To teach is to touch a life forever. These words, from one of the world’s most renowned teachers, ring no truer than in the ears of specialist education providers. Like any other person, special education students deserve the opportunity to live, engage, learn with others and reach their full potential. However, this often calls for focused attention to meet their social and educational needs. Special education providers are the men and women who devote themselves to helping them meet these needs. If you are preparing to become a specialist education provider, it takes more than just education and practical experience. Let’s take a look at what it is like.
What Does a Specialist Education Provider Do?
Specialist education providers work with students of different age groups who have a range of learning, cognitive, and physical disabilities. It can be challenging but also extremely rewarding. Similar to other teachers, specialist education providers plan lessons, instruct students, assign them activities and guide them to better themselves. However, they do more, they teach regular subjects while also teaching basic life skills.
Students may range from those with mild to severe learning or behavioural disabilities at the elementary, middle, or secondary education level. The work of specialist education providers is mainly to adapt lessons and curricula for them to make it easier to process. They do this by assessing and identifying the students’ special needs and then developing Individualised Education Programs(IEPs) to apply on an individual or small group basis. The IEPs are essential for setting goals and tracking students’ progress throughout the year.
Specialist education providers can also specialise in a particular area, such as visually impaired students. They may also use assistive technology to communicate with students, according to the work environment which can make it easier for both parties involved. Lastly, they have an obligation to meet with parents and guardians to discuss the progress of their students and finalise the next steps for the child.
Skills and Requirements
Students with special needs require special attention and understanding when it comes to dealing with their diversified needs and different backgrounds. Therefore, specialist education providers must be patient, calm, and accepting in order to do what’s right for the individual.
Strong communication skills are essential to help specialist education providers differentiate education according to every student’s needs. This will also help them to communicate effectively with guardians and other administrators.
To be a Specialist Education Provider you must also have empathy. Empathy will allow you to put yourself in their shoes and evaluate why they did something. It can help build better-suited learning plans and allow your students to progress and reach their full potential.
Another crucial skill for specialist education providers is patience and resourcefulness. Specialist education requires the ability to stay calm and get creative when you need to present information in a way the students can understand easily. This also calls for an understanding of assistive software programs and other technology commonly used in specialist education which will assist you with teaching. Having these skills helps specialist education providers to become the best at what they do to help every student reach their full potential.
Benefits of Being a Specialist Education Provider
Most specialist education providers take the path as a chance to positively impact the lives of students with special needs and learning disorders. Each new day presents an opportunity to facilitate their development and provide them with a positive outlook on education. Here are some of the benefits that come with this career path:
- Most specialist education providers admit that they are highly satisfied with their work and they can’t imagine themselves doing any other job. Although it can be demanding, the impact that specialist education has on the students makes the exacting aspects worthwhile.
- Working in specialist education can be unpredictable. It requires unmatched patience to help the students feel safe in their environment while also providing the necessary education. This presents the teachers with an opportunity to adapt to the students’ varying needs, enhancing patience and adaptability.
- Specialist education providers have a highly specialised skill set since they require special certification beyond the regular teaching certification. This gives them an edge and creates additional job opportunities over the rest of the workforce. Even for regular teaching jobs, those with specialist education experience will stand out due to the invaluable skills they possess.
- Every day will be completely different. Depending on the student/group you are working with, different lessons will need to be taught in different specialised ways. Most students will have a completely specialised plan which no other individual will have so each lesson, each day will be unique.