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Elementary Special Education Teacher

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Bachelor's degree

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What They Do

Elementary School Special Education Teachers Career Video

About This Career

Teaches academic, social, and life skills to elementary school students with learning, emotional, or physical disabilities. 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.

This career is part of the Education and Training cluster Teaching/Training pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Administers standardized ability and achievement tests to elementary students with special needs.
  • Attends professional meetings, educational conferences, or teacher training workshops to maintain or improve professional competence.
  • Collaborates with other teachers or administrators to develop, evaluate, or revise elementary school programs.
  • Confers with other staff members to plan or schedule lessons promoting learning, following approved curricula.
  • Confers with parents, administrators, testing specialists, social workers, or other professionals to develop individual educational plans (IEPs) for students' educational, physical, or social development.
  • Coordinates placement of students with special needs into mainstream classes.
  • Develops or implements strategies to meet the needs of students with a variety of disabilities.
  • Encourages students to explore learning opportunities or persevere with challenging tasks to prepare them for later grades.
  • Establishes and communicates clear objectives for all lessons, units, and projects to students.
  • Establishes and enforces rules for behavior and procedures for maintaining order among students.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time

Work Hours and Travel

  • Overtime work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Severe Emotional Disorders Elementary Teacher (SED Elementary Teacher)
  • Special Education Teacher
  • Special Education Inclusion Teacher
  • Resource Program Teacher
  • Learning Support Teacher
  • Hearing Impaired Itinerant Teacher (HI Itinerant Teacher)
  • Emotional Disabilities Teacher
  • Special Education Resource Teacher


  • Email Support
  • 1-800-GO-TO-XAP (1-800-468-6927)
    From outside the U.S., please call +1 (424) 750-3900
  • North Dakota Career Resource Network
    ndcrn@nd.gov | (701) 328-9733