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Career and Education Opportunities for Special Needs Teachers in Fort Wayne, Indiana

Special needs teachers can find many career and educational opportunities in the Fort Wayne, Indiana area. There are currently 3,230 working special needs teachers in Indiana; this should grow 20% to 3,890 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 $18 per hour or $46,390 per year in Indiana, and an average of $22 per hour or $49,620 per year nationwide. Compared with people working in the overall category of Special Education, people working as special needs teachers in Indiana earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Special Education nationally. Jobs in this field include: exceptional student education teacher , reading specialist, and learning disabilities teacher .

The Fort Wayne area is home to sixteen schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Fort Wayne 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 studying 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 Fort Wayne 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

University of Saint Francis-Ft Wayne - Fort Wayne, IN

University of Saint Francis-Ft Wayne, 2701 Spring St, Fort Wayne, IN 46808-3994. University of Saint Francis-Ft Wayne is a small university located in Fort Wayne, Indiana. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,112 students and an admission rate of 47%. University of Saint Francis-Ft Wayne has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated one and ten students respectively in 2008.

Huntington University - Huntington, IN

Huntington University, 2303 College Ave, Huntington, IN 46750. Huntington University is a small university located in Huntington, Indiana. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,211 students and an admission rate of 88%. Huntington University 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

Teaching License - Standard

Licensing agency: Indiana Professional Standards Board
Address: 101 West Ohio Street, Suite 300, Indianapolis, IN 46204

Phone: (317) 232-9010
Website: Indiana Professional Standards Board

LOCATION INFORMATION: Fort Wayne, Indiana

Fort Wayne, Indiana
Fort Wayne, Indiana photo by FTSKfan

Fort Wayne is located in Allen County, Indiana. It has a population of over 215,661. The cost of living index in Fort Wayne, 77, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Fort Wayne are valued at $141,700 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-eight new homes were constructed in Fort Wayne, down from one hundred seventy-three the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Fort Wayne are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, transportation equipment, and metal and metal products. The average travel time to work is about 20 minutes. More than 19.4% of Fort Wayne residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.5%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Fort Wayne is 10.5%, which is greater than Indiana's average of 9.4%.

The percentage of Fort Wayne residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.2%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Memorial Church, Bethany Church and Souls Harbor Church are some of the churches located in Fort Wayne. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the United Methodist Church.

Fort Wayne is home to the Orchard Ridge Country Club and the Georgetown Square as well as Swinney Park and Rockhill Park. Shopping centers in the area include The Uncommons Shopping Center, Decatur Road Shopping Center and Ayr-Way West Shopping Center. Visitors to Fort Wayne can choose from Days Inn Airport Plaza, Purofirst of Allen County and Hometown Inn for temporary stays in the area.