A special education strategist, or instructional strategist, is a teacher who provides personalized instruction to students with mild to moderate behavior disorders, learning disabilities and physical handicaps.
What is Special Education?
Special education teachers work with certain students who have a wide range of mental, learning, emotional and physical disabilities. To do this, they must adapt general education subjects, such as math and reading, into terms that the student can understand and master. Special education teachers also teach very basic life skills, such as how to follow directions, successfully communicate and act independently. However, a special education strategist is a teaching professional who generally works with students with mild to moderate disabilities.
What is a Special Education Strategist?
A special education strategist teaches their students customized content as assigned. They strive to actively contribute to student achievements through effective teaching and support. Therefore, they must be very patient and organized. They also help to develop and maintain an encouraging learning atmosphere in classrooms and at the school as a whole. They help their students develop and maintain positive self-concepts, self-discipline and self-confidence. They must continually evaluate their student’s progress so that each child properly progresses towards academic goals. Special education strategists are teachers who are trained to work with students who have specific involuntary academic barriers.
What Skills are Required to be a Special Education Strategist?
First and foremost, a special education strategist must be an advocate for their students and make sure that their needs are met. They must also be a collaborative team player who can easily and accurately communicate with others. In order to accomplish this, they must have a positive and can-do attitude that reflects their willingness to do their part and more. They should also be results-driven and focus on solutions, not problems. They must be able to properly and sensitively handle inappropriate and unruly behavior of special education students. This is best accomplished through effective one-on-one and classroom management. Special education strategies must have strong math, science and reading skills to help older students grasp difficult concepts. They should also appreciate the importance of consistency with grading, discipline and curriculum development. Special education teachers are expected to be tolerant, persistent, flexible and enthusiastic.
What Education is Required to be a Special Education Strategist?
All states require that public school special education teachers have at least a bachelor’s degree, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some states accept teachers who have a major in education and a minor in special education. However, there are certain states that require teachers to have an actual degree in special education. These degree programs will contain classes that will provide the special education teacher with a firm academic foundation to help students with special needs. For example, they will study specific learning, physical and intellectual disabilities. They will also study behavioral and emotional disorders. Teachers must learn how to properly assess, guide and correct special education students. Finally, all states will require special education teachers to obtain some form of certification and complete yearly professional development classes or a master’s degree to maintain their license. Some special education teachers will decide to voluntarily obtain the American Academy of Special Education Professionals’ (AASEP) prestigious Professional Board Certification in Special Education (BCSE) certification.
Related Resource: Autistic Support Specialist
Special education strategists are education professionals who help students with disabilities learn important life and academic skills through customized classroom content and activities.