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Career and Education Opportunities for Special Needs Teachers in Jackson, Mississippi

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for special needs teachers in the Jackson, Mississippi area. Currently, 2,310 people work as special needs teachers in Mississippi. This is expected to grow by 14% to about 2,630 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as 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 $16 per hour or $41,077 per year in Mississippi, and an average of $22 per hour or $49,620 per year nationwide. Incomes for special needs teachers are better than in the overall category of Special Education in Mississippi, and better than the overall Special Education category nationally. People working as special needs teachers can fill a number of jobs, such as: teacher of the speech and hearing handicapped, learning disabled teacher, and exceptional needs teacher.

There are seventeen schools of higher education in the Jackson area, including three within twenty-five miles of Jackson 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. It will take about four years to learn 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 Jackson 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

Jackson State University - Jackson, MS

Jackson State University, 1440 J R Lynch St, Jackson, MS 39217. Jackson State University is a medium sized university located in Jackson, Mississippi. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 8,530 students and an admission rate of 36%. Jackson State University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated fifteen and six students respectively in 2008.

Mississippi College - Clinton, MS

Mississippi College, 200 South Capitol Street, Clinton, MS 39058. Mississippi College is a small college located in Clinton, Mississippi. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,788 students and an admission rate of 62%. Mississippi College has 2 areas of study related to Special Needs Teacher. They are:

  • Special Education and Teaching, bachelor's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.
  • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Specific Learning Disabilities, master's degree which graduated 9 students in 2008.

Tougaloo College - Tougaloo, MS

Tougaloo College, 500 W County Line Rd, Tougaloo, MS 39174. Tougaloo College is a small college located in Tougaloo, Mississippi. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 864 students and an admission rate of 96%. Tougaloo College has a bachelor's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated four students 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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Jackson, Mississippi

Jackson, Mississippi
Jackson, Mississippi photo by Yassie

Jackson is situated in Hinds County, Mississippi. It has a population of over 173,861, which has shrunk by 5.6% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Jackson, 83, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Jackson cost $101,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, four hundred fifty-six new homes were built in Jackson, up from two hundred twenty-three the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Jackson are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 20 minutes. More than 27.1% of Jackson residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.2%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Jackson is 9.2%, which is less than Mississippi's average of 9.5%.

The percentage of Jackson residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 55.4%, is more than both the national and state average. Bibleway Baptist Church, Saint Johns Missionary Baptist Church and Saint John Deliverance Temple Number 2 are some of the churches located in Jackson. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Jackson is home to the Riverhills Country Club and the Colonial Country Club as well as Smith-Wills Stadium and Lefleurs Bluff State Park. Shopping malls in the area include North Terry Road Shopping Center, Northside Shopping Center and Northtown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Jackson can choose from Days Inn-Coliseum, Econo Lodge and Regal Sales Office for temporary stays in the area.