Middle School Special Education Teacher  What They Do

Just the Facts


Special Education Teachers, Middle School Career Video



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.
  • Modifies the general education curriculum for special-needs students based upon a variety of instructional techniques and instructional technology.
  • Develops or writes Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for students.
  • Maintains accurate and complete student records, and prepares reports on children and activities, as required by laws, district policies, and administrative regulations.
  • Develops and implements strategies to meet the needs of students with a variety of handicapping conditions.
  • Confers with parents or guardians, other teachers, counselors, and administrators to resolve students' behavioral and academic problems.
  • Teaches socially acceptable behavior, employing techniques such as behavior modification and positive reinforcement.
  • Confers with parents, administrators, testing specialists, social workers, and professionals to develop individual educational plans designed to promote students' educational, physical, and social development.
  • Observes and evaluates students' performance, behavior, social development, and physical health.
  • Employs special educational strategies and techniques during instruction to improve the development of sensory- and perceptual-motor skills, language, cognition, and memory.

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
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • 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 -- Plans, organizes and implements an appropriate instructional program in a learning environment that guides and encourages students to develop and fulfill their academic potential.