Middle School Special Education Teacher  What They Do

Just the Facts


Teaches middle school subjects to educationally and physically handicapped students. Includes teachers who specialize and work with audibly and visually handicapped students and those who teach basic academic and life processes skills to the mentally impaired.

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


A person in this career:

  • Establishes and enforces rules for behavior and policies and procedures to maintain order among students.
  • Prepares materials and classrooms for class activities.
  • Modifies the general education curriculum for special-needs students based upon a variety of instructional techniques and instructional technology.
  • Teaches socially acceptable behavior, employing techniques such as behavior modification and positive reinforcement.
  • Instructs through lectures, discussions, and demonstrations in one or more subjects, such as English, mathematics, or social studies.
  • Develops and implements strategies to meet the needs of students with a variety of handicapping conditions.
  • Establishes clear objectives for all lessons, units, and projects and communicate those objectives to students.
  • Employs special educational strategies and techniques during instruction to improve the development of sensory- and perceptual-motor skills, language, cognition, and memory.
  • Confers with parents, administrators, testing specialists, social workers, and professionals to develop individual educational plans designed to promote students' educational, physical, and social development.
  • Maintains accurate and complete student records, and prepares reports on children and activities, as required by laws, district policies, and administrative regulations.

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.
  • Exposed to disease and infections more than once a month through work such as patient care, laboratory work, and sanitation control
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Overtime work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Exceptional Children Teacher (EC Teacher) --
  • Exceptional Student Education Teacher (ESE Teacher) --
  • Inclusion Teacher --
  • Intervention Specialist --
  • Learning Support Teacher --
  • Self-Contained Special Education Teacher --
  • Special Education Resource Teacher --
  • Special Education Teacher --
  • Teacher --