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Career and Education Opportunities for Special Needs Teachers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Special needs teachers can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area. There are currently 3,630 jobs for special needs teachers in Louisiana and this is projected to grow by 29% to about 4,680 jobs 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%. 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 $20 per hour or $43,590 per year in Louisiana, and an average of $22 per hour or $49,620 per year nationwide. Special needs teachers earn less than people working in the category of Special Education generally in Louisiana and more than people in the Special Education category nationally. Jobs in this field include: cross-categorical special education teacher, special education administrator, and learning support teacher.

The Baton Rouge area is home to thirty-six schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Baton Rouge where you can get a degree as a special needs teacher. Special needs teachers usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so 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 Baton Rouge 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

Southern University and A & M College - Baton Rouge, LA

Southern University and A & M College, Southern Branch Post Office, Baton Rouge, LA 70813. Southern University and A & M College is a medium sized university located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,699 students and an admission rate of 55%. Southern University and A & M College has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Special Education and Teaching which graduated one, nineteen, and one students respectively in 2008.

Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College - Baton Rouge, LA

Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College, , Baton Rouge, LA 70803-2750. Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College is a large university located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 28,810 students and an admission rate of 73%. Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College has 2 areas of study related to Special Needs Teacher. They are:

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

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: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Baton Rouge, Louisiana photo by Anrie

Baton Rouge is situated in East Baton Rouge Parish County, Louisiana. It has a population of over 223,689, which has shrunk by 1.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Baton Rouge, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Baton Rouge are priced at $189,100 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-five new homes were built in Baton Rouge, down from two hundred fifty-seven the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Baton Rouge are educational services, health care, and public administration. For men, it is educational services, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 21 minutes. More than 31.7% of Baton Rouge residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.8%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Baton Rouge is 7.1%, which is the same as Louisiana's average of 7.1%.

The percentage of Baton Rouge residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 52.7%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Hughes United Methodist Church and Straight Life Baptist Church are all churches located in Baton Rouge. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Baton Rouge is home to the Baton Rouge Industrial Park and the Baton Rouge Country Club as well as Howell Park and Independence Park. Shopping centers in the area include Carriage Alley Shopping Center, Sherwood Plaza Shopping Center and Foret and McCall Shopping Center. Visitors to Baton Rouge can choose from Pines Motel, Motel 6 and Shoneys Inn & Suites Baton Rouge for temporary stays in the area.