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How to Become a Special Education Teacher in Delaware

Becoming a special education teacher in Delaware is a straightforward process. Read over the article below to gain a better understanding of the educational and licensing requirements as well as salary statistics for this position.

Overview of Teaching Special Education in Delaware

Special education teachers are tasked with teaching individuals who live with developmental challenges; they help students navigate the pitfalls of learning and living. To work as a special education teacher in Delaware, you need a background in education and students with disabilities. In addition to this experience, you will need a Delaware Initial License and a Delaware Standard Certificate.

Education/Experience Required Bachelor's degree with a major in special education, students with disabilities, or equivalent; state-approved student teaching program
Exam Requirements Praxis II Special Education: Core Knowledge and Applications;
PPAT or edTPA
Licensing Delaware Initial License (4 years; non-renewable)
Certification Delaware Standard Certificate
Advancement Delaware Continuing License (5 years; renewable)
Average Salary (2018)* $61,010 (kindergarten and elementary school)
$67,430 (middle school)
$64,680 (high school)
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026)* 8% (all special education teachers, nationally)

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

Job Description

Special education teachers are tasked with daily oversight, education, and assistance for students with developmental challenges. Providing physical and emotional support to students and parents, special education teachers serve as liaisons between school administrators and special needs families. Helping prepare their students to handle mental, physical, and emotional challenges, special education teachers play an important role in their students' lives.

Education Requirements

In Delaware, a bachelor's degree is required to earn an Initial License. Additionally, applicants for a Delaware Standard Certificate must complete an approved educator preparation program or at least 15 content-specific credits geared towards special education/students with disabilities. Six of these content-specific credits must focus on pedagogy. Student teaching experience as documented on your transcript is required to become a special education teacher in the state of Delaware.

Exam Requirements

The state of Delaware no longer requires the Praxis Core test for prospective special education teachers. The Praxis II Special Education: Core Knowledge and Applications exam is required to gain your special education teaching certification in Delaware. Individuals must earn a 151 or better to pass this test.

A performance assessment is also required, namely the Praxis Performance Assessment for Teachers (PPAT), edTPA, or other state-approved assessment. However, the performance assessment may be completed within the first two years of Initial License issuance.

Licensing and Certification

In Delaware, new teachers must apply for teacher licensing as well as subject-specific certification. For new special education teachers, this means that both a Delaware Initial License and a Standard Certificate in special education are required to work within the state. The non-renewable Initial License stays good for a period of 4 years. The Delaware Standard Certificate does not expire. Licensing and certification rules are subject to change, so make certain to double-check with the state of Delaware before submitting an application.

Application

To apply to become a special education teacher in Delaware, you must first register with DEEDS, the online registration database. After registration, you can submit your applications for licensure and certification. Make sure to submit your official transcripts reflecting documented student teaching experience. You must also include proof of Praxis II completion. Once you have completed these basic steps and supplied proof of qualification, the state will review your application before approving you to teach special education in Delaware.

Renewal

Upon expiration of a Delaware Initial License, special education teachers will need to apply for a Delaware Continuing License. Applicants must have passed one of the aforementioned performance assessments. They must not have received more than one 'unsatisfactory' score on the Delaware Performance Appraisal System II (DPAS II) evaluation during the period they held their Initial License.

Candidates submit a completed application through DEEDS. The Delaware Continuing License is good for a period of 5 years. This license may be renewed by completing 90 professional development credits, half of which should involve working directly with students and staff.