TEACH California banner image for Print

Special Education

Watch a Video

Early childhood special education teacher helping toddler Michael Bernardis,
Early Childhood
Special Education

Man instructing child in special day class Kei Lucas,
Elementary Special
Day Class

Photograph of Michael Laharty, special education teacher Michael Laharty,
Special Education/

Photograph of Judy Williams, special education teacher Judy Williams,
former paraeducator
and current Special
Education Teacher

Learn more!
Featured Resources

What is special education?
Special Education consists of specially designed instruction and related services necessary to meet the unique needs of students whose educational needs cannot be met by simply modifying the regular instructional program. Special Education provides a full range of program options and its goal is to meet, in the least restrictive environment, the educational and service needs of individuals with exceptional needs. There is a critical shortage of special educators who teach students with low-incidence, mild/moderate, and moderate/severe disabilities.

Who are special education students?
Special education studentsIcon indicating a URL to an external Web site are students with disabilities who have an individualized education program (IEPIcon indicating a URL to an external Web site) and receive special instruction and related services.

What do special educators do?
You can read about the role of special educatorsIcon indicating a URL to an external Web site. To learn even more, select a video in the “Watch a Video” section to the right and watch video interviews of special education teachers who have different specialty areas.

Is becoming a special educator the right career choice for me?
A good start to a career is getting experience in a special needs setting as a paraeducatorIcon indicating a URL to an external Web site or volunteering through service learning. Take the time to find out where special education teachers workIcon indicating a URL to an external Web site, the kind of pay you can expectIcon indicating a URL to an external Web site, and the requirements for becoming a credentialed special educator.

Learn more about the opportunities in special education!
There are a variety of career opportunitiesIcon indicating a URL to an external Web site available in special education that require either a California teaching credential or a California professional license.

Our Frequently Asked Questions page has specific credential and related information for some special education careers.

Looking for a jobIcon indicating a URL to an external Web site is easy, and there are many other sources for help and guidance.

Track your progress and receive reminders about important deadlines?
Register now.