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Career and Education Opportunities for Special Needs Teachers in Cape Coral, Florida

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for special needs teachers in the Cape Coral, Florida area. There are currently 10,320 jobs for special needs teachers in Florida and this is projected to grow by 30% to about 13,450 jobs 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%. 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 $24 per hour or $50,077 per year in Florida, and an average of $22 per hour or $49,620 per year nationwide. Incomes for special needs teachers are better than in the overall category of Special Education in Florida, and better than the overall Special Education category nationally. Special needs teachers work in a variety of jobs, including: adapted physical education teacher, assistant teacher, and reading specialist.

There are eleven schools of higher education in the Cape Coral area, including one within twenty-five miles of Cape Coral where you can get a degree to start your career as a special needs teacher. The most common level of education 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 Cape Coral include:

  • 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

Florida Gulf Coast University - Fort Myers, FL

Florida Gulf Coast University, 10501 Fgcu Blvd S, Fort Myers, FL 33965-6565. Florida Gulf Coast University is a large university located in Fort Myers, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,217 students and an admission rate of 65%. Florida Gulf Coast University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated fifteen and eleven 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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Cape Coral, Florida

Cape Coral, Florida
Cape Coral, Florida photo by Boticario

Cape Coral is situated in Lee County, Florida. It has a population of over 156,835, which has grown by 53.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Cape Coral, 88, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Cape Coral are valued at $121,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred one new homes were constructed in Cape Coral, down from seven hundred sixty-seven the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Cape Coral are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 25 minutes. More than 17.5% of Cape Coral residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 5.7%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cape Coral is 13.0%, which is greater than Florida's average of 11.3%.

The percentage of Cape Coral residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 38.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Coral Ridge Baptist Church of Cape Coral, Jehovahs Witnesses Cape Coral Congregation and Cape Coral Alliance Church are some of the churches located in Cape Coral. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the Assemblies of God.

Cape Coral is home to the Old Bridge Square and the Pine Island Plaza. Shopping centers in the area include Northshore Shopping Center, Coral Gate Shopping Center and Coral Pointe Shopping Center. Visitors to Cape Coral can choose from Casa Loma Motel On the Waterfront, Cape Coral Accommodations and Banyan Trace Community for temporary stays in the area.