Special education teachers (also known as special educators) work with students of different ages who have physical, emotional, mental, learning, and behavioral disabilities. They wear many hats, serving both as an educator and as an advocate for students with special needs.
Similar to formal teachers, special education teachers also give lectures, assign activities, grade assignments and tests, track students' progress, and communicate with their parents. However, they have to adjust the teaching curriculum to the needs of each individual as part of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs).
The increasing number of children with developmental disabilities has led to the growing demand for special education services and teachers. If you're considering a teaching career in special education, get yourself a great special education teacher resume!
How to write a professional resume for a special education teacher?
Step 1: Write an eye-catching special education teacher resume headline.
Think of a well-branded resume headline as a statement that tells the recruiters briefly who you are and what you possess as a job seeker. By highlighting your experience and profession properly, you can stimulate them to go deeper into your special education teacher resume.
- For an entry-level special education teacher resume:
Enthusiastic and proactive fresh graduate with a degree in special education.
- For a senior special education teacher resume:
Dedicated special educator with 7+ years of experience in supporting autistic children.
Further reading: Resume Headline｜Examples, Templates, Writing Guide
Step 2: Craft a professional special education teacher resume summary.
For the next step, it’s important for you to craft a professional summary statement that highlights your best features as a potential candidate. Through the demonstration of skills, qualifications, and accomplishments in your special education teacher resume summary, the hiring manager can quickly get a picture of you.
- Experienced various volunteer work with special kids in different settings. Strong attention to detail and a positive attitude. Passion for special education and supporting autistic kids.
- Regular and Special Education teacher with a diverse background of special teaching experience. Empathetic and patient professional with high flexibility and creation of inspirational hands-on lessons and IEPs. Proven ability to help students reach their maximum potential while developing an excellent rapport with all school members.
- Passionate educator who takes great pride in the ability to successfully deliver and plan lessons effectively in line with IEPs. Highly proficient in addressing the needs of special students, making sure that they will be able to thrive and develop in an adaptable educational atmosphere.
Step 3: Include key skills for the special education teacher resume.
As a key measure of job applicants, the hiring manager would review the skills section to determine whether they are qualified for the position. Whether you're pursuing an entry-level job or have gained immense experience in the field, make sure to include the right skills in your special education teacher resume to land a job interview.
Useful tips to list skills on a special educator resume effectively:
- Review the special educator job description carefully
- Pick out the skills you possess that are related to the special education teacher job
- Include both hard skills and soft skills
See the list below for hard skills and soft skills for a special educator resume:
- Classroom management
- Student engagement
- 504 Plans
- IEP writing
- Curriculum implementation
- Public speaking
- Communication skills
- Critical thinking
📝 Check out a complete list of skills for 16+ different professions at Skills for Resume｜Examples List, Templates, Formats.
Step 4: Tailor your special education teacher resume to the specific role.
First and foremost, ask yourself whether you can distinguish a special education teacher CV from a special education teacher resume. A CV, about 2-8 pages long, covers all details about the applicant whereas a resume includes the most relevant information to the job opening only and is limited to 2 pages.
Depending on your experience in the field, make adjustments to your special education teacher resume for the specific role. For example, a special education teacher assistant resume should be different from a senior special educator resume in terms of resume objective statement and work experience. Or, different positions might focus on students with different disabilities. For example, if the school mostly accepts students with hearing disabilities, it’s best to emphasize your experience with particularly those groups.
Step 5: Proofread.
Hiring managers can be very picky about evaluating job candidates. Even minor errors in the resume or cover letter can indicate a lack of professionalism and attention to detail. Thus, be sure to check and recheck your special educator cover letter or resume before sending it out to the recruiter.
What is the best format for a special education teacher resume?
Four basic resume types are: chronological, functional, combination and targeted. Learn about them below to determine which one works best for your special education teacher resume.
i) Chronological resume format:
This is the most basic and commonly used format in which work experience is listed in order, starting with the most current job and ending with the earliest.
📍 It is favored by many employers as they can quickly get an overview of the candidate.
ii) Functional resume format :
Generally used as a skill-based special education teacher resume to demonstrate the candidate’s skills and qualifications rather than work history.
📍 Preferable for career changers who have employment gaps or entry-level individuals who have limited work experience, such as entry-level special educator resumes.
iii) Hybrid/Combinational resume format:
First highlights the candidate's skills and qualifications, while providing a chronological list of their work experience.
📍 Works well for a senior special education teacher resume format as they have gained solid employment history and immense experience in the field.
iv) Targeted resume format:
Highly tailored for the specific job opening to prove you're the right fit.
📍 Suitable for particular teaching expertise such as autistic children, blind and visually-impaired students, etc.
Learn more about 4 types of resume format to adopt the right special educator resume format.
How to make a special education teacher resume template?
It's easier said than done! Yes, we know that - but don't worry. These two tools will help you create an impressive special educator resume template with ease.
1️⃣ Microsoft Word
- Select a template for your special education teacher resume from the collection of Microsoft Word Templates.
- Add compelling information to each section (Personal Information, Work Experience, Education, Skills).
- Utilize a consistent layout, bold text, and bullet points to make your special educator resume easy-to-read.
- Stick to standard fonts such as Times New Roman, Cambria, Calibri, and Arial.
2️⃣ Online Resume Builder
Say you prefer something more creative and trendy for your special education teacher resume template, online resume builders would be a good aide.
CakeResume provides excellent resume templates & formats for special education teachers to showcase their skills and experiences. Sign up now to create the best special education teacher resume!
Top 10 special education teacher resume dos and don'ts
By now you may get an idea of how to write a professional resume for special education teacher jobs. Go the extra mile with 10 dos and don'ts to beat the competition.
💁♂️ Tip: No matter what type of resume format, you'd better adopt a simple and neat layout for your special education teacher resume.
1. Mix up a special education teacher resume with a special education teacher CV.
Resume and CV are both job application documents but differ in terms of length, content, purpose, and design. Pay attention to the job posting carefully to see whether you're asked to submit a special education teacher resume or a special education teacher CV.
2. Adopt an old-style resume objective statement.
An outdated objective statement for the special educator resume might look like this:
“Seeking a special education teacher position at ABC School.”
You are submitting a job application - of course you are seeking this position. Instead, express strong motivation to achieve your career goals and create an impact at work.
Example of a special education teacher resume objective:
Seeking a position assisting students with high-functioning autism to achieve success via functional and life-skills teaching.
3. Disclose confidential information about previous employers.
A special education teacher resume containing confidential information about previous employers can cause you legal issues and indicate that you’re tactless and unprofessional.
4. Include unnecessary personal details that might lead to discrimination.
Below is some information that should be removed from your special education teacher resume:
- Political affiliation
5. Send the resume as a Word doc.
It's highly recommended that you submit your special education teacher resume as a PDF to avoid errors while opening a Word doc, such as formatting and fonts, or unable to read the file.
Further reading: What Is the Difference Between CV and Resume?
Special Education Teacher Resume Sample (Text Format)
Passionate Special Educator with Diverse Teaching Experience
Special education teacher with over five years of experience in providing children with special care and education. Supported the emotional and social development of disabled children with encouragement, understanding, and positive feedbacks. Consistently committed to the ability to redirect unproductive behavior with positivity, patience, and creativity.
Special Education Instructor
ABC Educational Services, London
Aug. 2017 - Dec. 2019
- Worked with 10-15 students annually at the age of 6 to 12.
- Developed lesson plans and activities based on students’ IEPs that facilitate academic, behavioral, occupational, speech, and physical therapy goals.
- Orchestrated student, class, and Aide schedules in conjunction with each child’s therapy needs.
- Conducted training for 15+ colleagues and 30+ parents on working effectively with special needs children, achieving a 100% participation rate.
Resource Special Education Teacher
BCD School District, Bristol
Aug. 2013 - June 2016
- Taught Math, science, and social studies to students in grades 7 to 9.
- Modified lessons to accommodate students with disabilities.
- Led a top team of 5 to 7 teaching assistants and coordinated a Direct Instruction remedial reading program.
- Handled a special education caseload of 40+ students and administered Individual Education Plan meetings.
- Spearheaded a building-wide remedial reading program for more than 1200 junior high school students.
- Oxford Teaching Certification – Special Education Credential
- Conflict Resolution - Mediation Training Institute
- Language Arts
- Writing Standard-based IEPs
- Special Education - Medicaid
- Behavior Plan Modification
- STAR - Alternative Assessment
- Communication Skills
- Interpersonal Skills
- Active Listening
- Compassion and Patience
Master of Education - Major in Special Education
The University of Manchester, Manchester
GPA: 3.85, Dean's List
2010 - 2012
Bachelor of Arts - Major in Behavioral Science
The University of Manchester, Manchester
Vice President of Council for Exceptional Children
--- Originally written by May Luong ---