About Special Education

The Role of the Special Education Teacher

Today, almost every classroom includes a number of students who are dealing with a disability — either physical, educational, emotional, or a combination of all three. Special education teachers enjoy the challenge of working with students with a variety of disabilities and the opportunity to establish meaningful relationships with them.

Special education teachers use various techniques to promote learning. Depending on the disability, teaching methods can include individualized instruction, problem-solving assignments, and small-group work. When students need special accommodations, special education teachers see that appropriate ones are provided.

Special education teachers can work in a variety of settings. Some have their own classrooms and teach only special education students; others work as special education resource teachers and offer individualized help to students in general education classrooms; still others teach together with general education teachers in classes including both general and special education students.

As schools become more inclusive, special education teachers and general education teachers increasingly work together in general education classrooms. A large part of a special education teacher's job involves communicating and coordinating with others involved in the child's well being, including parents, social workers, school psychologists, occupational and physical therapists, school administrators, and other teachers.

Questions, Comments, Suggestions?

If you would like to learn more about our programs in special education at SUNY Plattsburgh, please contact:

Heidi Schnackenberg, Ph.D.

Program Area Coordinator, Master of Science in Education Programs
Office: Sibley Hall 309
Phone: (518) 564-5143
Fax: (518) 564-2149
Email: heidi.schnackenberg@plattsburgh.edu