Teaching Special Education - Mental Retardation
Special education (special ed) teachers working with individuals who have intellectual disabilities (mental retardation) must know how to meet their students' unique needs. A bachelor's degree program in teaching special education trains potential special education teachers to lead and instruct students with intellectual disabilities.
Inside Special Education: Intellectual Disabilities
Intellectual disabilities is defined as a condition that includes below-average intellectual function and a lack of typical daily living skills. Students enrolled in a special education degree program discover basic methods to help individuals with intellectual disabilities learn. Methods can include problem-solving assignments, individualized instruction and small-group work. Prospective teachers also learn what special accommodations are needed when students take tests.
In order to teach individuals with intellectual disabilities, special ed teachers need to take a bachelor's in education specializing in special ed or in intellectual disabilities. A bachelor's degree is the minimum required education. Some universities offer graduate special education programs with concentrations in intellectual disabilities. Every state requires special ed teachers to obtain a license. Requirements vary depending on the state, so students should check with their state Department of Education.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), prospects for this job are strong due to steady increase in students with specific needs (www.bls.gov). The BLS projected a 17% increase in positions for special education teachers from 2008-2018. As of May 2010, the BLS reported the mean salary for preschool through elementary special education teachers as $55,220; middle school special education teachers, $56,500; and high school special education teachers, $58,080.
Learn More About Special Education: Intellectual disabilities
Working as a special education teacher with a concentration in intellectual disabilities requires you to be creative, patient and willing to motivate students. Education-Portal.com has more information to help you decide if this concentration is the right career for you.
Special education teachers usually go through more training than do general education teachers. While every state requires licensure of some sort, specific requirements do vary from state to state. The following are various ways of earning your degree or certification.
- Special Education Degree
- Childhood Special Education Degree
- Associates Degree in Special Education
- Master's Degree for Special Education Instructors
There are many careers related to teaching students with intellectual disabilities. Here are a few related special education careers that may interest you.
- Special Education Assistant
- Special Education Teacher
- Special Education Director
- Special Education Instructional Assistant
Distance Learning Options
If you wish to take online courses, they are widely available in special education. Explore the pages below for more information.
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