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Career and Education Opportunities for Special Needs Teachers in Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky

If you want to be a special needs teacher, the Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 3,080 people are currently employed as special needs teachers in Kentucky. By 2016, this is expected to grow 26% to 3,890 people employed. 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 $18 per hour or $43,867 per year in Kentucky, 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 Kentucky and more than people in the Special Education category nationally. People working as special needs teachers can fill a number of jobs, such as: home therapy teacher, evaluator, and behavior specialist.

There are twenty-two schools of higher education in the Lexington-Fayette area, including six within twenty-five miles of Lexington-Fayette 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 Lexington-Fayette 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

Midway College - Midway, KY

Midway College, 512 E. Stephens St, Midway, KY 40347-1120. Midway College is a small college located in Midway, Kentucky. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,323 students and an admission rate of 58%. Midway College has a bachelor's degree program in Special Education and Teaching.

Kentucky State University - Frankfort, KY

Kentucky State University, 400 East Main Street, Frankfort, KY 40601. Kentucky State University is a small university located in Frankfort, Kentucky. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,660 students and an admission rate of 31%. Kentucky State University has a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated nine students in 2008.

Georgetown College - Georgetown, KY

Georgetown College, 400 East College Street, Georgetown, KY 40324. Georgetown College is a small college located in Georgetown, Kentucky. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,856 students and an admission rate of 84%. Georgetown College has a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated eighty-two students in 2008.

Eastern Kentucky University - Richmond, KY

Eastern Kentucky University, 521 Lancaster Ave, Richmond, KY 40475-3102. Eastern Kentucky University is a large university located in Richmond, Kentucky. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 16,050 students and an admission rate of 69%. Eastern Kentucky University has 3 areas of study related to Special Needs Teacher. They are:

  • Special Education and Teaching, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated thirty-three and twenty-one students respectively in 2008.
  • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Hearing Impairments, Including Deafness, bachelor's degree which graduated 9 students in 2008.
  • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Speech or Language Impairments, master's degree which graduated 17 students in 2008.

Asbury College - Wilmore, KY

Asbury College, 1 Macklem Dr, Wilmore, KY 40390-1198. Asbury College is a small college located in Wilmore, Kentucky. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,521 students and an admission rate of 56%. Asbury College has a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated nineteen students in 2008.

University of Kentucky - Lexington, KY

University of Kentucky, , Lexington, KY 40506-0032. University of Kentucky is a large university located in Lexington, Kentucky. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 26,083 students and an admission rate of 77%. University of Kentucky has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated thirty-one and five 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.

LICENSES

Teacher Certification

Licensing agency: Education Professional Standards Board
Address: Division of Certification, 100 Airport Road, 3rd Floor, Frankfort, KY 40601

Phone: (502) 567-4606
Website: Education Professional Standards Board Division of Certification

LOCATION INFORMATION: Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky

Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky
Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky photo by Jonesey

Lexington-Fayette is located in Fayette County, Kentucky. It has a population of over 282,114, which has grown by 8.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Lexington-Fayette, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Lexington-Fayette are valued at $167,600 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, seven hundred seventy-one new homes were built in Lexington-Fayette, down from 1,227 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Lexington-Fayette are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 19 minutes. More than 35.6% of Lexington-Fayette residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 14.5%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Lexington-Fayette residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 47.3%, is less than both the national and state average. Victory Baptist Church, Aldersgate Church and Trinity Hill United Methodist Church are all churches located in Lexington-Fayette. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Lexington-Fayette is home to the Tates Creek Country Club and the Home of Henry Clay as well as Kentucky State Horse Park and Duncan Park. Shopping centers in the area include Fayette Mall, Turfland Mall and Lexington Mall.