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Should teachers certify in special education even if that will not be there major?

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Michelle’s Answer

Hi Marissa!

Teacher certification varies from state to state, but in general you need a certification in Special Ed if you plan to teach special ed. Even if you didn't major in Special Education, you can still absolutely get the certification. (There may be a requirement to take certain classes in Special Education though--see your state's certification website to find out). I would also recommend reaching out to a guidance counselor or career specialist at your school. Often, a school of education will have advisors who know a lot about certification and can help you understand the process.

Special Education is a wonderful pursuit, and we need more Special Ed teachers in the world. Regardless of your major, you can still pursue this field with some extra planning. Best of luck!

Michelle recommends the following next steps:

Read about certification requirements on your state's education website
Make an appointment with a guidance counselor or career advisor at your school
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Sarah’s Answer

Hi Marissa! That's great that you're thinking about multiple education avenues. As a former teacher, I can tell you that the more certifications you have, the more job opportunities you'll have. Your college major and concentration will guide your certification fields, but here in Georgia, you can take certification tests in any area in which you are interested (check the certification rules in your state through the professional standards commission). There is also the possibility that you may be asked to teach in an area in which you're certified but not passionate about (I hope that makes sense).

Ultimately, try to figure out which areas you're most passionate about teaching because teaching is a very demanding field and at the end of the day if you're doing what you love, it makes it a little bit easier.
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Dana’s Answer

While you probably don't need a special education certification if that is not what you plan to do but I do think it would be beneficial to check with your states requirements. You could always call or email the board of your state and they will be able to answer any specific questions you may have for what you need to complete for your states requirements. However, being a special education teacher is extremely rewarding, while busy and somedays very challenging. Having the certification would just allow for more options as you continue your teaching career. Having multiple certifications just gives more avenues for jobs in the future! Hope this helps!