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Career and Education Opportunities for High School Special Education Teachers in Chicago, Illinois

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for high school special education teachers in the Chicago, Illinois area. There are currently 8,700 working high school special education teachers in Illinois; this should grow by 17% to 10,150 working high school special education teachers in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for high school special education teachers, which sees this job pool growing by about 13.3% over the next eight years. In general, high school special education teachers teach secondary school subjects to educationally and physically handicapped students.

The average wage in the general category of Special Education jobs is $20 per hour or $50,340 per year in Illinois, and an average of $22 per hour or $49,620 per year nationwide. Incomes for high school special education teachers are better than in the overall category of Special Education in Illinois, and better than the overall Special Education category nationally. High school special education teachers work in a variety of jobs, including: vocational training teacher, visually impaired teacher, and behavior specialist.

The Chicago area is home to 180 schools of higher education, including fourteen within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can get a degree as a high school special education teacher. The most common level of education for high school special education teachers is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years studying to be a high school special education teacher if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: High School Special Education Teacher

High School Special Education Teacher video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, high school special education teachers teach secondary 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.

High school special education teachers maintain accurate and complete student records, and ready reports on children and activities, as required by laws and administrative regulations. They also attend professional meetings and teacher training workshops to maintain and improve professional competence. Equally important, high school special education teachers have to meet with parents and guardians to consider their children's progress and to establish priorities for their children and their resource needs. They are often called upon to meet with other professionals to consider individual students' needs and progress. They are expected to talk with parents and professionals to evolve individual educational plans designed to promote students' educational and social development. Finally, high school special education teachers collaborate with other teachers and administrators in the development and revision of secondary school programs.

Every day, high school special education teachers are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for high school special education teachers to formulate and supervise class projects, field trips, visits by guest speakers, or other experiential efforts, and guide students in learning from those efforts. They are often called upon to furnish additional instruction in vocational areas. They also monitor teachers and teacher assistants to insure that they adhere to inclusive special education program requirements. They are sometimes expected to perform administrative duties such as assisting in school libraries, hall and cafeteria monitoring, and bus loading and unloading. Somewhat less frequently, high school special education teachers are also expected to formulate and supervise class projects, field trips, visits by guest speakers, or other experiential efforts, and guide students in learning from those efforts.

High school special education teachers sometimes are asked to establish clear objectives for all lessons and projects and communicate those objectives to students. and visit schools to tutor students with sensory impairments and to confer with teachers regarding students' special needs. And finally, they sometimes have to get ready for assigned classes and show written evidence of preparation upon request of immediate supervisors.

Like many other jobs, high school special education teachers must have strong self control in the face of challenging situations and believe in an agile approach to problem solving and deal with change.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chicago 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.
  • 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.
  • Special Needs Teacher. Teach elementary and preschool 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: High School Special Education Teacher Training

University of Illinois at Chicago - Chicago, IL

University of Illinois at Chicago, 601 S Morgan, Chicago, IL 60607. University of Illinois at Chicago is a large university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,709 students and an admission rate of 60%. University of Illinois at Chicago has a master's degree and a doctor's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated forty-eight and one students respectively in 2008.

Dominican University - River Forest, IL

Dominican University, 7900 W Division St, River Forest, IL 60305. Dominican University is a small university located in River Forest, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,413 students and an admission rate of 85%. Dominican University has a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching.

Elmhurst College - Elmhurst, IL

Elmhurst College, 190 Prospect Ave, Elmhurst, IL 60126-3096. Elmhurst College is a small college located in Elmhurst, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,315 students and an admission rate of 69%. Elmhurst College has a bachelor's degree program in Special Education and Teaching.

DePaul University - Chicago, IL

DePaul University, 55 E Jackson, Chicago, IL 60604. DePaul University is a large university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 22,554 students. DePaul University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching.

Chicago State University - Chicago, IL

Chicago State University, 9501 S. King Drive, Chicago, IL 60628-1598. Chicago State University is a medium sized university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,820 students and an admission rate of 61%. Chicago State University has a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated forty-nine students in 2008.

Roosevelt University - Chicago, IL

Roosevelt University, 430 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605-1394. Roosevelt University is a medium sized university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,708 students and an admission rate of 43%. Roosevelt University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching.

University of St Francis - Joliet, IL

University of St Francis, 500 N Wilcox St, Joliet, IL 60435-6188. University of St Francis is a small university located in Joliet, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,334 students and an admission rate of 60%. University of St Francis has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching.

Trinity Christian College - Palos Heights, IL

Trinity Christian College, 6601 W College Dr, Palos Heights, IL 60463-0929. Trinity Christian College is a small college located in Palos Heights, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,404 students and an admission rate of 94%. Trinity Christian College has a bachelor's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated five students in 2008.

Northeastern Illinois University - Chicago, IL

Northeastern Illinois University, 5500 N Saint Louis Ave, Chicago, IL 60625-4699. Northeastern Illinois University is a large university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 11,193 students and an admission rate of 71%. Northeastern Illinois University has 2 areas of study related to High School Special Education Teacher. They are:

  • Special Education and Teaching, bachelor's degree and master's degree.
  • Education/Teaching of the Gifted and Talented, master's degree.

National-Louis University - Chicago, IL

National-Louis University, 122 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603. National-Louis University is a medium sized university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,874 students and an admission rate of 56%. National-Louis University has a master's degree and a post-master's certificate program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated ninety-six and zero students respectively in 2008.

Benedictine University - Lisle, IL

Benedictine University, 5700 College Rd, Lisle, IL 60532-0900. Benedictine University is a medium sized university located in Lisle, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,053 students and an admission rate of 80%. Benedictine University has a bachelor's degree program in Special Education and Teaching.

Lewis University - Romeoville, IL

Lewis University, One University Parkway, Romeoville, IL 60446-2200. Lewis University is a medium sized university located in Romeoville, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,536 students and an admission rate of 71%. Lewis University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching.

Loyola University Chicago - Chicago, IL

Loyola University Chicago, 820 N. Michigan, Chicago, IL 60611-9810. Loyola University Chicago is a large university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 15,670 students and an admission rate of 74%. Loyola University Chicago has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching.

Concordia University - River Forest, IL

Concordia University, 7400 Augusta, River Forest, IL 60305-1499. Concordia University is a small university located in River Forest, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,185 students and an admission rate of 58%. Concordia University has a bachelor's degree program in Special Education and Teaching.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.