Become a Special Education Teacher in Idaho

The path to becoming a special education teacher in Idaho involves specialized education, demonstrated subject-matter proficiency, and continued professional development. Find out about the process here! Schools offering Emotional & Behavioral Disorders degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

Special education teachers provide specialized education to individuals with learning disabilities or other disabilities that impair their ability to learn within a traditional classroom setting. These teachers are specifically trained to interact with these students in meaningful ways so they may achieve the same quality of education as their non-disabled peers. Idaho requires those seeking a career in special education to possess certain educational credentials, professional experience, and certification in order to qualify for available teaching jobs within the state.

Education/Experience Required Bachelor's degree in special education from a regionally accredited college or university
Exams Required Passing scores on Praxis II Special Education: Core Knowledge and Mild to Moderate Applications and educator's choice of qualifying Praxis II supplemental exam; must pass Idaho's Technology Competency Assessment and multicultural requirement
License Validity Period Interim license valid for three years (nonrenewable); standard elementary license valid for five years; standard secondary license valid for five years
Certification Renewal Process Interim licenses are nonrenewable and must be converted to standard elementary or secondary licenses by end of three-year period; standard elementary and secondary licenses renewable every five years via online or mailed application
CEU Credits Required for Renewal Six semester credit hours of coursework from regionally accredited college or university
Average Teacher Salary in Idaho (2018) $47,990 (kindergarten- and elementary-level special education); $61,560 (middle school-level special education); $51,180 (high school-level special education)*
Estimated National Job Growth (2016 – 2026) 8% (all special education teachers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Special Skills & Characteristics

Those pursuing a career in special education need to be especially prepared for the classroom settings in which they will be expected to instruct. In addition to educational and professional requirements set forth by the Idaho Department of Education, special educators should have the following characteristics:

  • Demonstrated compassion and advocacy for people with disabilities and learning impairments
  • Ability to exercise patience and good judgement in high-stress situations
  • Strong communication skills and ability to convey difficult topics in simple terms

Educators are expected to adhere to the code of conduct outlined in Idaho's state legislature, which includes such stipulations as a criminal background check, drug-free lifestyle, and clean bill of health documenting no contagious disease.

Educational Requirements

Idaho requires possession of at least a bachelor's degree in special education to qualify for certification upon completion of an authorized teacher preparation program. Candidates must satisfy the following stipulations for their educational requirements:

  • Minimum 24 semester hours of professional preparation, including reading and student teaching
  • Minimum 44 semester hours in general education credits as specified by regionally accredited college or university
  • Minimum 24 semester credit hours in philosophical, psychological, and methodological foundations of education and in professional subject matter of elementary or secondary special education, including six semester credit hours of developmental reading and six semester credit hours of elementary student teaching
  • Completion of three-semester hour course: Idaho Comprehensive literacy Course (ICLC)

Because special education teachers operate in specialized settings with unique student populations, they must demonstrate that they have completed a degree program within the specific field of special education either at the elementary or secondary level.

Exam Requirements

Idaho special education teachers are required to pass a number of exams, including the following:

  • Praxis II Special Education: Core Knowledge and Mild to Moderate Applications
  • Choice of Praxis II Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects or Praxis II Elementary Education: Content Knowledge for Teaching
  • Idaho Technology Competency Assessment
  • Idaho State Multicultural Requirement

Teachers must receive a score of at least 153 on the Praxis II Special Education: Core Knowledge and Mild to Moderate Applications test. The Technology Competency Assessment ensures that all teachers are qualified to instruct using standard technological tools for presenting information.

Certification Requirements

In order to qualify for a standard elementary or secondary certification in Idaho, teachers must be able to provide the following:

  • Bachelor's degree in special education from regionally accredited college or university
  • Transcript of all required educational coursework
  • Passing score on Praxis II Special Education: Core Knowledge and Mild to Moderate Applications
  • Passing score on either Praxis II Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects or Praxis II Elementary Education: Content Knowledge for Teaching
  • Passing score on Idaho Technology Competency Assessment
  • Satisfaction of Idaho State Multicultural Requirement

Standard elementary and secondary licenses must be specified for special education by presenting relevant Praxis II test scores when submitting the initial certification application. Elementary certifications are granted to professionals working with grades K – 8, while secondary certifications are granted to individuals working in grades 8 – 12.

Certification Renewal

Both standard elementary and secondary certifications are renewable after five years. Renewal applications must be submitted either online or via mail with the associated $75 fee. In order to qualify for renewal, teachers must provide documented evidence of at least six semester credit hours of coursework from an accredited college or university.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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