Special Education Teachers, Middle School Career

Job Description: Teach academic, social, and life skills to middle school students with learning, emotional, or physical disabilities. Includes teachers who specialize and work with students who are blind or have visual impairments; students who are deaf or have hearing impairments; and students with intellectual disabilities.


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Special Education Teachers, Middle School Career

What Special Education Teachers, Middle Schools do:

  • Attend professional meetings, educational conferences, and teacher training workshops to maintain and improve professional competence.
  • Maintain accurate and complete student records, and prepare reports on children and activities, as required by laws, district policies, and administrative regulations.
  • Observe and evaluate students' performance, behavior, social development, and physical health.
  • Confer with parents or guardians, other teachers, counselors, and administrators to resolve students' behavioral and academic problems.
  • Use computers, audio-visual aids, and other equipment and materials to supplement presentations.
  • Confer with parents, administrators, testing specialists, social workers, and professionals to develop individual educational plans designed to promote students' educational, physical, and social development.
  • Teach socially acceptable behavior, employing techniques such as behavior modification and positive reinforcement.
  • Develop and implement strategies to meet the needs of students with a variety of handicapping conditions.
  • Modify the general education curriculum for special-needs students based upon a variety of instructional techniques and instructional technology.
  • Collaborate with other teachers that provide instruction to special education students to ensure that the students receive appropriate support.
  • Develop or write Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for students.
  • Meet with parents and guardians to discuss their children's progress and to determine priorities for their children and their resource needs.
  • Prepare, administer, and grade tests and assignments to evaluate students' progress.
  • Attend staff meetings and serve on committees, as required.
  • Teach students personal development skills, such as goal setting, independence, and self-advocacy.
  • Establish and enforce rules for behavior and policies and procedures to maintain order among students.
  • Establish clear objectives for all lessons, units, and projects and communicate those objectives to students.
  • Employ special educational strategies and techniques during instruction to improve the development of sensory- and perceptual-motor skills, language, cognition, and memory.
  • Administer standardized ability and achievement tests and interpret results to determine students' strengths and areas of need.
  • Prepare materials and classrooms for class activities.
  • Guide and counsel students with adjustment or academic problems, or special academic interests.
  • Plan and conduct activities for a balanced program of instruction, demonstration, and work time that provides students with opportunities to observe, question, and investigate.
  • Select, store, order, issue, and inventory classroom equipment, materials, and supplies.
  • Coordinate placement of students with special needs into mainstream classes.
  • Instruct through lectures, discussions, and demonstrations in one or more subjects, such as English, mathematics, or social studies.
  • Monitor teachers and teacher assistants to ensure that they adhere to inclusive special education program requirements.
  • Confer with other staff members to plan and schedule lessons promoting learning, following approved curricula.
  • Meet with parents and guardians to provide guidance in using community resources and to teach skills for dealing with students' impairments.
  • Perform administrative duties, such as assisting in school libraries, hall and cafeteria monitoring, and bus loading and unloading.
  • Organize and label materials and display students' work.
  • Prepare for assigned classes and show written evidence of preparation upon request of immediate supervisors.
  • Instruct students in daily living skills required for independent maintenance and self-sufficiency, such as hygiene, safety, and food preparation.
  • Prepare objectives and outlines for courses of study, following curriculum guidelines or requirements of states and schools.
  • Plan and supervise class projects, field trips, visits by guest speakers, or other experiential activities, and guide students in learning from those activities.
  • Instruct and monitor students in the use and care of equipment and materials to prevent injuries and damage.
  • Provide assistive devices, supportive technology, and assistance accessing facilities, such as restrooms.
  • Organize and supervise games and other recreational activities to promote physical, mental, and social development.
  • 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.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

Holland Code Chart for a Special Education Teachers, Middle School