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How do I know the steps to become a Special Needs teacher?

I want to become a Special Needs teacher when I get older. I want to know the steps of becoming a Special Needs teacher. Can you help me? //#special-education #education #special-needs #disability #educator #teacher

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Shannon’s Answer

You can find schools that offer courses in special needs education.

I am currently enrolled at City College of San Francisco. They have an introduction to special education certificate program.

I'm new to America, but I believe having a certificate in special needs can help you be a teacher.

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Zach’s Answer

Hi Dakota,

My mother has been a special needs educator in California for almost 40 years now and I used to teach and was interested in teaching about 10 years ago (I'm in Talent Development, aka Learning & Development now). The requirements are different in each state, sometimes even by county/region, but usually education/teaching standards are set by state and/or federal requirements. You should look up special education teacher requirements for the state you are interested in teaching. Some states do offer reciprocity (where they recognize teaching certifications from other states), but others do not, be sure you get certified in the state that you want to teach in per their requirements.

Since it looks like you're in Iowa, I just Googled Iowa Special Education requirements and found this: https://www.specialeducationguide.com/teacher-certification/iowa/

"The typical route to teaching in Iowa entails completing a bachelor's degree and then a teacher preparation program. However, select state programs, such as the Iowa Teacher Intern License Pathway, allow students to simultaneously earn a bachelor's degree in education or special education and a teaching license."

Zach recommends the following next steps:

Figure out what state you want to teach in
Look up the Special Education teaching requirements in the state you're interested in
Look up a school district or school in the area you're interested in and reach out to the administration to see if you can speak with a special educator about their experience (or just find someone who teaches in that state online and reach out).