Wednesday, 17 Apr 2024

Complete Guide to Becoming a Special Needs Tutor

It takes a special person to serve the academic needs of special students. Unlike regular tutors, the scope of special education goes beyond a basic job description. Instead, it’s your opportunity to transform a kid’s life. 

Special educators need substantial intellectual and bodily energy to address the exclusive needs of learners. Moreover, they dedicated long hours to paperwork and student progress monitoring. The job is also as rewarding as it is burdensome. This invaluable role leaves lifelong impacts on scholars with disabilities that hinder learning.

Smiling special education teacher with a whiteboard, representing the impact of educators in special needs academics.
Dedicated to excellence in special education, transforming students’ lives through tailored learning experiences.

Special Educators’ Job Description

Special education tutors help their general teaching staff spot and evaluate apprentices with possible special conditions. Once done, they use the insights to modify learning programs to align with each apprentice’s needs within the Individualized Education Programs. IED development is crucial because these unique educators deal with scholars with diverse incapacitations. 

Special teachers also serve the following additional roles:

  • Scheduling parent meetings for consultations regarding students’ progress
  • Guiding their general colleagues and parents on how to aid learner’s education
  • Adjusting the standard coursework to match and address specific learners’ needs
  • Delivering apt teaching to specific scholars
  • Evaluating student workbooks and behavior to diagnose special needs promptly

You need sufficient skills to get it right with the above roles. But training is no longer a hurdle at this age, where one can enlist the services of an essay writing service provider. 

Vital Skills for Successful Special Teachers

The notable distinction between special teachers and their “regular” colleagues lies in the required skill set. Generally, it takes an understanding human to embrace disabled learners and guide them with love. 

The right attributes for this calling include:


A successful special education program takes time. The teacher must be patient enough to endure bottlenecks and stumbling blocks until their learners blossom. 


You might encounter unfamiliar situations now and then during your career, and your level of preparation will determine how you navigate the hurdles. Generally, you need thorough research skills to keep you in the know regarding standard industry practices and evidence-based interventions.  


Differently-abled learners exhibit wavering comprehension levels for verbal or written language. Their educator should be able to tweak their communication in line with particular students’ needs. 

Interpersonal Skills

Special educators should nurture a solid rapport with learners, colleagues, and parents. Their interpersonal skills should enable collaboration that aids IEP development. 


Special needs tutors should adjust their approaches, lesson schedules, and teaching material to match learners’ needs. This capability requires a high level of flexibility. 

Motivated educator leading a 'Full Time Creator 101' class in a lively classroom setting, engaging with diverse students.
Empowering the next generation of creators with essential skills in a ‘Full-Time Creator 101’ workshop.

How to Join This Sector 

There are no pre-established selection criteria dedicated to special educator recruitment. Instead, the structure differs between private and public institutions. For instance, a public school educator must have the appropriate state license. But private schools lack this requirement. 

Still, various standard requirements stand out between the two groups, including:

Earning a Degree

An educator must be educated. So, start with the process of acquiring a Bachelor of Science in Special Education. This program will take four years. 

Trainees typically begin the first year with general education coursework like math and biology. In addition, you’ll learn professional education subjects like class management and student psychology. Afterward, the trajectory shifts to special education topics, including student evaluation and curriculum customization. 

Some institutions don’t offer specialized degree programs. In this case, well-informed educators supplement their standard degree with a preparation program. You’ll gain knowledge of the industry’s pedagogy and methodologies. Confirm your preferred program’s approval for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

Gaining Practical Expertise

The last bit of all degree programs in this field comprises a scholar teaching internship spanning 16 weeks. Professionals call it the practicum. This phase gives trainees hands-on experience in handling special scholars. The practicum constitutes three segments.

Trainees begin the first week of their internship by becoming acquainted with the institution’s operations and roles. They mostly work under the cooperating teacher during class sessions where necessary. 

The next phase spans up to ten weeks. Here, training educators will involve themselves in actual teaching. They might tutor individual scholars or small groups under the guidance of a cooperating teacher. Other roles here include grading, creating lesson plans, and preparing learning material. 

The final step in the two closing weeks entails comprehensive reflection. At this stage, you’ll consider the feedback earned during the program. You’ll also undergo the last assessment by the supervisor. 

Besides the internship, trainees must undergo specific pre-scholar industry experiences like educating and observing. Also Read – 11 Reasons Why Online Learning is Beneficial

License Acquisition

After finding knowledge, you’ll go for the accreditations. You can earn these in two ways:

  • Earn a relevant Special Education degree, triumph in the background evaluation check, and then pass the Praxis 2 educators’ test. 
  • Earn an education degree with a specific GPA and complete a teacher prep program. You’ll also need to pass the background check and the praxis 11.

Some states might have you looking for a master’s degree right after starting your career. However, others have to complete the development classes to renew their licenses. You might earn a general license that lets you handle any scholar’s distinctive needs or gain accreditation to serve a certain specialized area. 

Attend a Relevant Master’s Degree

Your career choice doesn’t have a master’s degree among its primary qualifications. But this achievement will give you an edge. You can specialize in a particular area of special education. You’ll gain advanced training in teaching approaches and coursework development. 

You can choose a Master of Education (M.Ed.) to explore a research-based career or a Master of Science (M.S.) degree to further your classroom skills. Each of these options presents an additional qualification that makes you a competitive prospect. 

Chase Your Dreams!

A successful special education career requires resilience and dedication. But this is one of the most fulfilling areas of specialization with substantial monetary and psychological rewards. Interested professionals must undergo specialized training to gain knowledge specific to helping uniquely gifted learners. Fortunately, the training and application process isn’t as complicated as you’ve learned in our detailed guidelines.