Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


Career and Education Opportunities for High School Special Education Teachers in Grand Rapids, Michigan

There are many career and education opportunities for high school special education teachers in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. About 2,790 people are currently employed as high school special education teachers in Michigan. By 2016, this is expected to grow 6% to about 2,960 people employed. This is not quite as good as the national trend for high school special education teachers, which sees this job pool growing by about 13.3% over the next eight years. High school special education teachers generally teach secondary school subjects to educationally and physically handicapped students.

The average wage in the general category of Special Education jobs is $17 per hour or $49,530 per year in Michigan, 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 Michigan, and better than the overall Special Education category nationally. High school special education teachers work in a variety of jobs, including: resource teacher, vocational training teacher, and mh teacher .

The Grand Rapids area is home to nineteen schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Grand Rapids where you can get a degree as a high school special education teacher. High school special education teachers usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so you can expect to spend about four years training to become 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 Grand Rapids 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

Calvin College - Grand Rapids, MI

Calvin College, 3201 Burton SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546. Calvin College is a small college located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,171 students and an admission rate of 94%. Calvin College has a bachelor's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated eleven students in 2008.

Aquinas College - Grand Rapids, MI

Aquinas College, 1607 Robinson Rd SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506-1799. Aquinas College is a small college located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,159 students and an admission rate of 82%. Aquinas College has a bachelor's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated two students in 2008.

Grand Valley State University - Allendale, MI

Grand Valley State University, 1 Campus Dr, Allendale, MI 49401-9403. Grand Valley State University is a large university located in Allendale, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 23,932 students and an admission rate of 78%. Grand Valley State University has a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated ninety-three students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Grand Rapids, Michigan
Grand Rapids, Michigan photo by Grguy2011

Grand Rapids is located in Kent County, Michigan. It has a population of over 193,396, which has shrunk by 2.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Grand Rapids, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Grand Rapids cost $98,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, forty-three new homes were built in Grand Rapids, down from ninety-two the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Grand Rapids are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, transportation equipment, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 19 minutes. More than 23.8% of Grand Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Grand Rapids is 15.4%, which is greater than Michigan's average of 14.3%.

The percentage of Grand Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 52.9%, is more than both the national and state average. Church of Jesus Christ, Immanuel Church and Trinity Church are among the churches located in Grand Rapids. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Christian Reformed Church in North America and the Reformed Church in America.

Grand Rapids is home to the Kent Country Club and the Walker Juvenile Court as well as Comstock Riverside Park and Richmond Park. Visitors to Grand Rapids can choose from Hampton Inn Grand Rapids, Hampton Inn Grand Rapids/North- Mi and Hampton Inn Fax for temporary stays in the area.