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What are the pros and cons of being a special education teacher?

Hi, my name is Rosemarie Mullaly and I am a junior at Boston Collegiate Charter School. I have been interested in being a teacher since fifth grade, and I realized I want to be a special education teacher since eighth grade. I want to work with children with cognitive disabilities (Autism, Down Syndrome ect). teaching special-education disabilities

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Leslie’s Answer

I would say there are more pros than cons. You are fundamentally impacting these children's lives on a day to day basis. You also build personal relationships with them. Some of the cons are that being a teacher, especially a special ed teacher, is a ton of work. You have to spend a lot of time planning for class, and the actual time in class can be exhausting. It is also challenging to figure out how to best teach kids with special needs. Overall though, I believe special ed teaching is among the most satisfying and meaningful. Also, note that special ed teachers are in high demand, so you will have a good chance of getting a job!

Thank you! Rosemarie M.

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Claudia’s Answer

Hi Rosemary, One of the pros of working with needs with special education challenges is that it usually happens in small groups or even one-to-one. You also get to collaborate with other educators and support the students and the teachers in the classrooms. It does take planning and commitment but I find that if you like teaching and working closely with students you will love being a special education teacher. Good luck.

Thank you! Rosemarie M.

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Jason Aaron’s Answer

Hello Rosemarie,
As stated above it is far more rewarding to be a special education teacher than the cons. As a paraprofessional, I am currently in Graduate school to become a Special Education Teacher.

- Having a genuine impact in the lives of students. All the long hours and time spent with the students pays off.
- More intimate approach to education (working one-on-one or smaller groups, classes)
- You create a genuine bond with the students you work with and see the results of your impact immediately.
- Special education teaching is a growing profession and in need due to more classifications of learning disabilities and impact of mental health in the classroom.
- Higher pay than regular teachers
- You are never alone. Constant collaboration with Teacher Assistants (Paraprofessionals), Occupational Therapists, and other teachers.

- A lot of communication (emails, phone calls)
- Students may need assistance outside of normal class hours
- Definitely can be emotionally and physically exhausting helping students with disabilities.

With any job there are going to be pros and cons, but at the end of the day, there is no job more rewarding than seeing a smile on a child's face because you are helping them grow intellectually, socially and physically.