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Career profile Special Education Middle School Teacher

Also known as Exceptional Children Teacher (EC Teacher), Exceptional Student Education Teacher (ESE Teacher), Inclusion Teacher, Intervention Specialist, Learning Support Teacher, Middle School Special Education Teacher, Self-Contained Special Education Teacher, Special Education Resource Teacher, Special Education Teacher, Teacher

Special Education Middle School Teacher

Also known as Exceptional Children Teacher (EC Teacher), Exceptional Student Education Teacher (ESE Teacher), Inclusion Teacher

Interests Profile
  • Social
  • Artistic
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$42,090 - $99,750 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Speaking
  • Instructing
  • Active Listening
Knowledge Areas
  • Education and Training
  • Psychology
  • Customer and Personal Service
Core tasks
  • Establish and enforce rules for behavior and procedures for maintaining order among students.
  • Modify the general education curriculum for special-needs students, based upon a variety of instructional techniques and technologies.
  • Develop or write Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for students.
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What does a Special Education Middle School Teacher do?

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

In addition, Special Education Middle 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 Middle School Teacher perform regularly?

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

  • Establish and enforce rules for behavior and procedures for maintaining order among students.
  • Modify the general education curriculum for special-needs students, based upon a variety of instructional techniques and technologies.
  • Develop or write Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for students.
  • Maintain accurate and complete student records, and prepare reports on children and activities, as required by laws, district policies, and administrative regulations.
  • Develop and implement strategies to meet the needs of students with a variety of handicapping conditions.
  • Teach socially acceptable behavior, employing techniques such as behavior modification and positive reinforcement.
  • Confer with parents or guardians, other teachers, counselors, and administrators to resolve students' behavioral and academic problems.
  • Confer with parents, administrators, testing specialists, social workers, and professionals to develop individual educational plans designed to promote students' educational, physical, and social development.
  • Observe and evaluate students' performance, behavior, social development, and physical health.
  • Employ special educational strategies and techniques during instruction to improve the development of sensory- and perceptual-motor skills, language, cognition, and memory.
  • Collaborate with other teachers that provide instruction to special education students to ensure that the students receive appropriate support.
  • Teach students personal development skills, such as goal setting, independence, and self-advocacy.
  • Plan and conduct activities for a balanced program of instruction, demonstration, and work time that provides students with opportunities to observe, question, and investigate.
  • Meet with parents and guardians to discuss their children's progress and to determine their priorities for their children.
  • Monitor teachers and teacher assistants to ensure that they adhere to inclusive special education program requirements.
  • Prepare materials and classrooms for class activities.
  • Prepare, administer, and grade tests and assignments to evaluate students' progress.
  • Coordinate placement of students with special needs into mainstream classes.
  • Use computers, audio-visual aids, and other equipment and materials to supplement presentations.
  • Instruct through lectures, discussions, and demonstrations in one or more subjects, such as English, mathematics, or social studies.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Provide assistive devices, supportive technology, and assistance accessing facilities, such as restrooms.
  • Meet with parents and guardians to provide guidance in using community resources and to teach skills for dealing with students' impairments.
  • 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.
  • Attend professional meetings, educational conferences, and teacher training workshops to maintain and improve professional competence.
  • Administer standardized ability and achievement tests and interpret results to determine students' strengths and areas of need.
  • Instruct and monitor students in the use and care of equipment or materials to prevent injuries and damage.
  • Attend staff meetings and serve on committees, as required.
  • Plan and supervise class projects, field trips, visits by guest speakers, contests, or other experiential activities, and guide students in learning from those activities.
  • Organize and supervise games and other recreational activities to promote physical, mental, and social development.
  • Organize and label materials and display students' work.
  • Perform administrative duties, such as assisting in school libraries, hall and cafeteria monitoring, and bus loading and unloading.
  • Select, store, order, issue, and inventory classroom equipment, materials, and supplies.

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

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Assisting and Caring for Others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Training and Teaching Others
Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

What is a Special Education Middle School Teacher salary?

The median salary for a Special Education Middle School Teacher is $61,820, and the average salary is $66,300. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Special Education Middle School Teacher salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Special Education Middle School Teachers earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Special Education Middle School Teachers earn less than $42,090 per year, 25% earn less than $50,360, 75% earn less than $79,190, and 90% earn less than $99,750.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Special Education Middle School Teachers is expected to change by 7.5%, and there should be roughly 6,500 open positions for Special Education Middle School Teachers every year.

Median annual salary
$61,820
Typical salary range
$42,090 - $99,750
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
7.5%

What personality traits are common among Special Education Middle 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 Middle School Teacher are usually higher in their Social and Artistic interests.

Special Education Middle 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 Middle School Teachers typically have strong 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 Middle School Teacher tend to value Relationships, Working Conditions, and Achievement.

Most importantly, Special Education Middle 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 Middle School Teachers strongly value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Lastly, Special Education Middle 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.

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 Middle School Teachers must consistently demonstrate qualities such as concern for others, self-control, and adaptability/flexibility.

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

Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Self-Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

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

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

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

Educational degrees among Special Education Middle 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 Middle School Teachers

Special Education Middle School Teachers may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as education and training, psychology, or customer and personal service knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Special Education Middle 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.
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.
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.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Important Abilities needed by Special Education Middle School Teachers

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

Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
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.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.

Critical Skills needed by Special Education Middle 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 Middle School Teachers frequently use skills like speaking, instructing, and active listening to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Special Education Middle School Teachers, ranked by their relative importance.

Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Instructing
Teaching others how to do something.
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.
Active Learning
Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Learning Strategies
Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.

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.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.