November 26, 2018

How to Specialize in Working with Children with Disabilities as a Teacher

When you work with children for a living, you can often identify areas in education where you feel like you could be doing more to help some students get a brighter future. Working with kids who have physical or mental disabilities can be one area that can become appealing to teachers who have a keen interest in working with kids who have great potential, but special needs in the classroom.

‘Moderate Disabilities’

Children with what are termed ‘moderate disabilities’ are generally children who have a disability that is not debilitating enough to prevent them from being able to learn in a general school population. These can be physical, sensory or mental. While disabilities in this class do not exclude children from attending regular public schools, in schools with the resources there are sometimes special classes for them, though in general, they learn and socialize alongside the other children most of the time. Most teachers who want to work with disabled children tend to study for licensure to work with moderately disabled children, as more severe disabilities that do prevent a child from attending a regular school often require more advanced medical knowledge and specialist training.

What Do Teachers With this Specialism Do?

Having a specialism in teaching kids with moderate disabilities means you can offer better support to children going through your school who have these disadvantages. The work can take many forms, but often involves working more closely on a one on one basis with students than normal teaching work. A specialist in this area may, for example, accompany a child to other lessons and aid them, or may work with the child and the school’s administration to design a tailored lesson plan for them. Teachers who have the moderate disabilities specialism are very highly valued in schools, and develop particularly positive relationships with students and their families as they do tend to spend more time with each individual they work with. This can be very appealing to a lot of teachers, and is of course also extremely rewarding.

How to Become a Specialist in Teaching Children with Moderate Disabilities

To get licensure to work as a specialist teacher with children with moderate disabilities up to PreK-8 level, you will need to train for a M.Ed in Moderate Disabilities. This is a course that includes both coursework and field-based experience, and is one that can be done mostly online if that is something that appeals to you. On this course you will learn about techniques that relate to the specialism, as well as interesting background to working with children with special requirements, such as psychology and the latest insights on teaching methods to help them.

Working with children with disabilities can be a very interesting specialism to choose as a teacher, and can allow you to make a very big difference to the lives of students whose school experience needs to be a bit different from average. Why not look into qualifying with an M.Ed in Moderate Disabilities as your next career step?

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