Special Education Teachers, Elementary School
Teach academic, social, and life skills to elementary school students with learning, emotional, or physical disabilities. 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.
Sample of reported job titles: Emotional Disabilities Teacher, Hearing Impaired Itinerant Teacher (HI Itinerant Teacher), Learning Support Teacher, Resource Program Teacher, Severe Emotional Disorders Elementary Teacher (SED Elementary Teacher), Special Education Inclusion Teacher, Special Education Resource Teacher, Special Education Teacher
This title represents an occupation for which data collection is currently underway.
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Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Detailed Work Activities | Job Zone | Credentials | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Administer standardized ability and achievement tests to elementary students with special needs.
- Attend professional meetings, educational conferences, or teacher training workshops to maintain or improve professional competence.
- Collaborate with other teachers or administrators to develop, evaluate, or revise elementary school programs.
- Confer with other staff members to plan or schedule lessons promoting learning, following approved curricula.
- Confer with parents, administrators, testing specialists, social workers, or other professionals to develop individual educational plans (IEPs) designed to promote students’ educational, physical, or social development.
- Coordinate placement of students with special needs into mainstream classes.
- Develop or implement strategies to meet the needs of students with a variety of disabilities.
- Encourage students to explore learning opportunities or persevere with challenging tasks to prepare them for later grades.
- Establish and communicate clear objectives for all lessons, units, and projects to students.
- Establish and enforce rules for behavior and procedures for maintaining order among students.
- Guide or counsel students with adjustment problems, academic problems, or special academic interests.
- Instruct and monitor students in the use and care of equipment or materials to prevent injuries and damage.
- Instruct special needs students in academic subjects, using a variety of techniques, such as phonetics, multisensory learning, or repetition to reinforce learning and meet students’ varying needs.
- Instruct students in daily living skills required for independent maintenance and self-sufficiency, such as hygiene, safety, or food preparation.
- Interpret the results of standardized tests to determine students’ strengths and areas of need.
- Maintain accurate and complete student records as required by laws, district policies, or administrative regulations.
- Meet with parents or guardians to discuss their children’s progress, advise them on using community resources, or teach skills for dealing with students’ impairments.
- Modify the general elementary education curriculum for special-needs students.
- Monitor teachers or teacher assistants to ensure adherence to special education program requirements.
- Observe and evaluate students’ performance, behavior, social development, and physical health.
- Organize and display students’ work in a manner appropriate for their perceptual skills.
- Organize and supervise games or other recreational activities to promote physical, mental, or social development.
- Plan or conduct activities for a balanced program of instruction, demonstration, and work time that provides students with opportunities to observe, question, and investigate.
- Plan or supervise experiential learning activities, such as class projects, field trips, demonstrations, or visits by guest speakers.
- Prepare classrooms with a variety of materials or resources for children to explore, manipulate, or use in learning activities or imaginative play.
- Prepare objectives, outlines, or other materials for courses of study following curriculum guidelines or school or state requirements.
- Prepare, administer, or grade tests or assignments to evaluate students’ progress.
- Provide assistive devices, supportive technology, or assistance accessing facilities, such as restrooms.
- Teach socially acceptable behavior, employing techniques such as behavior modification or positive reinforcement.
- Teach students personal development skills, such as goal setting, independence, or self-advocacy.
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- Computer based training software — Children’s educational software; EasyCBM; Rethink Ed; Scientific Learning Fast ForWord
- Data base user interface and query software — American Sign Language Browser; Individualized Educational Program IEP software
- Device drivers or system software — Screen magnification software; Screen reader software; Synapse outSPOKEN; The vOICe Learning Edition
- Electronic mail software — Email software; Microsoft Outlook
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Drawing software
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Voice recognition software — goQ WordQ; Nuance Dragon NaturallySpeaking; Voice activated software
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Collaborate with other teaching professionals to develop educational programs.
- Develop strategies or programs for students with special needs.
- Teach life skills.
- Administer tests to assess educational needs or progress.
- Develop instructional objectives.
- Evaluate student work.
- Monitor student performance.
- Plan educational activities.
- Advise students on academic or career matters.
- Assess educational needs of students.
- Assist students with special educational needs.
- Attend training sessions or professional meetings to develop or maintain professional knowledge.
- Develop instructional materials.
- Direct activities of subordinates.
- Discuss student progress with parents or guardians.
- Display student work.
- Encourage students.
- Establish rules or policies governing student behavior.
- Maintain student records.
- Modify teaching methods or materials to accommodate student needs.
- Monitor student behavior, social development, or health.
- Plan experiential learning activities.
- Prepare tests.
- Set up classroom materials or equipment.
- Teach others to use technology or equipment.
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|Title||Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor’s degree, but some do not.|
|Related Experience||A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.|
|Job Zone Examples||Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include real estate brokers, sales managers, database administrators, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.|
|SVP Range||(7.0 to < 8.0)|
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Wages & Employment Trends
Median wage data for Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School.
Employment data for Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School.
Industry data for Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School.
|Median wages (2020)||$60,620 annual|
|Employment (2020)||188,600 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Average (5% to 10%)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||15,700|
|Top industries (2020)||
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO
- Council for Exceptional Children
- National Association of Special Education Teachers
- National Education Association
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Special education teachers
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