Special Education Teachers, Secondary School Career

Job Description: Teach academic, social, and life skills to secondary 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, Secondary School Career

What Special Education Teachers, Secondary Schools do:

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

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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.

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

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

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.

Monitoring and Controlling Resources - Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.

Holland Code Chart for a Special Education Teachers, Secondary School