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If you are applying for a position as a special educator, you want to make sure your resume really highlights your strengths and experiences. This lesson offers you a sample of how your resume might look.

Why Your Resume Counts

Are you looking for a job as a special educator? Your resume is one of the most important parts of your application. In many ways, your resume provides a documented introduction to your professional self. It tells about your education and the different experiences you have had, and it offers a window into any special skills you bring to the position.

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Principals and hiring committees will likely review many resumes before selecting candidates to interview, so you want to make sure your resume stands out from the crowd. This lesson shows you an example of how a special education teacher resume should look, and it explains why each section of your resume is important.

Parts of a Resume

Name and Contact Information

Centered at the top of your resume, you should put your name, mailing address, e-mail address and phone number. It is best to use a professional e-mail address if possible, and make sure all of your contact information is up-to-date.

Goals

The next section of your resume describes your professional goals. Some examples of goals might be:’To support elementary age students with Individualized Education Plans in the classroom and resource room setting.”To teach children with severe cognitive disabilities how to read and write.

”To obtain a position as a special education teacher in an urban public school system.’

Education

It is important to include the details of your own education, as well as your licensure status. Begin by listing your licenses, starting with your special education license, the date you obtained it, and the state or states it is valid in. Then list your three most recent degrees, if relevant. If you have been out of high school for more than ten years, do not list your high school diploma.

Teaching Experience

The experience section of your resume is probably the most important section, because it really alerts principals to how much you have already done in your field.

If you do not have substantial teaching experience, however, don’t worry. You can focus on internships, volunteer experiences, and practicum experiences you had during your education. For each listing in this section, you will want to write the dates of employment and the title of your job first. Then, provide a brief description of all of the duties you took on as part of the job. Be as specific as you can, including numbers and attainments, and use diverse, active verbs to describe what you’ve done. If your experience includes any particular gaps between dates, you will want to account for this in your cover letter. Following are examples of experience listings.

‘2014-present Resource Room TeacherSupported seven groups of 5-6 first graders in literacy and math. Collaborated with classroom teachers to develop appropriately aligned curriculum. Assessed students biweekly using QRI and DIBELS assessment materials.

Communicated with families about students progress and needs.”2013-2014 Student TeacherAssisted a classroom teacher with 24 second graders in a public school. Designed and implemented one unit of study in each subject area. Attended family conferences. Produced a biweekly newsletter for communicating curriculum to families.”2010-2013 After-school TeacherTaught groups of 25-30 3rd, 4th and 5th graders for two hours a day at an after-school remediation program. Provided academic and emotional support to struggling students.

Communicated regularly with families about student progress and needs.’

Other Experience

This section of a resume is optional, but it is especially useful if you have substantial professional experience outside the field of teaching. It should be arranged the same way as your teaching experience section, but highlight other jobs you have done.

Special Skills

In this section of your resume, you can list any skills you have that you think might be relevant to your teaching life. In particular, it is a good idea to list skills pertaining to foreign languages or technology, since both of these can be very useful in a school setting. You can also let hiring committees know if there are any sports or extracurricular activities that you excel at, because they might be interested in someone who can lead a team or club. Here is an example of a special skills section:’Fluent in Spanish; proficient in French; strong word processing, Excel, and HTML skills; experience coaching volleyball and leading yoga classes.

References

Finally, you may choose to include your references as part of your resume. Focus on references who know you as a teacher and particularly as a special educator. It is best to avoid friends and family members. Make sure your references know you are listing them, and check that their contact information is up-to-date.

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