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So, You Want to Become a Special Education Teacher?

Special education teachers work with special needs students who must have their lessons tailored to them on account of physical or intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, or mental health issues. Some special needs educators have a classroom of their own, while others co-teach in an inclusive setting where special needs students are integrated with other students their own age.

If you’re interested in special needs education, you’ll need to develop a specific set of skills through education, and obtain state licensure. However, education and skills alone can’t make a great special education teacher. You’ll also need to possess a genuine love of children and a set of other crucial personality traits, including patience, creativity, optimism, a good sense of humor, and strong organization skills.

Education and Licensure Requirements for Special Ed Teachers

At a minimum, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in order to teach special needs students. However, many states require special education teachers to have a master’s degree. You can earn your bachelor’s degree in an academic subject or elementary education, with a special education minor, or you can go ahead and major in special education. If you major in special education, you can use your master’s program as an opportunity to specialize in a specific field of special education, but otherwise, your master’s program should focus on the basics of special education so you can obtain licensure. You can even earn your MS in Special Education online while working as a teacher, allowing you to earn teaching experience at the same time.

Once you have your degree, you’ll need to obtain special education teaching licensure. The requirements for teaching certification and licensure vary from state to state. Look up the requirements in your state so you know what to expect.

Personality Traits You’ll Need to Succeed

On top of an advanced degree, in order to make it as a special education teacher, you’ll have to really, genuinely like children. Real children, especially those with special needs, may act out when they feel upset or overwhelmed. They may not always be as polite as you’d like, because they haven’t learned this skill yet. They may be messy, and may even struggle with hygiene issues. Special needs children especially require a non-judgmental teacher who can accept them as they are.

You’ll need to be very intelligent to make it as a special education teacher, since you’ll have to adapt your lessons to fit the needs of each individual student. That means you’ll need to closely observe your students and do a lot of thinking about their strengths and weaknesses, their learning style, and how you can make lessons most accessible to them.

 

Other strengths you’ll need include strong organizational skills, not only so you can provide the students with the structure they need, but also so you can stay on top of federal and state guidelines and meet any deadlines that may arise. An even temperament and a good sense of humor will help you make lessons fun for your students, who will enjoy class much more if they can sense that you’re enjoying their company.

Creativity will help you find novel ways to present information so that special needs students can understand it. Patients will help you weather those moments when special needs teaching inevitably becomes frustrating. Optimism can help you remain hopeful and encouraging when students struggle to master subjects or lessons, as they almost certainly will.

Job Outlook for Special Needs Teachers

While the need for talented special needs teachers is great, the Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t predict as much growth for this field in the next 10 years as it does for some others. Special needs education is expected to grow by about six percent over the next decade. So, while there are special needs jobs out there, you’ll need to keep in mind that the field is very competitive. Do everything you can while in school to improve your chances of landing a job. Speak with career counselors, network as much as you can, practice interviewing techniques, make sure your social media presence is squeaky clean, and polish your resume until it shines.

Special needs teachers need a specialized education that can help them make lessons accessible to their students, and they need a specific set of personality traits in order to succeed in the field. If you think you have what it takes to be a great special education teacher, don’t hesitate to start on the path to special needs teaching today. The field needs more educators like you.

How To Save Money For A Master Of Urban Planning

urban planning

Paying for graduate study is hard, and even with a qualification as prized as a Master of Urban Planning, few will want to graduate and begin their working lives in (even deeper) piles of debt. A master of urban planning degree is crucial to one’s success because it will enable practitioners to develop the necessary skills for balance, community development, social justice, and so much more. Here, we offer some tips on saving cash to pay for your all-important study.

Clear Out Your Closet

It’s highly likely that you will have a lot of unused possessions laying around at home. With an estimated 85% of women owning clothes they never wear (and a high percentage of men too, no doubt), now’s the time to convert them into cash. Be ruthless- unless something has sentimental value, if you don’t use it, you can sell it. Do your research- sell valuable items and branded clothes on eBay, and cheaper things at having a yard sale- you’ll be amazed at how many people will be prepared to pay for old crockery, opened nail polishes, and used books. And whatever you don’t sell, donate!

Work At A Bar

Going out is expensive. Instead of spending your money on beer, get a part-time job in a bar instead. You will still have the opportunity to socialise and meet new people, and you can put your tips straight into your savings. Plus, bar staff often get free drinks after their shift- it’s a winner all round.

Become A Freelancer

Working for yourself is exceptionally satisfying- there’s no office you have to sit in, and no boss you have to answer to. Take a close look at your skills. Are you a whizz in graphic design? A Photoshop Queen (or King)? Can you write well? There is a selection of legitimate freelancing sites online where you can monetise these skills. You won’t get rich, but some decent money can be made, and best of all, you can fit it around your schedule, and continue completing your briefs when you begin your studies too.

By planning carefully, you can save money to pay for your Master of Urban Planning degree. Try to avoid unnecessary purchases, and if you really do need to buy something, check if it can be found cheaper elsewhere. With some discipline, you can stretch your money further.

3 Ideas on how to spend winter break

 You may be wondering: how to spend winter break? Snowboarding is a great way ... just try not to wipe out too much like this derp... :P

With final exams coming up in the next few weeks, you’ve been furiously studying to ensure that you make the most of the crucial marks that remain up for grabs in all of your courses. Somewhere in all that studying and exam writing, you need to pick up a few gifts for Christmas as well.

With all that going on, you only now realized that you also have a week or two before you get back to class as well! What will you do with all this free time? Below, we have a few suggestions that instruct you on how to spend winter break in style…!

1) Party like a rock star on a tropical beach

That’s right – do the spring break thing a full three months early. While you might not have the crowds and the hedonistic atmosphere that goes along with that time of year, it’s still warm and sunny, and when you’re in a place where the palm trees sway, any night could be occasion for a blowout party.

Cancun is a place where one can rock out with abandon with Senor Frog at any point during your winter break, while the once-monthly Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan, Thailand will give you the excuse you’ve been looking for to finally check out the Far East before winter semester begins!

2) Tear up the slopes at a mountain resort near you

Instead of running away from the snow and cold, you may wish to embrace it. If this sounds like you, then there is no better way to do this than to set your course for the nearest mountain range with plans of ripping the slopes there a new one.

Whether you choose run the glades of the Northeast at a resort like Sunday River, or challenge gnarly alpine terrain in Rocky Mountain ski areas such as Jackson Hole, you’ll get the adrenaline rush of a lifetime, along with all the apres ski nightlife you can handle in these popular snow resort towns.

3) Be a tourist in your own hometown – staycation!

Of course, you could just go home and spend your winter break with friends and family – that’s totally cool. However, if you find things becoming a little stale towards the end, don’t despair … just treat your hometown like a tourist destination and watch new possibilities open up.

Being away from the place of your upbringing at college allows you to see it as a place to be visited, rather than as your home. So check out the museums you’ve always ignored, eat at the joints you passed up because you had your favorites, and drink the bars you’ve never seen before (because you know, you weren’t legal back in high school … duh!)

By the time the day rolls around to go back to your new home at college for your second term of the year, you’ll see your former one in an entirely different light.

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