You need to be a special kind of person to go into teaching. But, it takes someone with a different skill set and attitude to become a Special Education Needs teacher.

A Special Education Needs (SEN) teacher can be a very varied and exciting role. Yet many potential teachers are put off as it can appear quite a daunting task. As a SEN teacher, you will be working with students who have disabilities. These disabilities come in all shapes and sizes. From sensory or physical, behavioral issues or learning difficulties.


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Deciding to become a teacher requires a lot of thought, whether you decide to work within SEN or mainstream schools. Knowing where to start and what information you need to expose yourself to is an essential step in the process of becoming a teacher.

There is so much information online that you can go and research. It is recommended that you firstly look at the environment you would like to work within. Take a look at the types of schools that hire SEN teachers, as well as the students that are taught there.

Secondly, take a look at the students and what issues they have and that you may come up against. Some of the common special needs are:

  • Behavioural Disorders
  • Learning Difficulties
  • Hearing Impairments
  • Physical Disabilities
  • Visual Impairments
  • Dyslexia
  • Psychiatric Problems
  • Autism
  • Severe Epilepsy

At this point, it is essential to understand what issues students have. With this knowledge, you can then look into and learn about the ways in which a SEN teacher helps.

You can build up a knowledge and understanding of how these conditions can potentially affect students. Each condition and each student is different. Unlike mainstream schools and mainstream teachers, educating these students will be different. They need to be different to cater for their more individual needs.

At this point, if you are still interested in becoming a SEN teacher you will need to look at the SEN courses available to you.

SEN courses are designed to allow you to understand the development needs of these students. However, there is also a big focus on how SEN teaching techniques can really benefit the students.

The SEN courses allow you to understand how SEN teachers support the learning potential of students. The support a SEN teacher provides their students is an essential part of the success of SEN teachers. The SEN courses will also show you to effectively communicate with students.

Once you have gone through a SEN course, your training will not stop there. As part of your continuous development, you will be required to learn as you work. There are a number of specialist SEN courses and training days that you can follow once you are working.

SEN teachers are very well respected within the teaching profession. The salary and development opportunities only support this. SEN teachers can look forward to a healthy salary of around £35,000pa (UK). Becoming a SEN teacher ensures that you are financially and emotionally rewarded for the work you do.