Special educators work with children and youth with disabilities or sometimes with gifted students. Although, it can be a satisfying career, special education teachers have a lot of demands. When applying for this position, teachers are required to show that they are able to effectively meet the educational needs of students with disabilities. An educational philosophy statement illustrates your beliefs about teaching and learning.
Note down your personal beliefs about teaching students with special needs and the role of education. These notes are a guideline in developing your education philosophy. Consider the reasons that you chose to be a special education teacher. What inspires you? Note down the value of education to students with special needs and whether the student’s attributes make a difference in how you teach.
Indicate what you teach. Write down the subject areas that you specialize in and the age groups that you are well placed to teach. Talk about why you think it's important for students with special needs to study subjects that help in their behavioral, emotional, social and academic development. Show how these subjects help students make the transition from the classroom to the real world.
Show how you put your educational beliefs and goals into practice. Indicate how you teach and handle special children and your effectiveness in designing an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for each student. With the IEP you are able to set personalized goals for students depending on their individual needs and abilities. Special education teachers have different teaching strategies, so indicate the ones that you have used most effectively in your classrooms.
Indicate the methods you use to measure the effectiveness of your teaching strategies. Show the methods you use in assessing your students, such as oral assessments or written tests. Briefly describe the steps you take in accommodating all students in the classroom and encouraging cooperation among the students. Consider the methods you use to give the students feedback on their progress.
Write a draft of the points gathered before writing the final statement. Use the first person point of view and present tense unless you are describing what you have done in the past or what you plan for the future. Avoid using technical jargon and keep the statement brief; educational philosophy statements are usually one to four double-spaced pages. Review your final statement before sending it to the receiving institution.
Consult the website of the schools you are applying to in order to understand the school’s mission and students.
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