
Coaching and Developing Others
Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

What is a Special Education High School Teacher salary?

The median salary for a Special Education High School Teacher is $62,320, and the average salary is $66,490. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Special Education High School Teacher salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Special Education High School Teachers earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Special Education High School Teachers earn less than $41,270 per year, 25% earn less than $49,940, 75% earn less than $80,210, and 90% earn less than $101,050.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Special Education High School Teachers is expected to change by 7.7%, and there should be roughly 11,700 open positions for Special Education High School Teachers every year.

Median annual salary
$62,320
Typical salary range
$41,270 - $101,050
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
7.7%

What personality traits are common among Special Education High School Teachers?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Special Education High School Teacher are usually higher in their Social, Investigative, and Artistic interests.

Special Education High School Teachers typically have very strong Social interests. Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Also, Special Education High School Teachers typically have moderate Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Lastly, Special Education High School Teachers typically have moderate Artistic interests. Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Special Education High School Teacher tend to value Relationships, Achievement, and Independence.

Most importantly, Special Education High School Teachers very strongly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Second, Special Education High School Teachers strongly value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Lastly, Special Education High School Teachers strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Special Education High School Teachers must consistently demonstrate qualities such as dependability, concern for others, and stress tolerance.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Special Education High School Teachers, ranked by importance:

Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.

What education and training do Special Education High School Teachers need?

Many Special Education High School Teachers will have a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Special Education High School Teachers usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Educational degrees among Special Education High School Teachers

  • 0.3% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 3.9% completed high school or secondary school
  • 5.3% completed some college coursework
  • 3.5% earned a Associate's degree
  • 33.4% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 50.1% earned a Master's degree
  • 3.5% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Special Education High School Teachers

Special Education High School Teachers may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as education and training, computers and electronics, or mathematics knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Special Education High School Teachers might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Psychology
Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

Important Abilities needed by Special Education High School Teachers

Special Education High School Teachers must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Special Education High School Teachers need abilities such as speech clarity, oral comprehension, and written comprehension in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Special Education High School Teachers, ranked by their relative importance.

Speech Clarity
The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Written Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Critical Skills needed by Special Education High School Teachers

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Special Education High School Teachers frequently use skills like learning strategies, reading comprehension, and active listening to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Special Education High School Teachers, ranked by their relative importance.

Learning Strategies
Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Writing
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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