Special Education Teacher

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Job Summary

Special Education Teachers work with students in schools (pre-school to year 12) who have physical and intellectual disabilities, visual or hearing impairment, mental health diagnosis or learning difficulties. Special Education Teachers work collaboratively with parents, teachers and other professionals to ensure students' learning opportunities and outcomes are met in either integrated mainstream or specialist learning settings. As well as the typical activities of a teacher, this role may also include:

  • Conducting formal and informal assessments of students requiring specific study programs
  • Planning courses of study to meet the needs of students; this may involve developing or adapting curriculum to make relevant for students with disabilities, collaborating with parents/carers and other professionals (including speech therapists, psychologists, guidance officers)
  • Teaching academic subjects and specialist programs such as self-help skills, health and safety concepts
  • Monitor students and report progress or signs of deterioration
  • Promote social interaction with other students and the community


Personal Qualities

A strong interest in working with children with special needs and their families is necessary for this role. In some circumstances, the Special Education Teacher may assist with the physical needs of their students (including toileting, feeding or lifting). Patience, creativity, organisational skills and strengths in negotiating and advocating are desirable for this role.

Entrance Requirements

Special Education qualifications are required for this work. Either a four year primary or secondary teaching program with an accredited special education option or a post graduate qualification is required to work as a Special Education Teacher. Teachers are required to be registered with the appropriate state/territory teacher regulatory authority.

Principal Employment Sectors and Industry

Special Education Teachers work in public and private schools and some special centres.