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Career profile Special Education Preschool Teacher

Also known as Early Childhood Special Education Teacher (ECSE Teacher), Early Intervention Teacher, Exceptional Student Education Teacher (ESE Teacher), Handicapped Teacher, Preschool Special Education Teacher, Resource Teacher, Severe/Profound Mental Handicaps Special Education Teacher, Special Education Resource Teacher, Special Education Teacher, Teacher

Special Education Preschool Teacher

Also known as Early Childhood Special Education Teacher (ECSE Teacher), Early Intervention Teacher, Exceptional Student Education Teacher (ESE Teacher)

Interests Profile
  • Social
  • Artistic
  • Conventional
Pay Range
$34,780 - $115,020 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Speaking
  • Active Listening
  • Reading Comprehension
Knowledge Areas
  • Education and Training
  • Psychology
  • Public Safety and Security
Core tasks
  • Employ special educational strategies or techniques during instruction to improve the development of sensory- and perceptual-motor skills, language, cognition, or memory.
  • Teach socially acceptable behavior, employing techniques such as behavior modification and positive reinforcement.
  • Communicate nonverbally with children to provide them with comfort, encouragement, or positive reinforcement.
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What does a Special Education Preschool Teacher do?

Special Education Preschool Teachers teach academic, social, and life skills to preschool-aged students with learning, emotional, or physical disabilities.

In addition, Special Education Preschool Teachers includes teachers who specialize and work with students who are blind or have visual impairments; students who are deaf or have hearing impairments; and students with intellectual disabilities.

What kind of tasks does a Special Education Preschool Teacher perform regularly?

Special Education Preschool Teachers are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Employ special educational strategies or techniques during instruction to improve the development of sensory- and perceptual-motor skills, language, cognition, or memory.
  • Teach socially acceptable behavior, employing techniques such as behavior modification and positive reinforcement.
  • Communicate nonverbally with children to provide them with comfort, encouragement, or positive reinforcement.
  • Teach basic skills, such as color, shape, number and letter recognition, personal hygiene, or social skills, to preschool students with special needs.
  • Develop individual educational plans (IEPs) designed to promote students' educational, physical, or social development.
  • Confer with parents, administrators, testing specialists, social workers, and professionals to develop individual educational plans designed to promote students' educational, physical, and social development.
  • Teach students personal development skills, such as goal setting, independence, and self-advocacy.
  • Develop or implement strategies to meet the needs of students with a variety of disabilities.
  • Observe and evaluate students' performance, behavior, social development, and physical health.
  • Instruct and monitor students in the use and care of equipment or materials to prevent injuries and damage.
  • Administer tests to help determine children's developmental levels, needs, or potential.
  • Establish and enforce rules for behavior and procedures for maintaining order among students.
  • Attend to children's basic needs by feeding them, dressing them, or changing their diapers.
  • Prepare classrooms with a variety of materials or resources for children to explore, manipulate, or use in learning activities or imaginative play.
  • Monitor teachers or teacher assistants to ensure adherence to special education program requirements.
  • Maintain accurate and complete student records as required by administrative policy.
  • Encourage students to explore learning opportunities or persevere with challenging tasks to prepare them for later grades.
  • Meet with parents or guardians to discuss their children's progress, advise them on using community resources, or teach skills for dealing with students' impairments.
  • Confer with parents, guardians, teachers, counselors, or administrators to resolve students' behavioral or academic problems.
  • Establish and communicate clear objectives for all lessons, units, and projects to students, parents, or guardians.
  • Modify the general preschool curriculum for special-needs students.
  • Provide assistive devices, supportive technology, or assistance accessing facilities, such as restrooms.
  • Prepare objectives, outlines, or other materials for courses of study, following curriculum guidelines or requirements.
  • Attend professional meetings, educational conferences, or teacher training workshops to maintain or improve professional competence.
  • Organize and supervise games or other recreational activities to promote physical, mental, or social development.
  • Read books to entire classes or to small groups.
  • Arrange indoor or outdoor space to facilitate creative play, motor-skill activities, or safety.
  • Prepare reports on students and activities as required by administration.
  • Organize and display students' work in a manner appropriate for their perceptual skills.
  • Present information in audio-visual or interactive formats, using computers, television, audio-visual aids, or other equipment, materials, or technologies.
  • Collaborate with other teachers or administrators to develop, evaluate, or revise preschool programs.
  • Plan and supervise experiential learning activities, such as class projects, field trips, or demonstrations.
  • Prepare assignments for teacher assistants or volunteers.
  • Control the inventory or distribution of classroom equipment, materials, or supplies.

The above responsibilities are specific to Special Education Preschool Teachers. More generally, Special Education Preschool Teachers are involved in several broader types of activities:

Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Assisting and Caring for Others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Documenting/Recording Information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

What is a Special Education Preschool Teacher salary?

The median salary for a Special Education Preschool Teacher is $61,400, and the average salary is $68,110. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Special Education Preschool Teacher salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Special Education Preschool Teachers earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Special Education Preschool Teachers earn less than $34,780 per year, 25% earn less than $46,320, 75% earn less than $82,820, and 90% earn less than $115,020.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Special Education Preschool Teachers is expected to change by 12.5%, and there should be roughly 1,800 open positions for Special Education Preschool Teachers every year.

Median annual salary
$61,400
Typical salary range
$34,780 - $115,020
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
12.5%

What personality traits are common among Special Education Preschool Teachers?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Special Education Preschool Teacher are usually higher in their Social and Artistic interests.

Special Education Preschool Teachers typically have very strong Social interests. Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Also, Special Education Preschool Teachers typically have moderate Artistic interests. Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Special Education Preschool Teacher tend to value Relationships, Achievement, and Independence.

Most importantly, Special Education Preschool Teachers very strongly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Second, Special Education Preschool Teachers strongly value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Lastly, Special Education Preschool Teachers moderately value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Special Education Preschool Teachers must consistently demonstrate qualities such as adaptability/flexibility, integrity, and self-control.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Special Education Preschool Teachers, ranked by importance:

Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Self-Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Achievement/Effort
Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

What education and training do Special Education Preschool Teachers need?

Many Special Education Preschool Teachers have earned a graduate degree. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a doctoral degree, such as a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D..

Special Education Preschool Teachers may need some on-the-job training, but most candidates will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

Educational degrees among Special Education Preschool Teachers

  • 0.3% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 3.9% completed high school or secondary school
  • 5.3% completed some college coursework
  • 3.5% earned a Associate's degree
  • 33.4% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 50.1% earned a Master's degree
  • 3.5% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Special Education Preschool Teachers

Special Education Preschool Teachers may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as education and training, psychology, or public safety and security knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Special Education Preschool Teachers might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Psychology
Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Therapy and Counseling
Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Important Abilities needed by Special Education Preschool Teachers

Special Education Preschool Teachers must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Special Education Preschool Teachers need abilities such as oral expression, oral comprehension, and written comprehension in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Special Education Preschool Teachers, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Speech Clarity
The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

Critical Skills needed by Special Education Preschool Teachers

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Special Education Preschool Teachers frequently use skills like speaking, active listening, and reading comprehension to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Special Education Preschool Teachers, ranked by their relative importance.

Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Social Perceptiveness
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.