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Career and Education Opportunities for Special Needs Teachers in Bridgeport, Connecticut

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for special needs teachers in the Bridgeport, Connecticut area. There are currently 3,110 jobs for special needs teachers in Connecticut and this is projected to grow by 9% to 3,400 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for special needs teachers, which sees this job pool growing by about 19.6% over the next eight years. 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 $21 per hour or $61,807 per year in Connecticut, and an average of $22 per hour or $49,620 per year nationwide. Compared with people working in the overall category of Special Education, people working as special needs teachers in Connecticut earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Special Education nationally. People working as special needs teachers can fill a number of jobs, such as: early interventionist, non-categorical preschool teacher, and resource teacher.

There are six schools within twenty-five miles of Bridgeport where you can study to be a special needs teacher, among seventy-five schools of higher education total in the Bridgeport area. The most common level of education for special needs teachers is a Bachelor's degree. 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 Bridgeport 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

Central Connecticut State University - New Britain, CT

Central Connecticut State University, 1615 Stanley St, New Britain, CT 06050. Central Connecticut State University is a large university located in New Britain, Connecticut. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 12,233 students and an admission rate of 60%. Central Connecticut State University has bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, and master's degree programs in Special Education and Teaching which graduated zero, two, and forty students respectively in 2008.

Long Island University-Westchester Campus - Purchase, NY

Long Island University-Westchester Campus, LIU/Westchester Campus, 735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, NY 10577-1400. Long Island University-Westchester Campus is a small university located in Purchase, New York. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 290 students. Long Island University-Westchester Campus has 3 areas of study related to Special Needs Teacher. They are:

  • Special Education and Teaching, master's degree which graduated 16 students in 2008.
  • Education/Teaching of Individuals in Early Childhood Special Education Programs, master's degree which graduated 8 students in 2008.
  • Special Education and Teaching, Other Specialties, master's degree.

The College of New Rochelle - New Rochelle, NY

The College of New Rochelle, 29 Castle Pl, New Rochelle, NY 10805-2339. The College of New Rochelle is a medium sized college located in New Rochelle, New York. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,087 students and an admission rate of 56%. The College of New Rochelle has 3 areas of study related to Special Needs Teacher. They are:

  • Special Education and Teaching, master's degree which graduated 47 students in 2008.
  • Education/Teaching of the Gifted and Talented, master's degree which graduated 7 students in 2008.
  • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Specific Learning Disabilities, master's degree.

Manhattanville College - Purchase, NY

Manhattanville College, 2900 Purchase St, Purchase, NY 10577. Manhattanville College is a small college located in Purchase, New York. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,950 students and an admission rate of 52%. Manhattanville College has a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated sixty-nine students in 2008.

Gateway Community College - New Haven, CT

Gateway Community College, 60 Sargent Dr, New Haven, CT 06511. Gateway Community College is a medium sized college located in New Haven, Connecticut. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,140 students. Gateway Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated three and two students respectively in 2008.

Southern Connecticut State University - New Haven, CT

Southern Connecticut State University, 501 Crescent Street, New Haven, CT 06515-1355. Southern Connecticut State University is a large university located in New Haven, Connecticut. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 11,769 students and an admission rate of 63%. Southern Connecticut State University has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and post-master's certificate programs in Special Education and Teaching which graduated twenty-seven, 135, and sixteen students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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.

LICENSES

Integrated Early Childhood/Special Educator

Licensing agency: State Department of Education
Address: Division of Teaching & Learning, Bureau of Educator Prep, Cert, Support & Assess, 165 Capitol Avenue, Room 243, P.O. Box 150471, Hartford, CT 06115-0471

Phone: (860) 713-6969
Website: State Department of Education Division of Teaching & Learning Bureau of Educator Prep, Cert, Support & Assess

LOCATION INFORMATION: Bridgeport, Connecticut

Bridgeport, Connecticut
Bridgeport, Connecticut photo by Xtremeyanksfan22

Bridgeport is located in Fairfield County, Connecticut. It has a population of over 136,405, which has shrunk by 2.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Bridgeport, 151, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Bridgeport are valued at $110,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, twenty-six new homes were built in Bridgeport, down from forty-one the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Bridgeport are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, administrative and support and waste management services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 12.2% of Bridgeport residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Bridgeport is 12.1%, which is greater than Connecticut's average of 8.3%.

The percentage of Bridgeport residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 70.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Calvary Episcopal Church, Golden Hill United Methodist Church and Good Shepherd Christian Church are among the churches located in Bridgeport. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Episcopal Church and the United Church of Christ.

Bridgeport is home to the North Branch Bridgeport Public Library and the Challenger Learning Center as well as Went Field and Johnson Oak Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lafayette Shopping Plaza Shopping Center, Baldwin Plaza Shopping Center and Bayview Shopping Center.