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Career and Education Opportunities for Special Needs Teachers in Honolulu, Hawaii

If you want to be a special needs teacher, the Honolulu, Hawaii area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 700 people work as special needs teachers in Hawaii. This is expected to grow by 19% to 830 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as 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 $22 per hour or $46,745 per year in Hawaii, and an average of $22 per hour or $49,620 per year nationwide. Earnings for special needs teachers are better than earnings in the general category of Special Education in Hawaii and better than general Special Education category earnings nationally. Special needs teachers work in a variety of jobs, including: resource teacher, teacher of the handicapped, and learning disabilities teacher .

There are twenty-four schools of higher education in the Honolulu area, including four within twenty-five miles of Honolulu where you can get a degree to start your career 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 Honolulu 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

University of Phoenix-Hawaii Campus - Honolulu, HI

University of Phoenix-Hawaii Campus, 827 Fort Street, Honolulu, HI 96813-4317. University of Phoenix-Hawaii Campus is a small university located in Honolulu, Hawaii. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 745 students. University of Phoenix-Hawaii Campus has a master's degree program in Education/Teaching of Individuals with Specific Learning Disabilities which graduated nineteen students in 2008.

University of Hawaii at Manoa - Honolulu, HI

University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2500 Campus Road, Hawaii Hall, Honolulu, HI 96822-2301. University of Hawaii at Manoa is a large university located in Honolulu, Hawaii. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 20,169 students and an admission rate of 69%. University of Hawaii at Manoa has bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, and master's degree programs in Special Education and Teaching which graduated thirty-three, nine, and nineteen students respectively in 2008.

Chaminade University of Honolulu - Honolulu, HI

Chaminade University of Honolulu, 3140 Waialae Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96816-1578. Chaminade University of Honolulu is a small university located in Honolulu, Hawaii. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,605 students and an admission rate of 93%. Chaminade University of Honolulu has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated thirteen and eleven students respectively in 2008.

Brigham Young University-Hawaii - Laie, HI

Brigham Young University-Hawaii, 55-220 Kulanui Street, Laie, HI 96762-1294. Brigham Young University-Hawaii is a small university located in Laie, Hawaii. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,424 students and an admission rate of 39%. Brigham Young University-Hawaii 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.

LICENSES

Teacher, Elementary

Licensing agency: Hawaii Teachers Standards Board
Address: 650 Iwilei Road, Suite 201, Honolulu, HI 96817

Phone: (808) 586-2600
Website: Hawaii Teachers Standards Board

LOCATION INFORMATION: Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii
Honolulu, Hawaii photo by ErgoSum88

Honolulu is located in Honolulu County, Hawaii. It has a population of over 374,676, which has grown by 0.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Honolulu, 180, is far greater than the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Honolulu are accommodation and food services, educational services, and health care. For men, it is accommodation and food services, public administration, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 23 minutes. More than 31.1% of Honolulu residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Honolulu residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 33.3%, is less than both the national and state average. Waiokeola Congregational Church, Daijingu Temple of Hawaii and Wesley Methodist Student Center are among the churches located in Honolulu. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Honolulu is home to the Livingston Pool and the Mamala Bay Golf Course as well as Spalding Memorial Tennis Courts and Kuhio Park. Shopping malls in the area include Aina Haina Shopping Center, Ala Moana Shopping Center and Aloha Tower Marketplace Shopping Center. Visitors to Honolulu can choose from Kosuga Inc, Hawaiian Condo Resorts Inc and Honolulu Airport Hotel for temporary stays in the area.