To become a special education administrator, you must have certain degrees and teaching licenses. You typically should have prior experience teaching in the special education classroom and working with families of special education students. You must also know the special education laws in your area and help to enforce those laws. It is also important to show other administrators that you have personal leadership qualities.
If you want to become a special education administrator, it is wise to get a bachelor's degree in special education and continue on with a master's or doctorate degree in education leadership or administration. Most people with these degrees also pick up a teaching license that is valid for where they live. You can get several special education endorsement areas on your license. Most teaching licenses have to be re-certified every few years.
While you are working on your graduate degree, you may want to work as a special education teacher. Most people who become special education administrators work as teachers for years prior to an administration position. It is imperative to get as much experience as possible with students that have different disabilities. Special education often covers students with mental, emotional, and learning disabilities.
You must be knowledgeable in special education law and family case management to become a special education administrator. You should know the law and how it applies to student and parent rights. You must be able to work with families of special education students and help them through the process of receiving services in the school environment.
If you are already working as a teacher, you will want to show your school administration team that you have the skills necessary to become a special education administrator. Administrators have to be kind, but firm, to the students. They also have to be able to gain respect from the rest of the special education team. They often have to train teachers and other staff and be comfortable managing adults in the school.
Most people who become a special education administrator provide years of excellent classroom teaching and management. It is a job where many people work in a school for a while before applying to be an administrator. Besides teaching, you can also volunteer your time to programs that include people with disabilities to show how much you support special education. It is also important to attend all community hearings or meetings that involve special education policies.