Exceptional Student

Similarly to gifted individuals, there are students that excel so proficiently in some areas, while underperforming in others, that they must be situated into curriculums that can simultaneously address the things they need help with and those they are adept in. These students are often referred to as “exceptional students”. When looking to work in this particular area, it’s very important to understand that as a teacher, you’ll be working with a student that is simultaneously gifted and developmentally disabled. This presents some very interesting circumstances for teaching and crafting a curriculum, which have been outlined below:

Job Overview

Teachers of exceptional students will constantly be working on two fronts – one to address the learning disability and another to prompt further growth of the area. This requires a dual curriculum approach and tasks teachers with ensuring their students remain positive while going through this program. Students can often lose confidence when struggling so much in particular areas, so it’s important to constantly encourage them. Additionally, teachers will be working to develop the gifted aspects of these students, which can help them maintain confidence and remain vigilant when pushing through areas they struggle with. Teachers will try many different approaches for the same subject matter, just to figure out the most effective method. Additionally, as mentioned on the guide for gifted students, compacting can prove a fruitful method for the areas students excel in. It’s also very worthwhile to help students with organizational skills.

Possible Jobs Include:

  • Program Coordinator
  • Head of Academic Partnerships
  • Coordinator of Exceptional Student Education

Degree and Career Information

When working towards a doctoral degree, there are extensive options for researching exceptional students and figuring out exactly what approach works best. Since this is something that largely has come to the attention of school administrators over the last few decades, there’s significantly less research to depend on. Since there has been much more research related to gifted students and developmentally disabled students, respectively, researching exceptional students presents a great opportunity to see how these two areas can overlap. While this may seem like it’s only helping a small number of students, the truth is that almost every student excels at one particular area more than another. Most of the time, it falls within the bounds of an everyday curriculum, so is not addressed. Those pursuing a PhD focused on exceptional students are uniquely positioned to unearth research that can be much more applicable to students in general, which is an exciting proposition for schools across the world.

Online programs in Exceptional Student Education

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