Teaching and Education

How To Become An Early Childhood Special Education Teacher

Ricky Kambray
Ricky Kambray

If you are someone who wishes to bring changes into society by contributing to children with special needs, this blog is for you. Special needs teachers are trained to act and educate children born with various learning disabilities. The teachers trained in this particular profession tend to teach these children early.

Special education ensures that all children have access to the general e ducation curriculum, allowing them to meet the educational standards that apply to all children. 

Working with individuals one-on-one is an essential aspect of the job, and it is the responsibility of the Special Education Teachers to ensure that learning takes place in a safe and supportive environment. This blog discusses ‘how to become an early childhood special education teacher’, the responsibilities, and the other things that come with it. Let’s dive into the blog now. 

Who is a Special Education Teacher? 

Children with special needs mean children with developmental disabilities, mental retardation, emotional disturbance, sensory or motor impairment, or significant chronic illness who require special health surveillance or specialised programs, interventions, technologies, or facilities.”- says Law Insider

To play this role of a special needs teacher, you may need to develop special abilities in understanding, patience, and motivation. You must also be adaptable and eager to try different teaching tactics to customise your instructions to the needs of specific students. 

Special education teachers alter the general education curriculum to ensure that each student’s particular requirements are satisfied to promote and control the growth of their students (from infants to adults). In addition, they assist kids with developing the problem-solving, physical, and social abilities required to finish their education and live independently.

Along with the academic achievement, special education teachers also engage with kids on personal and life skills.

 A teacher is giving lectures and students are asking questions


Requirements to Become a Special Education Teacher

Becoming a special education teacher requires unique demands. Some of these you may already have in your personality, but you have to learn and earn others. Aside from standard teaching abilities such as communication, patience, teamwork, leadership, and organisation, you must also have a calm demeanour. 

The skills of a Special Education teacher should include- professionalism, collaboration, adaptability, compassion, perseverance, and trustworthiness. You are bound to have these skills to be around kids or special kids. But you will also need to have a degree in special education teaching.

For example, to work as a special education teacher in a UK school, you must have QTS (qualified teacher status) and a degree in a related field. Further details on this topic are discussed under the following heading. 

Step-by-Step Guide on ‘How to become an early childhood special education teacher?’ 

A career as a special education teacher can begin from either end. First, on one end, you are a graduate and want to become a special education teacher, and on the other, you are already a teacher, but you want to join the force as a special education teacher. This blog will discuss both ways thoroughly.  

For those who are fresh graduates and want to become special education teachers, as mentioned above, you need to have your QTS and a degree in the related field. In addition, you’ll study a wide range of pedagogical subjects in a bachelor’s degree programme for a special needs educator. These programmes have standard courses on assessing students with disabilities and implementing strategic classroom management. 

Teachers who want to become certified as Early Childhood Special Education teachers have several options. After earning your bachelor’s degree in education or special education, you can pursue Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) certification. For example, suppose you are enrolled in a college that does not offer an ECSE teacher certification; you can obtain a dual certification in both Special Education and Early Childhood Education. 

In short, the traditional route to a career as a special education teacher includes the following steps:

  • A special education bachelor’s or master’s degree from a state-approved institution is required.
  • As a student teacher, complete an internship in a special education classroom. Teachers with prior experience teaching disabled children will stand out from the crowd.
  • Take the required tests for special education teachers in your state.
  • Apply for your teaching certification.
  • Begin applying for special education teaching positions.
  • If you’re already a teacher, consider getting a special education licence.

Importance of a Special Education Teacher

Children with special needs require special care. For students with disabilities and special needs, special education teachers serve as advocates. This includes ensuring that all administrators and staff members are aware of the significance of inclusion and know the best ways to incorporate it into all campus activities.

In addition, traditional pre-school and kindergarten students learn to interact with others, develop increased language comprehension and body language awareness, and experience new emotions during childhood. Developing one or more of these skills is much slower in children with special needs. 

Fortunately, certified early childhood special education teachers have developed various unique skills through coursework and student teaching assignments, and a robust early learning model supports them to guide them and their students to success.

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Certified teachers can connect with their students emotionally and personally to gain their trust and free them to express themselves in productive ways that contribute to the learning process.

They understand students’ frustrations and challenges, and they create games and other activities to remove learning barriers that are common in traditional curricula.

a girl with Down syndrom happily studying with her teacher


Responsibilities of a Special Education Teacher 

The responsibilities of a special education teacher are similar to those of other teachers. Special needs educators are responsible for a wide range of tasks related to their student’s well-being and academic progress.

In addition, special education teachers plan lessons, assign activities, and grade homework and tests. They also meet with parents to discuss their child’s strengths and weaknesses. 

Special education teachers are responsible for teaching a diverse range of students (from infants to adults) with disabilities in public or private schools at the elementary, middle, or secondary school levels. In addition, some special education teachers have classrooms that teach groups of students with special needs.

In contrast, others work with individuals or small groups of students with disabilities in general classrooms alongside other students. 

Reasons you should become a Special Education Teacher

Include salary

The person-centred approach of special education does the job as varied and unique as the students themselves. Compassion and creativity are in high demand in this field, which makes special education more complex at times — but also makes the job extremely rewarding. If you are the type of person who likes to take on challenges, this is for you. 

According to a new UNISON survey, primary school children with special educational needs are not getting the help they are entitled to because of support staff and teacher shortages, which means special education teachers are in demand.

The average salary of a special education teacher varies from £27,984 to £46,083 (annually).

The compensation, though, varies according to the experience (NCS). The average annual salary for a special education teacher in the United States is $56,068 (Indeed). 


Each child’s disability and limitations are distinct. Special education teachers must identify these to develop individual goals for each student.

For example, a special education teacher communicates regularly with general education teachers and administrators about a child’s individualised programme and progress.

Hope this blog served its purpose of educating you about the roles, responsibilities and steps to becoming an early childhood special education teacher.

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Ricky Kambray

Hey this is Ricky Kambray an award-winning first-aid trainer with over 20 years of healthcare and teaching expertise. Highly certified general nurse regularly appears in the press discussing accident prevention and first aid advice.