Secondary School Special Education Teacher  What They Do

Just the Facts


Teaches secondary 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.
  • Teaches socially acceptable behavior, employing techniques such as behavior modification and positive reinforcement.
  • Modifies the general education curriculum for special-needs students, based upon a variety of instructional techniques and technologies.
  • Develops and implements strategies to meet the needs of students with a variety of handicapping conditions.
  • Maintains accurate and complete student records, and prepares reports on children and activities, as required by laws, district policies, and administrative regulations.
  • Prepares, administers, and grades tests and assignments to evaluate students' progress.
  • Meets with other professionals to discuss individual students' needs and progress.
  • Confers with parents or guardians, other teachers, counselors, and administrators to resolve students' behavioral and academic problems.
  • Employs special educational strategies and techniques during instruction to improve the development of sensory- and perceptual-motor skills, language, cognition, and memory.
  • Guides and counsels students with adjustment or academic problems, or special academic interests.

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
  • 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:

  • Career and Transition Teacher --
  • Exceptional Student Education Teacher (ESE Teacher) --
  • High School Special Education Teacher --
  • Interrelated Special Education Teacher --
  • Learning Disabilities Special Education Teacher (LD Special Education Teacher) --
  • Learning Support Teacher --
  • Resource Teacher --
  • Special Education Resource Teacher --
  • Special Education Teacher --
  • Teacher --