Special educational needs teachers at primary schools provide specially-designed instruction to students with a variety of disabilities on a primary school level and ensure they reach their learning potential. Some special educational needs teachers at primary schools work with children who have mild to moderate disabilities, implementing a modified curriculum to fit each student’s specific needs. Other special educational needs teachers at primary schools assist and instruct students with intellectual disabilities and autism, focusing on teaching them basic and advanced literacy, life and social skills. All teachers assess the students’ progress, taking into account their strengths and weaknesses, and communicate their findings to parents, counselors, administrators and other parties involved.
The following job titles also refer to special educational needs teacher primary school:
SEN teacher primary school
primary school special education teacher
special educational needs teacher in primary school
inclusive education teacher primary school
primary school special educational needs teacher
primary school special needs teacher
primary school special needs educator
primary school SEN teacher
teacher in special educational needs in primary school
Bachelor’s degree is generally required to work as special educational needs teacher primary school. However, this requirement may differ in some countries.
ISCO skill level
ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:
- the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
- the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
- the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.
Special educational needs teacher primary school is a Skill level 4 occupation.
Special educational needs teacher primary school career path
These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to special educational needs teacher primary school.
Long term prospects
These occupations require some skills and knowledge of special educational needs teacher primary school. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of special educational needs teacher primary school with a significant experience and/or extensive training.
Essential knowledge and skills
This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of special educational needs teacher primary school.
Assessment processes: Various evaluation techniques, theories, and tools applicable in the assessment of students, participants in a programme, and employees. Different assessment strategies such as initial, formative, summative and self- assessment are used for varying purposes.
Children’s physical development: Recognise and describe the development, observing the following criteria: weight, length, and head size, nutritional requirements, renal function, hormonal influences on development, response to stress, and infection.
Disability care: The specific methods and practices used in providing care to people with physical, intellectual and learning disabilities.
Learning difficulties: The learning disorders some students face in an academic context, especially Specific Learning Difficulties such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, and concentration deficit disorders.
Primary school procedures: The inner workings of a primary school, such as the structure of the relevant education support and management, the policies, and the regulations.
Curriculum objectives: The goals identified in curricula and defined learning outcomes.
Special needs education: The teaching methods, equipment and settings used to support students with special needs in achieving succes in school or community.
Essential skills and competences
These skills are necessary for the role of special educational needs teacher primary school.
Manage children’s problems: Promote the prevention, early detection, and management of children`s problems, focusing on developmental delays and disorders, behavioural problems, functional disabilities, social stresses, mental disorders including depression, and anxiety disorders.
Guarantee students’ safety: Ensure all students falling under an instructor or other person’s supervision are safe and accounted for. Follow safety precautions in the learning situation.
Assign homework: Provide additional exercises and assignments that the students will prepare at home, explain them in a clear way, and determine the deadline and evaluation method.
Prepare lesson content: Prepare content to be taught in class in accordance with curriculum objectives by drafting exercises, researching up-to-date examples etc.
Assess the development of youth: Evaluate the different aspects of development needs of children and young people.
Provide specialised instruction for special needs students: Instruct students in need of specialised attention, often in small groups, catering to their individual needs, disorders, and disabilities. Promote the psychological, social, creative or physical development of children and teenagers using specific methods such as concentration exercises, role-plays, movement training, and painting.
Observe student’s progress: Follow up on students’ learning progress and assess their achievements and needs.
Teach primary education class content: Instruct primary school students in the theory and practice of a variety of subjects, such as mathematics, languages, and nature studies, building the course content based on students’ existing knowledge and encouraging them to deepen their understanding on the subjects they’re interested in.
Manage student relationships: Manage the relations between students and between student and teacher. Act as a just authority and create an environment of trust and stability.
Support the positiveness of youths: Help children and young people to assess their social, emotional and identity needs and to develop a positive self image, enhance their self esteem and improve their self reliance.
Adapt teaching to student’s capabilities: Identify the learning struggles and successes of students. Select teaching and learning strategies that support students’ individual learning needs and goals.
Apply teaching strategies: Employ various approaches, learning styles, and channels to instruct students, such as communicating content in terms they can understand, organising talking points for clarity, and repeating arguments when necessary. Use a wide range of teaching devices and methodologies appropriate to the class content, the learners’ level, goals, and priorities.
Maintain students’ discipline: Make sure students follow the rules and code of behaviour established in the school and take the appropriate measures in case of violation or misbehaviour.
Implement care programmes for children: Perform activities with children according to their physical, emotional, intellectual and social needs by using appropriate tools and equipment that facilitate interaction and learning activities.
Assess students: Evaluate the students’ (academic) progress, achievements, course knowledge and skills through assignments, tests, and examinations. Diagnose their needs and track their progress, strengths, and weaknesses. Formulate a summative statement of the goals the student achieved.
Assist students with equipment: Provide assistance to students when working with (technical) equipment used in practice-based lessons and solve operational problems when necessary.
Assist in children’s development of basic personal skills: Encourage and facilitate the development of children’s natural curiosity and social and language abilities through creative and social activities such as storytelling, imaginative play, songs, drawing, and games.
Demonstrate when teaching: Present to others examples of your experience, skills, and competences that are appropriate to specific learning content to help students in their learning.
Give constructive feedback: Provide founded feedback through both criticism and praise in a respectful, clear, and consistent manner. Highlight achievements as well as mistakes and set up methods of formative assessment to evaluate work.
Assist children with special needs in education settings: Assist children with special needs, identifying their needs, modifying classroom equipment to accommodate them and helping them participate in school activities.
Perform classroom management: Maintain discipline and engage students during instruction.
Assist students in their learning: Support and coach students in their work, give learners practical support and encouragement.
Balance participants’ personal needs with group needs: Apply a variety of approaches in your practice that balances the needs of each individual with that of the group as a whole. Strengthen each individual’s capability and experience, known as person centred practice, while at the same time stimulating the participants and support workers to form a cohesive group. Create a supportive and safe atmosphere for an active exploration of your artistic discipline.
Apply intercultural teaching strategies: Ensure that the content, methods, materials and the general learning experience is inclusive for all students and takes into account the expectations and experiences of learners from diverse cultural backgrounds. Explore individual and social stereotypes and develop cross-cultural teaching strategies.
Maintain relations with children’s parents: Inform children`s parents of the activities planned, program`s expectations and children`s individual progress.
Encourage students to acknowledge their achievements: Stimulate students to appreciate their own achievements and actions to nurture confidence and educational growth.
Optional knowledge and skills
This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of special educational needs teacher primary school. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
Workplace sanitation: The importance of a clean, sanitary workspace for example through use of hand disinfectant and sanitizer, in order to minimise infection risk between colleagues or when working with children.
Visual disability: Impairment of the ability to naturally discern and process viewed images.
Hearing disability: Impairment of the ability to discern and process sounds naturally.
Common children’s diseases: The symptoms, characteristics, and treatment of diseases and disorders that often affect children, such as the measles, chickenpox, asthma, the mumps, and head lice.
Mobility disability: Impairment of the ability to physically move naturally.
Behavioural disorders: The often emotionally disruptive types of behaviour a child or adult can show, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or oppositional defiant disorder (ODD).
Communication disorders: The malfunction in a person’s ability to comprehend, process and share concepts in various forms, such as verbal, non verbal or graphical during language, hearing, and speech communication processes.
Development delays: The condition in which a child or adult needs more time to reach certain development milestones than that needed by the average person not affected by a development delay.
Optional skills and competences
These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of special educational needs teacher primary school. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
Stimulate students’ independence: Encourage students with special needs to perform tasks independently, without the help from a caregiver and teach them personal independence skills.
Assist in the organisation of school events: Provide assistance in the planning and organisation of school events, such as the school’s open house day, a sports game or a talent show.
Consult students on learning content: Take students’ opinions and preferences into consideration when determining learning content.
Facilitate teamwork between students: Encourage students to cooperate with others in their learning by working in teams, for example through group activities.
Escort students on a field trip: Accompany students on an educational trip outside the school environment and ensure their safety and cooperation.
Liaise with educational support staff: Communicate with education management, such as the school principal and board members, and with the education support team such as the teaching assistant, school counsellor or academic advisor on issues relating the students’ well-being.
Arrange parent teacher conference: Set up joined and individual meetings with students’ parents to discuss their child’s academic progress and general well-being.
Monitor educational developments: Monitor the changes in educational policies, methodologies and research by reviewing relevant literature and liaising with education officials and institutions.
Manage resources for educational purposes: Identify the necessary resources needed for learning purposes, such as materials in class or arranged transportation for a field trip. Apply for the corresponding budget and follow up on the orders.
Promote the safeguarding of young people: Understand safeguarding and what should be done in cases of actual or potential harm or abuse.
Keep records of attendance: Keep track of the pupils who are absent by recording their names on a list of absentees.
Perform playground surveillance: Observe students’ recreational activities to ensure student safety and well-being and intervene when necessary.
Work with virtual learning environments: Incorporate the use of online learning environments and platforms into the process of instruction.
Attend to children’s basic physical needs: Tend to children by feeding them, dressing them, and, if necessary, regularly changing their diapers in a sanitary manner.
Teach digital literacy: Instruct students in the theory and practice of (basic) digital and computer competency, such as typing efficiently, working with basic online technologies, and checking email. This also includes coaching students in the proper use of computer hardware equipment and software programmes.
Provide lesson materials: Ensure that the necessary materials for teaching a class, such as visual aids, are prepared, up-to-date, and present in the instruction space.
Oversee extra-curricular activities: Supervise and potentially organise educational or recreational activities for the students outside of mandatory classes.
Organise creative performance: Organise an event in which participants can express their creativity, such as putting on a dance, theatre, or talent show.
Develop course outline: Research and establish an outline of the course to be taught and calculate a time frame for the instructional plan in accordance with school regulations and curriculum objectives.
Facilitate motor skill activities: Organise activities that stimulate children’s motor skills, especially the more challenged children in a special education context.
ISCO group and title
2352 – Special needs teachers