It is said that every child is different, irrespective of his abilities. In special education, every child is addressed in different ways and in different environments. In special education, there is more than just a unique way of education and the saying of "one size fits all" does not exist.
According to the Splastics Society of India, there are around 20 million children with emotional, mental disabilities, difficulty with learning, and other physical disabilities.
India has around 1.2 lakh registered special educators and about 8000 are added each year. Special education uses remedial instruction - special instructional methodology, learning-teaching aids, instructional materials and equipment to tailor the needs of students with special needs.
HOW SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHERS WORK
Teachers on a day-to-day basis can use various methods to promote their teachings to the students effectively and it varies as per disability faced by the student.
Some of the teaching methods used are problem-solving assignments, individual attention to instructions, group work, reading questions verbally during exams, etc.
The IEP (Individualized Education Program) is one of the important programmes required for students to succeed in their goals. Special education teachers are responsible for developing this skill and ability in students to help the students reach their own success in life.
Teachers in this field are supposed to be in contact with the students' parents to give updates about their behaviour and academic progress. Monitoring students' behaviour, whether emotional, psychological, or social, plays a crucial role. Hence, teachers in special education not only work as educators but also work as psychologists, therapists, etc.
HOW TO OPT FOR B.Ed. IN SPECIAL EDUCATION
A B.Ed. in special education is an extremely specialised 2-year degree course and not everyone is able to ace it. It needs certain requirements and mindset to complete a degree in special education. To opt for a bachelor course in special education, individuals need to have an efficient way of learning and understanding things and situations.
Since the B.Ed. in Special Education is a specialised course, it is ideal for only those individuals who are passionate not only about teaching but also have the feeling of helping the disabled and needy population.
It is extremely difficult to teach those with disabilities as the teaching methods differ from those the teachers have learnt. However, individuals who wish to pursue a course in this field should have the passion and ardour to uplift the life of the disabled and impaired child and help them to create a better future.
Apart from being passionate about teaching impaired students, even those individuals who wish to learn more about different aspects of disabilities can also apply, as willingness to learn is the first important notion of any educational course.
The educational qualifications also play a major role apart from passion. Although the educational requirements vary in different universities, the minimum criteria that all individuals pursuing this course must fulfil is to have a bachelor's degree in either BCom, BA, BSc with a specialised subject that is taught to students in school like English, Maths, etc.
The minimum percentage required to qualify for a course in bachelors in special education is 50% in graduated specialised subjects (10+2+3). However, certain colleges and universities do conduct an entrance exam even if an individual meets the eligibility criteria.
There are immense opportunities for those having a bachelor's degree in special education. Every year there are more openings for teachers in the special education field. As per research findings, there are about 38600 openings every year on average.
The job opportunities for special education teachers are estimated to grow at about 8 percent by 2030. This increase seen in job opportunities and openings is as fast as any other highly popular occupation.
Some of the settings where one can use the course to build a successful career are in NGOs, private teaching institutes, publishing media houses, rehabilitation centres, etc. Apart from this, individuals can work as special education teachers, wherein one not only has to focus on teaching impaired students but also monitor their social as well as developmental behaviour simultaneously.
If one does not wish to join a teaching career, one can join NGOs and opt for content writing and write on topics that spread awareness, the need for special education and the needs of special students.
Having a degree in special education will also provide the option of working in the news media, as they constantly need people who can communicate in sign language to provide their news content to a larger audience.
Providing career guidance to special students or working as an assistant or helper to special students are other career opportunities one can consider.
Being a special educator is very different from a normal educator. All the points mentioned above would help a B.Ed. pursuer to take a step further in his career by keeping the situations and conditional requirements of the course.
(This is a slightly modified version of an article originally published in India Today. The original article can be found at https://www.indiatoday.in/education-today/jobs-and-careers/story/bed-in-special-education-here-s-everything-you-need-to-know-1926886-2022-03-19)