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

Special education teachers can find many career and educational opportunities in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. There are currently 2,120 working special education teachers in Michigan; this should grow by 14% to 2,420 working special education teachers in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for special education teachers, which sees this job pool growing by about 18.1% over the next eight years. Special education teachers generally teach middle 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. Special education teachers earn more than people working in the category of Special Education generally in Michigan and more than people in the Special Education category nationally. Special education teachers work in a variety of jobs, including: self-contained special education teacher, teacher of the emotionally disturbed, and middle school resource teacher.

There are three schools within twenty-five miles of Grand Rapids where you can study to be a special education teacher, among nineteen schools of higher education total in the Grand Rapids area. Given that the most common education level for special education teachers is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years training to become a special education teacher if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Special Education Teacher

In general, special education teachers teach middle 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 education teachers attend professional meetings and teacher training workshops to maintain and improve professional competence. They also talk with parents or guardians and administrators to deal with students' behavioral and academic problems. Equally important, special education teachers have to establish and enforce rules for behavior and policies and procedures to maintain order among students. They are often called upon 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 expected to talk with parents and professionals to evolve individual educational plans designed to promote students' educational and social development. Finally, special education teachers perform administrative duties such as assisting in school libraries, hall and cafeteria monitoring, and bus loading and unloading.

Every day, special education teachers are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for special education teachers to monitor teachers and teacher assistants to insure that they adhere to inclusive special education program requirements. They are often called upon to organize and supervise games and other recreational activities to promote physical and social development. They also supervise and plan assignments for teacher assistants and volunteers. They are sometimes expected to instruct students in daily living skills required for independent maintenance and self-sufficiency, such as hygiene and food preparation. Somewhat less frequently, special education teachers are also expected to attend professional meetings and teacher training workshops to maintain and improve professional competence.

Special education teachers sometimes are asked to ready materials and classrooms for class efforts. and observe and evaluate students' performance and physical health. And finally, they sometimes have to guide and counsel students with adjustment or academic problems, or special academic interests.

Like many other jobs, special education teachers must have exceptional integrity and have strong self control in the face of challenging situations.

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.
  • 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 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: 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.