The Special Education Teacher’s Role In Inclusive Classrooms – (2023)

Due to an increase in the number of children with disabilities receiving a public education, the role of the special education teacher has changed dramatically in recent years. Special education teachers now work with general education teachers to provide a quality education for all students in the least restrictive environment possible. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that students with disabilities be placed in the least restrictive environment possible. This means that, to the extent possible, students with disabilities should be educated with students who do not have disabilities. In order to meet this requirement, special education teachers often work with general education teachers to provide instruction to students with disabilities in the general education classroom. Special education teachers are specially trained to work with students with disabilities. They have a deep understanding of the challenges that these students face and are expert in finding ways to help them overcome those challenges. Special education teachers work closely with general education teachers to ensure that all students in the classroom are receiving the instruction and support they need to be successful. The role of the special education teacher has changed dramatically in recent years, but their ultimate goal remains the same: to provide a quality education for all students in the least restrictive environment possible.

The general education teacher is usually in charge of the curriculum and instruction, whereas the special education teacher is in charge of adapting and modifying the curriculum. Nonetheless, both teachers work together to keep students on track, to keep lessons flowing, and to keep classroom management in order.

The primary distinction between special and general education is that special education is a separate system of education that provides specialized services to children with disabilities, whereas general education is typically provided to children who are physically or psychologically challenged but have potential.

Teachers from both general education and special education contribute their talents and training to a collaborative model. A variety of resources are used to increase opportunities for teaching and learning, as well as to improve methods and performance.

Children of all ages with a variety of learning disabilities, emotional or physical issues, and a variety of learning or cognitive impairments are all assigned special education teachers. The goal of a special education teacher is to promote and manage the growth of their students while meeting their specific needs.

Can A Special Education Teacher Teach General Education In California?

The Special Education Teacher’s Role In Inclusive Classrooms – (1)Credit:

According to EdSource, new regulations in California would allow teachers who specialize in special education to teach in general education classrooms as part of a broader effort to provide all teachers with the skills they need to meet students’ diverse needs.

A bachelor’s degree is typically required for teaching in special education. Teachers with special education degrees frequently meet specific requirements for their programs, such as the ability to work with students with disabilities. A California special education teacher’s license is valid for five years. The California Department of Education must approve your license renewal application in order for it to be renewed. A special education teacher in California is expected to earn around $76,860 per year on average. This figure can, however, be significantly affected by the type of experience and education one has. For a special education teacher with a bachelor’s degree, the average salary is $60,844, while an approved teacher education program pays an additional $82,380.

The Many Benefits Of Co-teaching

A co-teaching model of special education services allows a general education teacher and a special education teacher to plan and teach a class consisting of students of all abilities. Educators can benefit from this arrangement because it allows them to gain more experience working with students with various disabilities, while allowing them to have a more experienced educator to refer them to. Can any teacher teach in sped or special education? A teacher must have a valid teaching license in order to teach special education in the majority of states. Some employers require a master’s degree in special education, while others only require a bachelor’s degree. Anyone with the Multiple Subject Teaching credential can teach in any self-contained classroom – preschool or kindergarten, first through 12th grade, or classes that are primarily geared toward adults – as long as they possess the Multiple Subject Teaching credential. Teachers who want to work in a variety of settings can benefit from this credential, and it does not require a specific teaching specialization.

What Is It Called When A Special Education Teacher Teaches With A General Education Teacher In A Class Comprising Students With And Without Disabilities?

The Special Education Teacher’s Role In Inclusive Classrooms – (2)Credit:

Inclusion is when a special education teacher teaches with a general education teacher in a class comprising students with and without disabilities.

A special education teacher may be the case manager for children with special needs as a caseworker. Most of the time, children with extremely complex needs spend the majority of their time in a separate, self-contained classroom. Depending on where you live, you may have a small number of special education students in your state. Many children may work with a resource teacher over the course of a day or week, but it is usually one-on-one with a small group. Individualized instruction is the responsibility of a special education teacher. An Individualized Education Program, or IEP, is the document that guides the education of a student with special needs. In general, a first grade teacher in a general classroom may administer and record individual reading assessments to 25 students twice a year. It is not uncommon for students to be barred from volunteering in the classroom due to a lack of confidentiality. Special education teachers collaborate with all members of the IEP team, including speech therapists, occupational therapists, and others.

What Is A Special Education Classroom Called?

Another option is a special unit or special classroom, also known as a self-contained classroom, which is a separate classroom dedicated solely to serving students with special needs in a larger school setting.

How Can Special Education Teachers Support Regular Education Teachers In The Inclusion Classroom?

The Special Education Teacher’s Role In Inclusive Classrooms – (3)Credit:

Students with disabilities and other special needs are taught in an inclusion classroom alongside non-disabled students rather than being separated by class. Special education teachers may collaborate with general education teachers in an inclusion classroom to assist students with their learning needs.

In general education classrooms, more than 60 percent of students with disabilities spend at least 80% of their day. Studies have shown that inclusive learning benefits all students in the classroom. It takes a lot of effort from teachers, administrators, and parents to create an integrated learning environment. In an inclusive classroom, each teacher is present throughout the day, and each member of the team is assigned a topic. To create an inclusive classroom, teachers from both general and special education must collaborate closely. As teachers of special education, we work closely with the classroom team to design lessons that specifically address the needs of students with disabilities. In addition to class breaks, smaller groups or stations can be set up to encourage more engagement. Students should be expected to do homework and participate in class at the beginning of the school year. Communication with parents should take the form of phone calls, emails, and other forms of communication in order for them to receive regular updates on their children’s academic, social, and emotional development.

The Special Education Teacher’s Role In Inclusive Classrooms

In an inclusive classroom, a special education teacher’s job is to provide direct support to students in a classroom by delivering instruction and ensuring their learning through a variety of co-teaching models and strategies. The teacher’s approach in inclusion is to use scaffolding activities as well as differentiation to meet the needs of all students, not just special needs students.

Can A Special Education Teacher Teach General Education California

Yes, a special education teacher can teach general education in California. Special education teachers are highly trained and qualified to teach a variety of subjects to students with special needs. They are experts in designing Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and modifying curriculum to meet the unique needs of their students. In addition, special education teachers are often adept at using assistive technology and accommodations to help their students access the curriculum and be successful in the classroom.

Can Special Education Teachers Work With Students Other Than Those On Ieps?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as it depends on the individual teacher‘s skillset and experience. However, in general, special education teachers are better equipped to work with students who have Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). This is because they have received specific training on how to modify instruction and create accommodations based on each student’s unique needs. While some special education teachers may feel comfortable working with students who do not have IEPs, it is important to consult with the school administration to ensure that the teacher is properly qualified to do so.

Special Ed Teachers Must Work Togethe

It is critical that special education teachers collaborate to achieve the best results. In order for teachers to meet the needs of students, they must work together to identify their specific needs and develop individualized instructional plans. Sharing of resources and expertise among team members is another benefit of collaboration. Special and general education teachers’ negative attitudes toward themselves and others, professional isolation, and a lack of collaboration skills are some of the barriers to effective collaboration. To overcome these obstacles, teachers must gain a strong sense of trust and confidence in their abilities as educators. It is also critical that they are willing to share their knowledge and experience with their colleagues. An IEP meeting’s role is to provide information and advocate for students’ best interests, both of which are carried out by teachers. Furthermore, they should be aware of the student’s strengths and weaknesses and willing to work with the regular classroom teacher to find the necessary accommodations.


What is the role of the special education teacher in the inclusive classroom? ›

Special education and general education teachers often work together to develop a curriculum and create a positive student culture. In an inclusive classroom, special education teachers have the essential role of ensuring that students with disabilities or special needs receive a quality education.

What are the benefits of including students with special needs inclusion in the general classroom? ›

Some of the benefits of inclusion for children with (or without) disabilities are friendship skills, peer models, problem solving skills, positive self-image, and respect for others. This can trickle down to their families as well, teaching parents and families to be more accepting of differences.

What is inclusive setting in special education? ›

Pearson says that inclusive education means that students with and without disabilities learn alongside one another, in the same classroom setting, with lessons that are accessible for all.

What is an example of inclusion in special education? ›

Examples of inclusion in the classroom is providing access to the same routines and curriculum, encouraging participation of all students in activities done inside and outside the classroom, and holding all students up to the highest of standards regardless of a disability.

What does it mean to be an inclusive teacher? ›

“Inclusive teaching involves deliberately cultivating a learning environment where all students are treated equitably, have equal access to learning, and feel valued and supported in their learning.

Why are teachers important in special education? ›

Special education teachers help students who have various disabilities to overcome the unique challenges associated with their disabilities.

How do you create an inclusive classroom in special education? ›

Making Classrooms Inclusive for Special Needs
  1. Review Individual Education Plans. ...
  2. Create a Safe Space. ...
  3. Consider How Students Interact With Their Environment. ...
  4. Differentiate Instruction. ...
  5. Rely on Your Fellow Teachers.

What would you do to integrate a student with learning disabilities in the classroom? ›

8 Tips for Introducing a Student with Disabilities to a General Education Classroom
  1. Establish Basic Principals. ...
  2. Let Each Student Share. ...
  3. Dispell Myths. ...
  4. Address The Challenges. ...
  5. Talk About The People We Know With A Disability. ...
  6. Highlight Famous People. ...
  7. Give Disability Awareness Lessons. ...
  8. Make A Positive Classroom Community.
Sep 24, 2017

What are the 3 most important roles of a special education teacher? ›

Special education teachers typically do the following: Assess students' skills and determine their educational needs. Adapt general lessons to meet students' needs. Develop Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for each student.

What are some ways to run a successful inclusive classroom? ›

5 Inclusive Classroom Strategies To Build A Safe Community
  • Get to Know Your Students and Let Them Get to Know You. Establishing a bond with your students takes time. ...
  • Create a Safe Space for Students to Share. ...
  • Deliver Instruction in a Variety of Ways. ...
  • Choose Relevant Literature. ...
  • Invite Guest Speakers to Share Their Stories.

How can I make my classroom more inclusive? ›

To create an inclusive classroom for your students, try integrating these strategies.
  1. Elevate Your Curriculum. ...
  2. Use Inclusive Language. ...
  3. Create and Enforce Class Values and Behavior Standards. ...
  4. Create Space for Students to Practice Empathy. ...
  5. Focus on Global Competence. ...
  6. Avoid Making Assumptions Based on Stereotypes.
Feb 2, 2022

What is a good example of inclusion? ›

Offering equal access to company resources is a fantastic example of inclusive behaviors in the workplace. For instance, do not limit access to senior management to some workers. Instead, ensure that all employees have equal support from team leaders and other company resources.

What is an example of inclusion teaching style? ›

Examples are learning how to shoot a basketball, or using a calculator to solve a maze. The inclusion style attempts to accommodate all of the students, no one can fail. Instead of excluding students by ability, and identifying the best, classes, exercises, and tasks are designed so everyone can be challenged.

What is full inclusion for special education students? ›

'Full inclusion', 'full integration', and 'inclusive education' are terms used to describe a popular policy/practice in which all students with disabilities, regardless of the nature or the severity of the disability and need for related services, receive their total education within the regular education classroom in ...

What is the most important characteristic of an inclusive teacher? ›

There are five key behaviours for effective teaching: lesson clarity, instructional variety, teacher task orientation, engagement in the learning process and student success rate, all of which are the teachers' responsibility.

What are the 3 teaching strategies for inclusive education? ›

Inclusive teaching strategies
  • Create a consistent routine.
  • Provide a visual schedule.
  • Prepare students for an upcoming transition.

What do you need to be an inclusion teacher? ›

If you teach in public school, you need to be certified by your state and pass any exams specific to your subject matter, and you need special education training. Experience working with diverse students is a plus, as well as empathy and strong interpersonal skills.

What is the role of the special education teacher in professional development? ›

The role of a special education teacher is to teach academic, social and life skills so students with disabilities can reach their full potential. Educators in this field work across all age groups and in different settings, including public schools and in healthcare and residential facilities.

What is in an inclusive classroom? ›

An inclusive classroom is a general education classroom where students with and without learning differences learn together. Inclusive classrooms are welcoming and support the diverse academic, social, emotional, and communication needs of all students.

What is the role of a teacher? ›

What is the role of a teacher? The major role of a teacher is to support learners in their quest for new knowledge on a specified set of subjects. This applies to students of all ages, from preschool to post-graduate learners.

How can a teacher manage an inclusive class in a better way? ›

Teacher Tips for Inclusive Classrooms
  1. Get to know the needs of every student. ...
  2. Assign seating. ...
  3. Instead of asking for volunteers, call on students randomly. ...
  4. Provide group discussion time. ...
  5. Use personal response devices. ...
  6. Expose students to diversity. ...
  7. Vary teaching strategies. ...
  8. Make classrooms physically accessible.
May 6, 2022

How can teachers best plan for and teach students with significant cognitive disabilities in inclusive classrooms? ›

Teaching Strategies for Inclusive Classrooms
  • Adapting the curriculum to better serve all students.
  • Creating a sense of community in the classroom by involving all students in each task.
  • Determining and understanding the needs of students with disabilities.

What is the difference between inclusive classroom and special education? ›

With inclusion, the child is fully included in the general education class for the entire day. A special education teacher works with the special needs children in the classroom and brings all necessary resources to the general classroom.

How do effective teachers adapt the environment to accommodate students with special needs? ›

Changing the amount of lighting or brightening or dimming lights can help children with autism or a visual impairment. Adapting furniture by lowering chairs or securing desks and creating slant boards throughout the classroom for writing support can help children with a physical disability or orthopedic impairment.

What strategies can teachers use to help children with learning disabilities? ›

How To Help Children With Learning Disabilities In The Classroom
  • Allow extra time for completing class tasks. ...
  • Use a tape recorder. ...
  • Reduce need for writing. ...
  • Keep classroom chatter to a minimum. ...
  • Use visual aids and multi-sensory learning techniques. ...
  • Assign them a 'study buddy'
Jun 11, 2017

What is the major role of professional teacher as a special person in the society? ›

Broadly speaking, the function of teachers is to help students learn by imparting knowledge to them and by setting up a situation in which students can and will learn effectively. But teachers fill a complex set of roles, which vary from one society to another and from one educational level to another.

What are the most important skills for a teacher of students with severe disabilities? ›

Three common soft skills for a severe disabilities special education teacher are communication skills, patience and resourcefulness.

What are the major differences in roles between the special education teacher and the general education teacher? ›

The general education teacher usually focuses on the curriculum and instruction while the special education teacher helps adapt and modify both. However, both teachers work together to create daily routines, promote lesson flow, and manage the students in the classroom.

What is most important in an inclusive classroom? ›

Providing an individual education plan (IEP) is most important in an inclusive classroom. In an inclusive classroom, students with a diverse background, varied skills, diverse abilities, and challenges are grouped in a single classroom.

What are the five 5 steps to an inclusive classroom? ›

Five Steps for Creating Welcoming and Inclusive Learning Environments
  • Build Trusting Relationships. Know all of your students as people not just as learners. ...
  • Ensure Safety and Inclusion. ...
  • Make Diversity Visible. ...
  • Set High Expectations and Deepen Learning Opportunities. ...
  • Learn and Grow.

What is the key to successful inclusion? ›

Listening and sharing with each other in the team environment means the child can access needed resources in any setting. But, it requires each teammate to be open to the ideas of others and willing to try new things.

How can teachers provide an inclusive classroom to support the needs of all pupils? ›

Inclusive Classroom Strategies
  • Define clear minimum standards for behaviour.
  • Enforce those standards consistently.
  • Deal with low level disruption in a sensitive way.
  • Create opportunities to listen to all children.
  • Develop a 'scaffolded' approach to learning.
  • Be aware of the specific needs of every child in your class.
Mar 2, 2022

How do you promote inclusion? ›

How to promote diversity and inclusivity in the workplace
  1. Work to highlight and remove bias + ...
  2. Recognise awareness, cultural, and religious holidays + ...
  3. Diversity and inclusion training for employees + ...
  4. Have clear diversity and inclusivity policies + ...
  5. Ensure equal pay for equal work + ...
  6. Write inclusive job ads +

What is a good inclusion message? ›

You deserve a circle of inclusion and influence, but it's up to you to create it.” “To me, beauty is inclusion– every size, every color– that's the world I live in.” “We are greater than, and greater for, the sum of us.” “The human heart is too grand to be wasted in the gutter of cultural exclusivity.”

What are the 4 areas of inclusion? ›

The four factors that influence inclusion (and inform the structure of provision) for each individual participant are ability, activity, impairment and the setting. All need to be considered when creating the most appropriate provision.

What is the role of a teacher for inclusion in the classroom? ›

The inclusion teacher focus is on scaffolding activities and differentiating instruction to meet the needs of all students, not just the special education students. Provide direct support to students in a classroom by delivering instruction and ensuring learning through a variety of co-teaching models and strategies.

What inclusive teachers do? ›

What do inclusive instructors do? They take responsibility for making their teaching and their curriculum inclusive. They continue to learn about both their students and teaching. They care about and for each and every student they teach.

What is the inclusion approach to special education? ›

Overview: What Is Inclusion in Special Education? Stemming from DEI initiatives and laws such as the Every Student Succeeds Act, inclusion in special education means students and teachers in general education and special education work and learn together.

Why is inclusion important in special education? ›

Some of the benefits of inclusion for children with (or without) disabilities are friendship skills, peer models, problem solving skills, positive self-image, and respect for others. This can trickle down to their families as well, teaching parents and families to be more accepting of differences.

What is the purpose of inclusion for special education students? ›

Special education students have various physical and learning challenges and needs. Inclusive classrooms allow all students to receive services and support, as specialists like OTs, speech therapists, and school psychologists are frequently brought into inclusive setups to help learners in class.

How many students should be in an inclusion classroom? ›

In a typical classroom setting, the rule of thumb is to have no more than a 70/30 split between students with and without disabilities.

How inclusion can affect both students with ASD and their general education peers? ›

For those with ASD, proposed benefits often center on improved social acceptance and improved social communication, and peers play a critical role in these outcomes. For example, inclusion may reduce stigma, allow for social learning, increase social acceptance, and improve the social standing of students with ASD.

What is the importance of inclusion for persons with disabilities? ›

Disability inclusion means understanding the relationship between the way people function and how they participate in society, and making sure everybody has the same opportunities to participate in every aspect of life to the best of their abilities and desires.

Why is it important to create an inclusive teaching and learning environment? ›

Teaching inclusively enables all students, whatever their circumstances, to enjoy the fullest possible learning experience. It benefits all students because it values their individual strengths and contributions and makes the learning experience richer and more diverse for everyone.

How to help autistic students in a general education classroom? ›

Here are six tips to help your students with autism thrive in the classroom.
  1. Avoid sensory overload. Many unexpected things can be distracting to students with autism. ...
  2. Use visuals. ...
  3. Be predictable. ...
  4. Keep language concrete. ...
  5. Directly teach social skills. ...
  6. Treat students as individuals.
Mar 15, 2016

Why inclusion of students with disabilities is beneficial for both general education and special education students? ›

Kids with special education needs who are in inclusive classes are absent less often. They develop stronger skills in reading and math. They're also more likely to have jobs and pursue education after high school. The same research shows that their peers benefit, too.

How do you make an inclusive classroom for autism? ›

Pay attention to their strategies and avoid interfering if possible. Give everything a place. Avoid visual overload. Designate active learning areas – consider creating a “sit to learn” area and a “move to learn” (a child who paces could have a designated area that may be less distracting to other students)

How can you be more inclusive of people with disabilities? ›

Ensure the space is physically accessible.
  1. Language matters. ...
  2. Treat adults with disabilities as adults. ...
  3. Speak directly to people with disabilities, not at their aide or sign language interpreter. ...
  4. Listen patiently and attentively to a person who has difficulty speaking; do not try to finish their thoughts for them.

How do you promote disability inclusion? ›

Here are seven:
  1. Create an accessible environment. ...
  2. Implement inclusive policies. ...
  3. Create communication standards. ...
  4. Promote disability awareness. ...
  5. Set inclusive recruitment standards. ...
  6. Provide professional support. ...
  7. Encourage a culture of feedback:
Mar 4, 2023

Should students with disabilities be included in regular classrooms? ›

Several studies have suggested that overall, including disabled children in mainstream classrooms improves academic achievement, self-esteem and social skills.

What should the teacher do to help create an inclusive learning environment? ›

To create an inclusive classroom for your students, try integrating these strategies.
  1. Elevate Your Curriculum. ...
  2. Use Inclusive Language. ...
  3. Create and Enforce Class Values and Behavior Standards. ...
  4. Create Space for Students to Practice Empathy. ...
  5. Focus on Global Competence. ...
  6. Avoid Making Assumptions Based on Stereotypes.
Feb 2, 2022

How do teachers create inclusive learning environments? ›

Tips for Making Classrooms More Inclusive as Students Head Back To School
  • Use inclusive language on all forms. ...
  • Stock your library shelves with diverse books. ...
  • Create a welcoming bulletin board. ...
  • Develop clear classroom and/or school agreements. ...
  • Prepare for teachable moments. ...
  • Model inclusive language.
Aug 24, 2018


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