Key points:

  • Communication is key for all those involved in special education
  • Don’t forget to think creatively and look at the big picture when framing students’ goals

If you’re heading into your first job as a special education teacher, congratulations. Not only will you be able to use the knowledge you developed as a student to make a difference in children’s lives, you’ll be doing it in the most needed position in U.S. schools.

Two-thirds of schools with staffing shortages said special education is the hardest area to staff, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

I’m sure the excitement of landing a position was mixed with the fear we all face when starting a new job. The demands on special education teachers are unlike any other position in schools, and because of shortages, you may be asked to tackle a bigger role than expected when you start.

While your job will be thrilling, frustrating, and exhausting, sometimes all on the same day, I do know there are successful strategies that can help you make the needed adjustments to be effective while at the same time maintaining a necessary work/life balance.

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