5 Resume Tips When Applying for a SpEd Transition Teacher Position

life skills teacherspayteachers teaching experience transition Jul 03, 2023
Whether you teach high school, middle school, or elementary, when you long to teach transition (special education programming for 18-22 yr olds) you’ll search far and wide for that coveted position.  Since so many schools are interviewing candidates, now seems like the best time to refresh your resume!
Having taught transition for 9 years, I have first hand experience with how a transition position is different from a role in a traditional K-12 setting.  Below are my suggestions that transition seeking teachers should include in their resume and/or letter of intent.  

My Top 5 Resume Tips:

1.Highlight Your Knowledge of Post-Secondary Supports

If you are familiar with and/or have supported students and families in understanding, accessing, or securing any type of support, services, or funding then highlight this knowledge and effort in your resume.  For example, if you know the basics of SSI, Medicaid, your state’s funding system for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, or the local community college system, then find a way to include this information in your application and/or during your interview!  
And, if all of that was gibberish to you, just highlight that you’d be willing to learn and grow in this area. (Tip- Here is a good starting point!

2. Share Your Community Experience

Accessing the community should be a large component of any transition program’s schedule, so sharing how your class or program accessed the community will be a good sign to resume readers.  Consider sharing how frequently you took your students into the community, where you went, whether vocational skills were addressed, what IEP goals you aimed to address, how you followed BIP plans in new or unfamiliar settings, etc.  

3. Include Your Parents and Family Communication Style

In addition to the daily/weekly communication needs with families as a special education teacher of any level, transition comes with a newer (or potentially more life-changing) set of communication and family collaboration demands.  Given that transition is the end of special education services for the student and family, this is the time when stakes will feel high, the student and family will be inching closer and closer to post-school life, and students will begin to lose school-based supports in exchange for adult services (which can look very different and will take additional coordination). ALL of those needs result in additional communication and highlighting on your resume how you can successfully manage this will give you extra points- I’m sure of it!  (Tip- An Informal Transition Meeting is a great thing to start doing as a new transition teacher.) 

4. Touch On Your Experience Working with Paraprofessionals

You’ll likely have some level of experience working with paraprofessionals, so be sure to include those details in your resume.  The transition position you are applying for may have just a few or several staff that you would be charged with coordinating and collaborating with, so any and all experience is worthy of highlighting.  

5. Explain Your Collaboration with Large IEP Teams

While students no longer have a general education teacher joining the IEP meeting, they likely have a transition coordinator and/or an adult agency rep.  If the student has a variety of related services or nursing needs, then the IEP team you would need to collaborate with would be quite big.  Also, any outside job coaches or volunteer position/competitive employment managers would be additional community members that may be part of your communication circle.  If you have had any experience working with large teams, articulate what that looked like and any methods you used for successful and timely collaboration where all voices were considered and included.

Use the tips above to round out your resume for your dream transition teacher position.  And remember, if you are lucky enough to secure an interview you can share even more (or ask questions about) the topics above.    
Good luck!

P.S. Once you get the call that you got the job, pat yourself on the back and then read about what I wish I would have known as a new transition teacher and the 5 things I don’t do as a transition teacher



50 Best Spinning Toys for Teens and Adults with Autism

Apr 22, 2024

101 Best Fidget Toys for Teens and Adults with Autism & ADHD

Apr 11, 2024

101 Sensory Toys for Adults with Disabilities, Autism, & ADHD

Apr 07, 2024

Subscribe to my newsletter!

You will get access to exclusive material (Free Resources password) and notifications of upcoming sales and new resources!