Special education teachers work with students who have a wide range of special needs and disabilities. These specially-trained educators create and apply appropriate curricula and assign activities that are specific to each student’s abilities and needs. Special education teachers also involve themselves in each student’s academic, social and behavioral development.
Special needs educators assist in developing Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for each individual student. The Individualized Education Program is designed to develop individual goals for the student and is modified to the student’s abilities and needs. Special education teachers go over the IEP with the child’s parents, general education teachers, and school administrators. They work very closely with parents to keep them updated on progress and make recommendations to promote learning in the home.
A large part of a special education teacher's job involves communicating and coordinating with others involved in the child's well-being, including parents, social workers, school psychologists, occupational and physical therapists, school administrators, and other teachers.