Teachers, no matter what sort of capacity they teach in, deserve respect and applause. And, even more so for SEN teachers who work with special needs students and help them become independent. Undeniably, not everyone can handle being an SEN teacher, as it can be physically, mentally, and emotionally draining at times. However, working with children with special education needs is rewarding too. When you see children improving day-by-day, you feel more accomplished and satisfied. Still, SEN teaching is not everyone’s cup of tea.
Below are five important traits an impactful SEN teacher possesses-
The right education
The SEN teaching journey starts with proper education. Thus, if you are seeking special education needs jobs, a degree in education is a prerequisite. You might be lucky if you get a job as an SEN teacher with a bachelor degree, but most schools privilege candidates with an MA in education. You can research online to gather more information about education or certifications needs to become a special education teacher.
A Great sense of organization
Being organized is an important characteristic for SEN teachers. And, the good thing is, this is a skill that one can work on. Students with special needs require a structure that only a well-organized SEN teacher can offer. For example, an SEN teacher requires to keep classes organized. For this, they can install bins of different colors or draw marks to denote what should go in each. They need to organize communication with students’ parents, or assign tasks to different groups of students, and more!
Patience, a key trait
Educating a student with special needs requires a lot of patience. These students view the world in a different light. Learning even the simplest concepts may be challenging for them. In fact, sometimes they feel difficult to follow along the lines of good communication. They may simply not understand the types of responses, appropriate or inappropriate. Thus, they need extra care with learning social skills, academic skills, behavior, communication, and much more. Clearly, patience and tolerance and prerequisite traits of an SEN teacher.
A good sense of humor
Though the job of an SEN teacher is tough, having a good sense of humor helps them go a long way. Sometimes, humor is all that is required to tackle a situation. When you take things easy and laugh out openly, students feel comfortable with you and open themselves to you. Just laughing out loudly can completely change the classroom’s dynamics. Though it’s not an absolute necessity, you may struggle as an SEN teacher is you are too serious or too rigid.
Calm, composed, and adaptable
Students may sometimes turn physically or verbally abusive towards you. Undoubtedly, a regular classroom is already stressful and chaotic. But such matters only get magnified in a class full of special needs children. Thus, an SEN teacher should not only stay calm, but they should also find ways to calm down the class as well.
Furthermore, if you want to follow a routine and keep away with unpredictability, SEN teaching is not for you. On the other hand, if you like challenges, and you can adapt to any environment, then special education might be the right field for you.
These are just some of the many traits an SEN teacher must possess. Do you think that you have a few or all these traits to be a great SEN teacher? If yes, you may be the right fit for the job. Get clear on what will be expected from you; you can also talk to those already working in the sector for advice.