Career and Education Opportunities for Special Needs Teachers in San Diego, California
San Diego, California provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for special needs teachers. There are currently 19,800 working special needs teachers in California; this should grow 32% to 26,200 working special needs teachers in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for special needs teachers are expected to grow by about 19.6%. In general, special needs teachers teach elementary and preschool school subjects to educationally and physically handicapped students.
The average wage in the general category of Special Education jobs is $33 per hour or $64,205 per year in California, and an average of $22 per hour or $49,620 per year nationwide. Special needs teachers earn less than people working in the category of Special Education generally in California and more than people in the Special Education category nationally. Special needs teachers work in a variety of jobs, including: teacher of the speech and hearing handicapped, early childhood special educator , and non-categorical preschool teacher.
There are three schools within twenty-five miles of San Diego where you can study to be a special needs teacher, among sixty schools of higher education total in the San Diego area. Special needs teachers usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so you can expect to spend about four years studying to be a special needs teacher if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Special Needs Teacher
In general, special needs teachers teach elementary and preschool school subjects to educationally and physically handicapped students. They also includes teachers who specialize and work with audibly and visually handicapped students and those who teach basic academic and life processes skills to the mentally impaired.
Special needs teachers attend staff meetings and serve on committees, as required. They also maintain accurate and complete student records and ready reports on children and activities, as required by laws and administrative regulations. Equally important, special needs teachers have to attend professional meetings and teacher training workshops to maintain and improve professional competence. They are often called upon to teach socially acceptable behavior, employing techniques such as behavior modification and positive reinforcement. They are expected to talk with other staff members to develop and schedule lessons promoting learning, following approved curricula. Finally, special needs teachers modify the general education curriculum for special-needs students based upon a variety of instructional techniques and technologies.
Every day, special needs teachers are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they understand what others are saying to them even in a noisy environment.
It is important for special needs teachers to teach students personal development skills such as goal setting and self-advocacy. They are often called upon to perform administrative duties such as assisting in school libraries, hall and cafeteria monitoring, and bus loading and unloading. They also guide and counsel students with adjustment or academic problems, or special academic interests. They are sometimes expected to collaborate with other teachers and administrators in the development and revision of preschool or elementary school programs. Somewhat less frequently, special needs teachers are also expected to administer standardized ability and achievement tests and interpret results to establish students' strengths and areas of need.
Special needs teachers sometimes are asked to supervise and plan assignments for teacher assistants and volunteers. They also have to be able to visit schools to tutor students with sensory impairments and to confer with teachers regarding students' special needs and modify the general education curriculum for special-needs students based upon a variety of instructional techniques and technologies. And finally, they sometimes have to decide on, order, issue, and inventory classroom equipment and supplies.
Like many other jobs, special needs teachers must have exceptional integrity and believe in cooperation and coordination.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in San Diego include:
- Adult Education Teacher. Teach or instruct out-of-school youths and adults in remedial education classes, preparatory classes for the General Educational Development test, literacy, or English as a Second Language. Teaching may or may not take place in a traditional educational institution.
- High School Special Education Teacher. Teach secondary school subjects to educationally and physically handicapped students. Includes teachers who specialize and work with audibly and visually handicapped students and those who teach basic academic and life processes skills to the mentally impaired.
- Kindergarten Teacher. Teach elemental natural and social science, personal hygiene, and literature to children from 4 to 6 years old. Promote physical, mental, and social development. May be required to hold State certification.
- Special Education Teacher. Teach middle school subjects to educationally and physically handicapped students. Includes teachers who specialize and work with audibly and visually handicapped students and those who teach basic academic and life processes skills to the mentally impaired.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Special Needs Teacher Training
MiraCosta College - Oceanside, CA
MiraCosta College, One Barnard Drive, Oceanside, CA 92056-3899. MiraCosta College is a large college located in Oceanside, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,910 students. MiraCosta College has less than one year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Education/Teaching of Individuals in Early Childhood Special Education Programs which graduated two, one, and zero students respectively in 2008.
University of San Diego - San Diego, CA
University of San Diego, 5998 Alcala Park, San Diego, CA 92110-2492. University of San Diego is a medium sized university located in San Diego, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,832 students and an admission rate of 52%. University of San Diego has a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated eighteen students in 2008.
National University - La Jolla, CA
National University, 11255 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037-1011. National University is a large university located in La Jolla, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 26,414 students. National University has 3 areas of study related to Special Needs Teacher. They are:
- Special Education and Teaching, postbaccalaureate certificate and master's degree which graduated 328 and 127 students respectively in 2008.
- Education/Teaching of Individuals in Early Childhood Special Education Programs, postbaccalaureate certificate and master's degree which graduated ten and fifty-eight students respectively in 2008.
- Special Education and Teaching, Other Specialties, postbaccalaureate certificate which graduated 3 students in 2008.
Certified Adapted Physical Educator: Persons who are eligible to become a CAPE fall into three categories; Recently graduated, qualified Physical Education Teachers; Professional Physical Educators (> 10 years full time experience); and Academics.
For more information, see the National Consortium on Physical Education and Recreation for Individuals with Disabilities website.
Licensing agency: California Commission on Teacher Credentialing
Address: 1900 Capitol Avenue, P.O. Box 944270, Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 445-7254
Website: California Commission on Teacher Credentialing
LOCATION INFORMATION: San Diego, California
San Diego is situated in San Diego County, California. It has a population of over 1,279,329, which has grown by 4.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in San Diego, 141, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in San Diego are valued at $323,700 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, six hundred forty-one new homes were constructed in San Diego, down from seven hundred forty-eight the previous year.
The three big industries for women in San Diego are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 35.0% of San Diego residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.4%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in San Diego is 10.5%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.
The percentage of San Diego residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.7%, is less than both the national and state average. Penasquitos Nazarene Church, Peace Lutheran Church and Paul E Kidd African Methodist Episcopal Church are some of the churches located in San Diego. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.
San Diego is home to the Zlac Rowing Club and the Rancho Los Penasquitos Golf Course as well as Adobe Bluffs Park and John F Kennedy Park. Shopping malls in the area include San Diego Factory Outlet Shopping Center, San Carlos Shopping Center and Montgomery Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to San Diego can choose from Best Western Posada at the Yac, Beachfront San Diego and Banana Bungalow Hostel San Diego for temporary stays in the area.