Salary and Outlook
According to the US Department of Labor, there are 79,400 people employed as special education teachers, middle school in
the United States.
The median annual salary is $61,820.
Entry level employees earn approximately $46,840 per year and senior employees earn approximately $100,310
Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.
- 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 and 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, 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.
- Supervise, evaluate, and plan assignments for teacher assistants and volunteers.
- Provide additional instruction in vocational areas.
- Visit schools to tutor students with sensory impairments and to consult with teachers regarding students' special needs.
- 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 priorities for their children and their resource needs.
- 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 those 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 promoting 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.
- Establish and enforce rules for behavior and policies and procedures to maintain order among students.
- Modify the general education curriculum for special-needs students based upon a variety of instructional techniques and instructional technology.
- Develop or write Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for students.