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Career and Education Opportunities for Special Needs Teachers in Dover, Delaware

For those living in the Dover, Delaware area, there are many career and education opportunities for special needs teachers. About 490 people are currently employed as special needs teachers in Delaware. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 16% to 560 people employed. 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. Special needs teachers generally teach elementary and preschool school subjects to educationally and physically handicapped students.

The average wage in the general category of Special Education jobs is $50,780 per year in Delaware, and an average of $22 per hour or $49,620 per year nationwide. Earnings for special needs teachers are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Special Education in Delaware and better than general Special Education category earnings nationally. Special needs teachers work in a variety of jobs, including: reading specialist, behavior specialist, and learning disabilities teacher .

The Dover area is home to seven schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Dover where you can get a degree as a special needs teacher. Given that the most common education level for special needs teachers is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years training to become 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 Dover 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

Delaware State University - Dover, DE

Delaware State University, 1200 N. Dupont Highway, Dover, DE 19901. Delaware State University is a small university located in Dover, Delaware. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,531 students and an admission rate of 56%. Delaware State University has 2 areas of study related to Special Needs Teacher. They are:

  • Special Education and Teaching, bachelor's degree and master's degree.
  • Special Education and Teaching, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students 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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Dover, Delaware

Dover, Delaware
Dover, Delaware photo by Malepheasant

Dover is situated in Kent County, Delaware. It has a population of over 36,107, which has grown by 12.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Dover, 85, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Dover are priced at $116,700 on average, which is above the state average. In 2008, one hundred twenty-nine new homes were built in Dover, down from one hundred eighty-nine the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Dover are educational services, health care, and public administration. For men, it is public administration, educational services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 19 minutes. More than 28.8% of Dover residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Dover is 9.4%, which is greater than Delaware's average of 8.5%. About 13.8% of Dover's residents are below the poverty line, which is worse than the state average.

The percentage of Dover residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 32.1%, is less than both the national and state average. Saint Andrews Lutheran Church, Beth Shalom Congregation and Bethuel Seventh Day Adventist Church are among the churches located in Dover. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Dover is home to the Kent Swim Club and the Transportation Administration Center as well as Eden Hill and Richardson Park. Shopping malls in the area include Blue Hen Mall and Dover Mall. Visitors to Dover can choose from Inn at Meeting House Square, Little Creek Inn and Ramada Inn for temporary stays in the area.