From dealing with endless paperwork to meeting the needs of individual students, special education teachers face unique challenges not encountered in other classrooms, let alone other professions. One of the support systems these teachers need and appreciate is a strong advocate at the district level. By earning a Master of Education in Special Education — Administration from Southeastern Oklahoma State University (SOSU), you can meet those needs in the challenging and rewarding position of director of special education or team leader.
This degree will also equip you with tools and strategies you can use every day in your classroom and in your role as an advocate for your special-needs students.
Prepare for an Administrative Position
Preparing to be a director of special education (also referred to as the director of student services) at the district level must include coursework that bridges the gap between the classroom and law. You'll increase your understanding of the organization of a successful special education program, and learn to build collaborative relationships with the administration, teachers, families and the community. The M.Ed. in special education from SOSU provides a background on these topics, as well as others, as you plan for a possible career at the district level.
Another important position at the district level is that of an educational team leader. As a liaison between the school and the administrative office, you would serve as a chairperson of sorts for team meetings, oversee the referral process and scheduling, and monitor the workload and assignments of paraprofessionals assigned to individual students and classes.
Strengthen Your Teaching Practice
Even if you're not interested in moving out of the classroom as a special education teacher, this master's degree program can deepen your insight into the foundations of special education, program development and student assessment. It will also increase your awareness of the impact the law has on the provision of services to students and the rights of students and their families.
In addition, the Master of Education in Special Education — Administration degree program includes coursework in which you learn to implement the research and inquiry process, accurately administer and interpret assessments, and properly follow the Response to Intervention (RTI) process in the general education curriculum.
In addition to following best practices in directing instruction and assessment, special education teachers and administrators will find value in developing the following skills:
- Consulting, collaborating and co-teaching - Even for teachers assigned to self-contained classrooms, working with other educators, families and community agencies is a daily practice. Honing the skills to consult, collaborate and co-teach leads to more meaningful interactions and better outcomes.
- Grant writing - Many school districts have an ongoing need for additional funds and resources to meet even the most basic needs of their special education students. Developing the skills required for grant writing is vital to securing funds for school programs.
Accepting the challenging yet rewarding position as a leader in your special education program is possible when you complete the Master of Education in Special Education — Administration online program from SOSU. This degree is offered in a convenient, all-online format that can be completed in as few as 12 months. SOSU offers a number of program entry dates so you can start when it's convenient for you. The online format allows you to study on your own schedule from the comfort of home or anywhere with internet access.
Sources:Friendship Circle: The Top 10 Challenges of Special Education Teachers
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