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An elementary school boy sits in front of a computer in his special education school while holding up a page of autographs.



So, You Want to be a Special Education Teacher?

So, You Want to be a Special Education Teacher?

By Susan Griffith, D. Ed. 
Vice President & Chief Operating Officer for New Story Schools 

There are probably a million reasons pre-COVID teachers may be applying for new majors. Sales looks promising. Communications? Intriguing. Think of all those potential majors you could switch to and likely work from home. Why would anyone want to become a special education teacher during a global pandemic? 

Well, there may be a few reasons.  


In normal times, teachers are unsung heroes. They provide a service to our communities, as they help shape and educate the children we love. In recent years, they have stepped in to protect our most vulnerable citizens from active shooters, child predators, and neglect or abuse as mandated reporters. In 2020, they’re “next level.”  Teachers are going above and beyond to help bring normalcy and education to kids impacted by this crisis because they simply care. 

Without in-person teachers, the prolonged lack of social opportunities and physical activity could have severe, negative impacts on an entire generation of students. Without the option of remote learning, some students would be ultimately denied a free education. Teachers are in this with us and they are heroes for it. 


Pinterest might sit this one out because teachers are relying on their innate creativity to get through this unprecedented crisis. Teachers are known to be creative in nature, and this is where they shine! Coming up with activities that allow for safety protocols, but still keep students engaged is a tall order, but “hold my apple”, they’ve got this. 


Formal public education started in America in 1821, over 200 years ago. In 2020, teachers are teaching in new territory, facing new problems and new technology. Just as Lewis and Clark once had to map out a plan to tackle mountains, teachers are now pioneering their own roadmap, as education systems are changing right before our eyes. New teams, groups, communities and resources are being discovered! Teachers are clearing the paths, writing the maps and taking those scary steps in to uncharted territory. 

If you are staring at those education credits you’ve already amassed and thinking, “Really? Do I want to do this?”, we invite you to think hard. Teaching is not an easy profession to pick, especially during COVID-19. But it is a fulfilling one (and COVID-19 won’t be disrupting our lives forever).  

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