Summary Report for:
25-2053.00 - Special Education Teachers, Middle School
Teach middle school subjects to educationally and physically handicapped students. Includes teachers who specialize and work with audibly and visually handicapped students and those who teach basic academic and life processes skills to the mentally impaired.
Sample of reported job titles: Exceptional Children Teacher (EC Teacher), Exceptional Student Education Teacher (ESE Teacher), Inclusion Teacher, Intervention Specialist, Learning Support Teacher, Middle School Special Education Teacher, Self-Contained Special Education Teacher, Special Education Resource Teacher, Special Education Teacher, Teacher
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Establish and enforce rules for behavior and policies and procedures to maintain order among students.
- Prepare materials and classrooms for class activities.
- Modify the general education curriculum for special-needs students based upon a variety of instructional techniques and instructional technology.
- Teach socially acceptable behavior, employing techniques such as behavior modification and positive reinforcement.
- Instruct through lectures, discussions, and demonstrations in one or more subjects, such as English, mathematics, or social studies.
- Develop and implement strategies to meet the needs of students with a variety of handicapping conditions.
- Establish clear objectives for all lessons, units, and projects and communicate those objectives to students.
- Employ special educational strategies and techniques during instruction to improve the development of sensory- and perceptual-motor skills, language, cognition, and memory.
- Confer with parents, administrators, testing specialists, social workers, and professionals to develop individual educational plans designed to promote students' educational, physical, and social development.
- Maintain accurate and complete student records, and prepare reports on children and activities, as required by laws, district policies, and administrative regulations.
- Observe and evaluate students' performance, behavior, social development, and physical health.
- Confer with parents or guardians, other teachers, counselors, and administrators to resolve students' behavioral and academic problems.
- Plan and conduct activities for a balanced program of instruction, demonstration, and work time that provides students with opportunities to observe, question, and investigate.
- Guide and counsel students with adjustment or academic problems, or special academic interests.
- Prepare, administer, and grade tests and assignments to evaluate students' progress.
- Prepare objectives and outlines for courses of study, following curriculum guidelines or requirements of states and schools.
- Confer with other staff members to plan and schedule lessons promoting learning, following approved curricula.
- Coordinate placement of students with special needs into mainstream classes.
- Prepare for assigned classes and show written evidence of preparation upon request of immediate supervisors.
- Teach students personal development skills, such as goal setting, independence, and self-advocacy.
- Meet with parents and guardians to discuss their children's progress and to determine priorities for their children and their resource needs.
- Use computers, audio-visual aids, and other equipment and materials to supplement presentations.
- Monitor teachers and teacher assistants to ensure that they adhere to inclusive special education program requirements.
- Instruct and monitor students in the use and care of equipment and materials to prevent injuries and damage.
- Supervise, evaluate, and plan assignments for teacher assistants and volunteers.
- Administer standardized ability and achievement tests and interpret results to determine students' strengths and areas of need.
- Organize and label materials and display students' work.
- Meet with parents and guardians to provide guidance in using community resources and to teach skills for dealing with students' impairments.
- Attend professional meetings, educational conferences, and teacher training workshops to maintain and improve professional competence.
- Organize and supervise games and other recreational activities to promote physical, mental, and social development.
- Attend staff meetings and serve on committees, as required.
- Perform administrative duties, such as assisting in school libraries, hall and cafeteria monitoring, and bus loading and unloading.
- Select, store, order, issue, and inventory classroom equipment, materials, and supplies.
- Plan and supervise class projects, field trips, visits by guest speakers, or other experiential activities, and guide students in learning from those activities.
- Instruct students in daily living skills required for independent maintenance and self-sufficiency, such as hygiene, safety, and food preparation.
- Provide assistive devices, supportive technology, and assistance accessing facilities, such as restrooms.
- Visit schools to tutor students with sensory impairments and to consult with teachers regarding students' special needs.
- Provide additional instruction in vocational areas.
- Provide interpretation and transcription of regular classroom materials through Braille and sign language.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Adaptive communication switches for the physically challenged — Jellybean switches; Sound switches
- Assistive listening devices — Assistive amplification systems
- Binocular light compound microscopes — Optical compound microscopes
- Braille devices for the physically challenged — Braille slates; Braille styluses
- Cassette players or recorders — Audio tape recorders or players
- Childrens science kits — Science activity kits
- Compasses — Pencil compasses
- Computer mouse or trackballs — Eye controlled computer mouse equipment; Foot operated mouse equipment; Trackballs
- Desktop calculator — Talking calculators
- Desktop computers
- Digital camcorders or video cameras — Digital video cameras
- Document camera — Document cameras
- Emergency medical services first aid kits — Emergency first aid kits
- Enteral feeding administration sets — Enteral feeding equipment
- Game pads or joy sticks — Head operated joysticks; Mouth operated joysticks
- Gas burners — Bunsen burners
- Goggles — Safety goggles
- Hand held camcorders or video cameras — Video camcorders
- Keyboards — Alternative computer keyboards
- Laboratory beakers — Glass beakers
- Laboratory hotplates — Laboratory heating plates
- Laboratory scalpels — Dissection scalpels
- Laminators — Laminating equipment
- Laser printers — Computer laser printers
- Letter or symbol boards for the physically challenged — Communication boards
- Medical gas cylinders or related devices — Portable oxygen equipment
- Medical suction cannulas or tubes or accessories — Oral suction tubes
- Notebook computers — Laptop computers
- Page turners for the physically challenged — Page turners
- Personal computers
- Photocopiers — Photocopying equipment
- Protective gloves — Safety gloves
- Scanners — Reading pens
- Tablet computers
- Telecommunication devices TDD or teletypewriters TTY for the physically challenged — Teletypewriters TTY
- Televisions — Television monitors
- Touch screen monitors — Interactive whiteboards; Wireless touch screen monitors
- Video cassette players or recorders — Video cassette recorders VCR
- Visual presenters — Video magnifiers
- Voice synthesizers for the physically challenged — Portable communication devices
- Writing aids for the physically challenged — Word prediction software
Technology used in this occupation:
- Computer based training software — Text to speech software
- Device drivers or system software — Screen magnification software; Screen reader software
- Electronic mail software — Email software
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office software
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Project management software — Microsoft SharePoint software
- Spell checkers — Hand held spell checkers
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Video creation and editing software — Video editing software
- Voice recognition software — Voice activated software
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Psychology — Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
- Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
Detailed Work Activities
- Assist students with special educational needs.
- Modify teaching methods or materials to accommodate student needs.
- Evaluate student work.
- Establish rules or policies governing student behavior.
- Apply multiple teaching methods.
- Monitor student performance.
- Monitor student behavior, social development, or health.
- Maintain student records.
- Develop strategies or programs for students with special needs.
- Order instructional or library materials or equipment.
- Administer tests to assess educational needs or progress.
- Supervise student research or internship work.
- Develop instructional objectives.
- Attend training sessions or professional meetings to develop or maintain professional knowledge.
- Teach life skills.
- Document lesson plans.
- Prepare tests.
- Set up classroom materials or equipment.
- Teach others to use technology or equipment.
- Plan educational activities.
- Collaborate with other teaching professionals to develop educational programs.
- Discuss student progress with parents or guardians.
- Discuss problems or issues with supervisors.
- Tutor students who need extra assistance.
- Serve on institutional or departmental committees.
- Create technology-based learning materials.
- Maintain inventories of materials, equipment, or products.
- Prepare reports detailing student activities or performance.
- Advise students on academic or career matters.
- Teach vocational courses.
- Supervise school or student activities.
- Plan experiential learning activities.
- Direct activities of subordinates.
- Coordinate student extracurricular activities.
- Distribute instructional or library materials.
- Evaluate performance of educational staff.
- Display student work.
- Work With Work Group or Team — 88% responded “Extremely important.”
- Contact With Others — 81% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 75% responded “Every day.”
- Electronic Mail — 74% responded “Every day.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 70% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Physical Proximity — 56% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 53% responded “Some freedom.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 87% responded “Some freedom.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 38% responded “Extremely important.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 47% responded “Very important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 58% responded “Important results.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 69% responded “Every day.”
- Letters and Memos — 36% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 52% responded “Every day.”
- Public Speaking — 58% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Standing — 49% responded “More than half the time.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 53% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Telephone — 61% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Time Pressure — 42% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Deal With External Customers — 39% responded “Extremely important.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 32% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 31% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 34% responded “Limited responsibility.”
|Title||Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.|
|Related Experience||A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.|
|Job Zone Examples||Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.|
|SVP Range||(7.0 to < 8.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
Interest code: SA
- Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
- Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2015)||$57,280 annual|
|Employment (2014)||93,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2014-2024)||Average (5% to 8%)|
|Projected job openings (2014-2024)||23,000|
|Top industries (2014)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data and 2014-2024 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Special education teachers . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.