Every child needs education regardless of their physical and mental traits. Special education is a ray of hope for children with disabilities—the only way to break the shackles of their disability. Special education caters to their needs based on their special mental, physical and emotional needs. According to UNICEF data, more than 93 million children have been diagnosed with one or other disability. Special children are entitled to the same opportunities as others. However, they cannot be left at the mercy of society and made to look for opportunities themselves. In a world with scarce opportunities swamped with aspirants, people with special needs are bound to get crushed if they are not educated and skilled enough to face the competition.
Helping special needs children
To help children with disabilities, teachers must get special training with special education degrees. A degree in special education can help teachers address the needs of all types of students. They learn about tools to provide person-centered education and plan lessons according to the grasping ability of their students. If teachers are not prepared to cater to the needs of special children, there are high chances for the latter to be discriminated against and barred from excelling in their life.
Studying special education is not only beneficial for the students you will teach in the future, but it is also a rewarding profession. Efforts are underway to make special education degrees more attractive for potential graduates. In this regard, scholarships and various special education degree programs are offered to attract a larger number of potential teachers. Some perks of earning a special education degree include the following:
- Special education is a meaningful career
When studying special education, you know that your job has a meaningful impact on society. You are getting trained to develop a stratum of the population on the brink of neglect due to disabilities. The sense of fulfillment from helping those in need is incomparable. Therefore, many people enter this field purely because of its altruistic nature. Also, the impact of their work is much larger and more profound than in any other career.
Helping people overcome their limitations assisting them to be productive members of society offers a sense of purpose and meaningfulness to your life. So, though the career is full of hurdles and you might struggle with the students, the result is sheer satisfaction.
- Special education is a lucrative career
Special education teachers’ salaries are often higher than other teachers working at the same level. According to the states of BLS, the average salary of a special education teacher is $61,500 per year, according to May 2020 analysis. However, the compensation can also vary depending on the level of the student you teach; as you move from kindergarten to middle school, the salary increases.
Other factors that impact your salary include the location of your job, experience, and the employers. Some employers inherently value good resources and pay them well. Additionally, many states are also planning changes to increase the pay and compensation packages of special education teachers as it is one of the hardest-hit areas for teacher shortage.
- Special education professionals are in demand
Teacher scarcity is one of the issues plaguing the education industry. Institutions desire professionals who can keep up with the changes taking place in global education. The shortage creates a demand for teachers in all institutions and areas, and special education is no different. The presence of qualified teachers is an inherent need for special needs children. Therefore, educated special education professionals won’t find it hard to get their dream job as soon as they graduate.
The shortage of teachers has also led the national institutions to rethink their compensation packages, paid leaves, certifications, and other benefits. These changes create an attractive environment for the new professionals to enter this field, not just for its altruism but for the benefits that accompany this career.
In other words, this means greater job security for all those thinking about making a career in this field. In the current environment mired with economic downtown resulting from the recent pandemic, teachers must consider a profession offering job security above others.
- Special Education offers many career paths
A degree in special education is not limited to a teaching job only; there is much more to it. It opens a wide array of career avenues for its graduates. Positions are open in both profit and non-profit organizations and even state-run organizations. After a degree in special education, you can work as a program coordinator, a non-profit director, a case manager, or a state supervisor. For instance, a special education professional interested in advocacy roles can work with one of the many non-profit organizations and put forward the concerns of the marginalized and become the face of the faceless.
Similarly, a person interested in serving people with autism or any other syndrome can connect with an agency dedicated to this sole cause.
- Special Education teachers know students personally
A special education teacher doesn’t just work with the students but with their parents too. Your professional and personal advice to the parents about their child’s upbringing can make a lot of difference. Frequent in-person and over-the-email engagements with the parents help you know every student at a personal level. You can share your feedback with the parents and get to learn more about their struggles at home.
When in the class, teachers often have aids or other professionals that can help them interact with each student and understand the cause behind any misbehavior or misconduct and why they have been detached from the class or throwing tantrums. This degree of personal attention paid to each student is essential and is only possible if you have the right skills to tackle such situations. The resultant teacher-student bond is long-term, which both teacher and students find rewarding and meaningful.
Special education lands you in a meaningful career. It is lucrative, rewarding, and offers job security. Above all, it helps you make children with special needs responsible members of society. Think about the moment when you see one of your students excelling in their life, beating the stigma attached to their disability. These thoughts are worth considering while you are deliberating the benefits of pursuing a teaching specialization in special education.