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Career and Education Opportunities for Special Needs Teachers in Tallahassee, Florida

If you want to be a special needs teacher, the Tallahassee, Florida area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 10,320 working special needs teachers in Florida; this should grow 30% to about 13,450 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 $24 per hour or $50,077 per year in Florida, and an average of $22 per hour or $49,620 per year nationwide. Special needs teachers earn more than people working in the category of Special Education generally in Florida and more than people in the Special Education category nationally. Special needs teachers work in a variety of jobs, including: primary special educator, physically impaired teacher, and sebd teacher .

There are nine schools of higher education in the Tallahassee area, including two within twenty-five miles of Tallahassee 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. It will take about four years to learn 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 Tallahassee 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

Florida State University - Tallahassee, FL

Florida State University, 211 Westcott Bldg, Tallahassee, FL 32306-1037. Florida State University is a large university located in Tallahassee, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 38,717 students and an admission rate of 47%. Florida State University has 3 areas of study related to Special Needs Teacher. They are:

  • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Mental Retardation, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Vision Impairments, Including Blindness, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and post-master's certificate which graduated ten, eighteen, and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Specific Learning Disabilities, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated seventeen and forty students respectively in 2008.

Flagler College-Tallahassee - Tallahassee, FL

Flagler College-Tallahassee, 444 Appleyard Dr, Tallahassee, FL 32304. Flagler College-Tallahassee is a small college located in Tallahassee, Florida. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 454 students. Flagler College-Tallahassee has a bachelor's degree program in Special Education and Teaching.

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: Tallahassee, Florida

Tallahassee, Florida
Tallahassee, Florida photo by Diligent Terrier

Tallahassee is located in Leon County, Florida. It has a population of over 171,922, which has grown by 14.1% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Tallahassee, 89, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Tallahassee are priced at $166,600 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred new homes were built in Tallahassee, down from six hundred thirty-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Tallahassee are educational services, public administration, and health care. For men, it is public administration, educational services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 19 minutes. More than 45.0% of Tallahassee residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 19.8%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Tallahassee is 7.1%, which is less than Florida's average of 11.3%.

The percentage of Tallahassee residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.6%, is less than both the national and state average. Abundant Life Foursquare Church, Advent Episcopal Church and Aftermath Church are among the churches located in Tallahassee. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Tallahassee is home to the Miracle Plaza and the Tallahassee Community College Library as well as Old Fort Park and Alfred B Maclay Gardens State Park. Shopping malls in the area include Northwood Mall, Parkway Shopping Center and Tallahassee Mall. Visitors to Tallahassee can choose from Cactus Motel, Best Western Pride Inn Suites and Budget Inn for temporary stays in the area.