Opinion
Special Education Letter to the Editor

More, Diverse Teachers Needed For Special Education

January 09, 2013 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

Across the country, every state is facing special educator shortages. This job is a critical-need area. Not only does this career offer flexibility and a good salary, it also provides opportunities for committed and talented educators to profoundly impact the lives of students with disabilities and their families. Men and individuals from culturally and linguistically diverse groups are in particular demand as teachers in the field of special education.

Changing demographics now require teachers to be prepared to work with students and families who are culturally and linguistically diverse. The demographics are expected to continue to change, with schools serving increasing numbers of diverse students over the next decade. The diversity of special educators needs to reflect the diversity of their students. Applicants to teacher-preparation programs should consider those programs that recognize the importance of addressing cultural and linguistic diversity, both in the field and in the preparation program.

Programs should expose students to campus wide diversity initiatives, provide attention and sensitivity to cultural and linguistic diversity, and ensure that a focus on diversity is woven throughout the coursework, assignments, and class projects. Candidates should have student-teaching opportunities and clinical experiences in a variety of settings, both rural and urban, to allow them to master culturally responsive instructional strategies before being assigned to their own classrooms.

Special education is a challenging and rewarding career that makes a difference in the lives of students with disabilities.

Lisa Ownby

Recruiter, School of Education

The College of William and Mary

Williamsburg, Va.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the January 09, 2013 edition of Education Week as More, Diverse Teachers Needed For Special Education

Events

School Climate & Safety K-12 Essentials Forum Strengthen Students’ Connections to School
Join this free event to learn how schools are creating the space for students to form strong bonds with each other and trusted adults.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
IT Infrastructure & Management Webinar
Future-Proofing Your School's Tech Ecosystem: Strategies for Asset Tracking, Sustainability, and Budget Optimization
Gain actionable insights into effective asset management, budget optimization, and sustainable IT practices.
Content provided by Follett Learning
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Budget & Finance Webinar
Innovative Funding Models: A Deep Dive into Public-Private Partnerships
Discover how innovative funding models drive educational projects forward. Join us for insights into effective PPP implementation.
Content provided by Follett Learning

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Special Education From Our Research Center What Happens for High Schoolers Who Need More Than 4 Years?
Districts work to serve older students longer than four years to plan for a changing career world.
6 min read
Older student facing the city, younger version is being swept away.
Nicole Xu for Education Week
Special Education These Grants Could Help Students With Disabilities Access Jobs, Training
The Ed. Dept. is investing $236 million to help with transitions to careers and post-secondary education.
3 min read
Collage of a woman in a wheelchair on a road leading to a large dollar sign. In the woman's hair is a ghosted photo of hands on a laptop.
Collage by Gina Tomko/Education Week + Getty
Special Education Download DOWNLOADABLE: Does Your School Use These 10 Dimensions of Student Belonging?
These principles are designed to help schools move from inclusion of students with disabilities in classrooms to true belonging.
1 min read
Image of a group of students meeting with their teacher. One student is giving the teacher a high-five.
Laura Baker/Education Week via Canva
Special Education Inside a School That Doesn’t Single Out Students With Special Needs
Students with disabilities at this school near Seattle rarely have to leave mainstream rooms to receive the services they need.
8 min read
During recess at Ruby Bridges Elementary School in Woodinville, Wash., students have cards with objects and words on them so that all students, including those who cannot speak, can communicate. Pictured here on April 2, 2024.
During recess at Ruby Bridges Elementary School in Woodinville, Wash., students have access to cards with objects and words on them so that all students, including those who do not speak, can communicate. Pictured here, a student who has been taught how to lead and use commands with a campus service dog does so under the supervision of a staff member on April 2, 2024.
Meron Menghistab for Education Week