As special educators, we might not be able to read minds or fly, but we certainly are superheroes in action. Whether we are teaching a lesson or running an IEP meeting, special education teachers go above and beyond to help those in need and do what is right. Here are 12 reasons why special educators are really superheroes in disguise:
We always have a mission. As special education teachers, we are always goal-oriented and focused on a positive end-result. Sometimes we might do silly things, like tell a story about our dog or wear a silly hat to get a laugh, but we always have a reason and a purpose. We always have a mission, so trust us!
We always see the good. Special educators are masters of seeing the positive. We see the ability instead of the disability. We see the strength instead of just the challenges. This is imperative when working with kids and young adults who struggle academically, socially, and emotionally.
We have secret special powers. Every special educator has special abilities. Whether it is building strong relationships with our students or using tricks to teach a complicated math lesson, we have the skills and we know how to use them!
We come to the rescue. When our learners are struggling academically, socially, or emotionally, we are there at a moment’s notice. Special education teachers are always ready and prepared to put out fires right away before they turn into an inferno. It’s just another one of our special abilities.
We have special sidekicks. Of course, I’m talking about amazing paraeducators. Where would we be without them!? Paraeducators are the backbone to special education programs all over the world. When we work together with our amazing paraeducators, anything is possible.
We stand up for what is right. Advocating for our learners is a critical part of our job. Sometimes this means explaining to a teacher why a student needs a particular accommodation or modification. Other times it might mean talking to a parent about why some supports aren’t actually necessary for their child. And quite often, it means reminding our learners what their own responsibilities are. We stand up for what is right. Sometimes it’s not easy, but it has to be done!
We always help those in need. Special educators are compassionate. We love helping kids and young adults, whether they are on our caseload or not. Helping learners is just what we do.
We encourage and inspire others. One of our biggest jobs is inspiring our learners to be the very best they can be. To help students think about goals so they can achieve their dreams.
We have strength like no one else. Special educators do it all. Between planning, teaching lessons, testing, writing reports, running IEP meetings, and contacting parents (just to name a few responsibilities), special education teachers are always going. It’s important to note that even though we have this super strength, all educators need time to focus on self-care! This is critical to reduce burnout and continue doing our best for our learners.
We fix problems before anyone else knows they are there. Special educators go above and beyond. Sometimes, no one sees this, but we know what we do! Whether it’s modifying a math test at the last minute or reminding a teacher to fill out the report before an IEP meeting, special education teachers are problem-solvers across the board.
We can become invisible. Ultimately, the goal is for our learners to be completely independent. After teaching skills, giving practice, and providing accommodations, we are working on helping our students do the work on their own! Slowly, we fade those supports and start to become invisible so that our students succeed independently.
We never give up. Special educators are masters of perseverance and resilience. If something isn’t working with a student, we re-assess and try something new. We never give up, because we know that progress can always be made.
If you want to boost morale and encourage special educators in your building, get these in a fun set of posters to hang up in the staff room, teacher’s lounge, resource room, or anywhere else!
Special educators need all the love they can get so let’s remind them that they are truly superheroes! Share with a special educator you love!