What Does an ESE Teacher Do?

By Megainterview Team

The Megainterview team consists of career coaches and interview experts with 10+ years of experience helping job applicants and candidates ace their job interviews! We are motivated by the mission to help people get hired.

An ESE (Exceptional Student Education) teacher is a professional who specializes in working with students who have special needs, such as those with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, or other exceptionalities.

These teachers are responsible for creating and implementing individualized educational plans that meet the unique needs of their students. They work closely with other members of the educational team, such as special education coordinators, speech therapists, and occupational therapists, to provide the best possible education for their students.

In this article, we will explore the role of an ESE teacher, their duties, and the qualifications and skills required to become an ESE teacher.

ESE Teacher Job Duties and Responsibilities

The duties and responsibilities of an ESE teacher may include the following:

  • Developing and implementing individualized educational plans (IEPs) for students with special needs.
  • Assessing and evaluating students’ abilities, progress, and needs to develop appropriate goals and objectives for their IEPs.
  • Creating and delivering lesson plans tailored to their student’s unique needs.
  • Providing specialized instruction in areas such as reading, writing, math, and other subjects as needed.
  • Working closely with other educational team members, such as special education coordinators, speech therapists, and occupational therapists, to provide the best possible education for their students.
  • Monitoring and tracking student progress and adjusting instruction as needed.
  • Communicating with parents and guardians to keep them informed of their child’s progress and any concerns.
  • Collaborating with other teachers and staff to ensure all students’ needs are met.
  • Keeping accurate records of student progress, attendance, and other relevant information.
  • Participating in professional development opportunities to stay up-to-date with new developments and best practices in special education.

It’s worth noting that an ESE teacher’s specific duties and responsibilities may vary depending on the setting and employer.

ESE Teacher Job Requirements

The job requirements for an ESE teacher may include the following:

ESE (Exceptional Student Education) teachers are required to have a bachelor’s degree in special education or a related field. They also typically need to have a teaching certification or license, which usually requires completion of an approved teacher education program and passing a state certification exam. Some states may also require ESE teachers to have a master’s degree in special education or a related field.

In terms of experience, it can vary depending on the district or school. Some may require a certain amount of experience working with special needs students, while others may not.

In terms of certifications & licenses, ESE teachers are required to have a teaching certification or license in special education. Some states may also have additional certifications or licenses that ESE teachers must obtain, such as a certification in a specific area of special education (such as learning disabilities or emotional/behavioral disorders).

It is important to note that the requirements for becoming an ESE teacher can vary by state, so it is important to check the specific requirements for the state in which you plan to teach.

It’s worth noting that some employers may require additional qualifications or certifications, such as a master’s degree in special education or a related field and a valid driver’s license, as some ESE teachers may be required to transport students to and from school or other activities.

ESE Teacher Skills

The required job skills for an ESE teacher position may include the following:

  • Strong knowledge of special education laws and regulations, such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • Strong classroom management skills: ESE teachers need to create a safe, positive, and productive learning environment for their students.
  • Strong assessment, diagnostic, and evaluation skills: ESE teachers need to evaluate student’s abilities, progress, and needs and adjust instruction accordingly.
  • Strong knowledge of assistive technology and accommodations: ESE teachers need to help students with special needs to access the curriculum and be successful.
  • Strong organizational, planning, and time-management skills: ESE teachers need to be able to effectively plan, manage their time and resources.
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills: ESE teachers need to be able to communicate effectively with students, parents, and other members of the educational team.
  • Strong problem-solving skills: ESE teachers need to be able to identify and solve problems that may arise in the classroom.
  • Creativity: ESE teachers need to be able to think creatively and come up with new and innovative ways to teach their students.
  • Patience and flexibility: ESE teachers need to be able to work with students with special needs and be able to adapt to different situations and changing needs.
  • Cultural competency: ESE teachers need to understand and respond to the student’s cultural, linguistic, and socio-economic diversity.

It’s worth noting that some of these skills may be learned and developed through training and experience and that some employers may require additional skills or qualifications.

Related: Communication interview questions and answers

ESE Teacher Salary

The salary for an ESE teacher can vary depending on factors such as location, experience, and education level. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for special education teachers, including ESE teachers, is $62,270. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $44,040, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $99,620. It’s worth noting that the salary may vary depending on the location, with some states paying more than others.

The job outlook for ESE teachers is positive. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of special education teachers is projected to grow 3 percent from 2019 to 2029, about as fast as the average for all occupations. The increasing number of students with special needs and the increasing awareness of the importance of special education drives this growth.

It’s worth noting that the job outlook can vary depending on the location and that the availability of job opportunities may be affected by factors such as the overall state of the economy, the education budget, and the job market.

ESE Teacher Work Environment

The work environment for an ESE teacher can vary depending on the specific setting and employer. ESE teachers generally work in public or private schools and may work in a variety of settings, such as:

  • Special education classrooms or resource rooms: These are classrooms specifically designed for students with special needs, where ESE teachers provide instruction and support.
  • Inclusive classrooms: These are general education classrooms where ESE teachers provide instruction and support to students with special needs alongside their non-disabled peers.
  • Special schools: These are schools specifically designed for students with special needs, where ESE teachers provide instruction and support.
  • Home-based instruction: ESE teachers may provide instruction and support to students in their homes or other community settings.
  • Online instruction: ESE teachers may provide instruction and support through online platforms.

Working conditions for an ESE teacher may involve spending long hours on their feet and dealing with challenging behaviors from students. ESE teachers also may work with a diverse population of students with different disabilities and cultural backgrounds, which may require them to be culturally aware and sensitive to the needs of the students. Additionally, ESE teachers may work with a team of other professionals, such as special education coordinators, speech therapists, and occupational therapists, to provide the best possible education for their students.

It’s worth noting that the work environment may vary depending on the specific employer and location and that the availability of job opportunities may be affected by factors such as the overall state of the economy, the education budget, and the job market.

ESE Teacher Trends

The latest trends for an ESE teacher position include:

  • Inclusion: Increasingly, students with special needs are being included in general education classrooms instead of in self-contained special education classrooms. This requires ESE teachers to work closely with general education teachers and other educational team members to provide instruction and support to students with special needs in the inclusive setting.
  • Technology integration: With the advancement of technology, ESE teachers are using technology tools such as tablets, laptops, and interactive whiteboards to help students with special needs access the curriculum and be successful in the classroom.
  • Universal Design for Learning (UDL): UDL is an educational framework that emphasizes the design of flexible and accessible learning environments that can accommodate diverse learners’ needs and preferences. ESE teachers are increasingly incorporating UDL principles into their instruction to provide their students with more personalized and engaging learning experiences.
  • Positive Behavior Support (PBS): PBS is an approach that emphasizes the use of positive reinforcement, proactive strategies, and data-based decision-making to create a safe, positive, and productive learning environment for students with special needs. ESE teachers are increasingly incorporating PBS strategies into their instruction to help students with special needs develop positive behaviors and be successful in the classroom.
  • Teletherapy and Remote Learning: ESE teachers have had to adapt to providing instruction and support remotely through teletherapy and online platforms. This trend is likely to continue as a way to provide instruction to students with special needs who are not able to attend school in person due to health or other reasons.
  • Collaboration and Co-teaching: ESE teachers are increasingly collaborating and co-teaching with general education teachers, speech therapists, occupational therapists, and other members of the educational team to provide the best possible

How to Become an ESE Teacher

Becoming an ESE teacher typically involves the following steps:

  • Obtain a bachelor’s degree in special education or a related field, such as education or psychology. Many colleges and universities offer undergraduate programs in special education.
  • Complete a teacher preparation program and obtain a teaching certification or license in special education. Teacher preparation programs may include coursework in special education laws and regulations, assessment and evaluation, classroom management, and other relevant topics.
  • Pass a certification exam in special education. Each state has its own certification requirements and exams, so it’s important to check with the appropriate state agency for more information.
  • Obtain experience working with students with special needs through student teaching, practicum work, or other relevant experience.
  • Continuing professional development is important for ESE teachers. It will help them to stay up-to-date with the latest trends, laws, and best practices in special education and to renew their certification.
  • Keep learning, adapting, and developing new skills.

It’s worth noting that some employers may require additional qualifications or certifications, such as a master’s degree in special education or a related field and a valid driver’s license, as some ESE teachers may be required to transport students to and from school or other activities.

ESE Teacher Advancement Prospects

The advancement prospects for an ESE teacher can include the following:

  • Moving into leadership roles, such as department head, curriculum coordinator, or instructional coach.
  • Specializing in a specific area of special education, such as working with students who have autism or other specific disabilities.
  • Becoming an educational consultant, working with schools and other organizations to improve special education programs and services.
  • Becoming a special education administrator, such as a principal or district-level administrator.
  • Advancing to higher education and becoming a professor or researcher in the field of special education.
  • Obtaining additional certifications or credentials, such as a Master’s degree or Ph.D., can open up opportunities for advancement, such as becoming a lead or master teacher or a specialist in a specific area of special education.
  • Obtaining additional training and certifications in areas such as assistive technology, positive behavior support, and Universal Design for Learning.

It’s worth noting that advancement prospects may vary depending on the employer and location and that the availability of job opportunities may be affected by factors such as the overall state of the economy, the education budget, and the job market.

ESE Teacher Job Description Example

Job Title: ESE (Exceptional Student Education) Teacher

Job Description:

We are seeking an experienced ESE teacher to join our special education team. The ESE teacher will be responsible for creating and implementing individualized educational plans (IEPs) for students with special needs, assessing and evaluating students’ abilities, progress, and needs in order to develop appropriate goals and objectives for their IEPs, and creating and delivering lesson plans that are tailored to the unique needs of their students. The ESE teacher will work closely with other members of the educational team, such as special education coordinators, speech therapists, and occupational therapists, to provide the best possible education for their students.

Responsibilities:

  • Create and implement individualized educational plans (IEPs) for students with special needs.
  • Assess and evaluate students’ abilities, progress, and needs in order to develop appropriate goals and objectives for their IEPs.
  • Create and deliver lesson plans that are tailored to the unique needs of their students.
  • Provide specialized instruction in areas such as reading, writing, math, and other subjects as needed.
  • Work closely with other members of the educational team, such as special education coordinators, speech therapists, and occupational therapists, to provide the best possible education for their students.
  • Monitor and track student progress and adjust instruction as needed.
  • Communicate with parents and guardians to keep them informed of their child’s progress and any concerns.
  • Collaborate with other teachers and staff to ensure that all students’ needs are being met.
  • Keep accurate records of student progress, attendance, and other relevant information.
  • Participate in professional development opportunities to stay up-to-date with new developments and best practices in special education.

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in special education or a related field, such as education or psychology.
  • Teaching certification or license in special education.
  • Experience working with students with special needs, either through student teaching, practicum work, or other relevant experience.
  • Strong knowledge of special education laws and regulations, such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • Strong organizational, planning, and time-management

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