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Career and Education Opportunities for Special Needs Teachers in Kansas City, Missouri

For those living in the Kansas City, Missouri area, there are many career and education opportunities for special needs teachers. There are currently 6,340 working special needs teachers in Missouri; this should grow 16% to about 7,340 working special needs teachers in the state 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 $21 per hour or $42,612 per year in Missouri, and an average of $22 per hour or $49,620 per year nationwide. Incomes for special needs teachers are not quite as good as in the overall category of Special Education in Missouri, and better than the overall Special Education category nationally. Special needs teachers work in a variety of jobs, including: elementary special education teacher, teacher, and behavior specialist.

There are seventy-one schools of higher education in the Kansas City area, including seven within twenty-five miles of Kansas City 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 Kansas City 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

MidAmerica Nazarene University - Olathe, KS

MidAmerica Nazarene University, 2030 E College Way, Olathe, KS 66062-1899. MidAmerica Nazarene University is a small university located in Olathe, Kansas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,762 students and an admission rate of 73%. MidAmerica Nazarene University has a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated eleven students in 2008.

Park University - Parkville, MO

Park University, 8700 NW River Park Dr, Parkville, MO 64152-3795. Park University is a large university located in Parkville, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 12,457 students and an admission rate of 78%. Park University has a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching.

University of Missouri-Kansas City - Kansas City, MO

University of Missouri-Kansas City, 5100 Rockhill Rd, Kansas City, MO 64110. University of Missouri-Kansas City is a large university located in Kansas City, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 14,481 students and an admission rate of 73%. University of Missouri-Kansas City has a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated twenty-two students in 2008.

University of Saint Mary - Leavenworth, KS

University of Saint Mary, 4100 S 4th St Trafficway, Leavenworth, KS 66048-5082. University of Saint Mary is a small university located in Leavenworth, Kansas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 955 students and an admission rate of 69%. University of Saint Mary has a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated two students in 2008.

Avila University - Kansas City, MO

Avila University, 11901 Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO 64145-1698. Avila University is a small university located in Kansas City, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,939 students and an admission rate of 50%. Avila University has a bachelor's degree program in Education/Teaching of Individuals with Specific Learning Disabilities.

University of Kansas - Lawrence, KS

University of Kansas, , Lawrence, KS 66045. University of Kansas is a large university located in Lawrence, Kansas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 29,365 students and an admission rate of 92%. University of Kansas has a master's degree and a doctor's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated sixty-five and eleven students respectively in 2008.

Benedictine College - Atchison, KS

Benedictine College, 1020 N 2nd St, Atchison, KS 66002-1499. Benedictine College is a small college located in Atchison, Kansas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,988 students and an admission rate of 20%. Benedictine College has a bachelor's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated three 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.

LICENSES

Teachers and Instructors, All Other

Phone: (573) 751-0051
Website: Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Division of Teacher Quality & Urban Education

LOCATION INFORMATION: Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri photo by Dillard421

Kansas City is situated in Jackson County, Missouri. It has a population of over 451,572, which has grown by 2.3% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Kansas City, 78, is well below the national average.

The top three industries for women in Kansas City are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 22 minutes. More than 25.7% of Kansas City residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.7%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Kansas City is 11.3%, which is greater than Missouri's average of 8.9%.

The percentage of Kansas City residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 51.2%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Glenwood Church, Antioch Church and Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary are among the churches located in Kansas City. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Kansas City is home to the Ozanam Boys Home and the Watts Mill Center as well as Central Park and West Terrace Park. Shopping malls in the area include Antioch Shopping Center, Wornall Village Shopping Center and Winwood Shopping Center. Visitors to Kansas City can choose from Budget Host Inn, Days Inn and Embassy Suites Hotel Kansas City Internatinl Arprt for temporary stays in the area.