Career and Education Opportunities for Special Needs Teachers in Charlotte, North Carolina
If you want to be a special needs teacher, the Charlotte, North Carolina area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 7,500 jobs for special needs teachers in North Carolina and this is projected to grow by 31% to about 9,810 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%. 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 $19 per hour or $41,150 per year in North Carolina, and an average of $22 per hour or $49,620 per year nationwide. Special needs teachers earn more than people working in the category of Special Education generally in North Carolina and more than people in the Special Education category nationally. Special needs teachers work in a variety of jobs, including: early childhood special education teacher , intervention specialist, and reading specialist.
There are four schools within twenty-five miles of Charlotte where you can study to be a special needs teacher, among forty-three schools of higher education total in the Charlotte area. Given that the most common education level 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 Charlotte 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
Mitchell Community College - Statesville, NC
Mitchell Community College, 500 W Broad Street, Statesville, NC 28677-5293. Mitchell Community College is a small college located in Statesville, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,911 students. Mitchell Community College has an associate's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated one student in 2008.
Lenoir-Rhyne University - Hickory, NC
Lenoir-Rhyne University, 625 7th Avenue NE, Hickory, NC 28601. Lenoir-Rhyne University is a small university located in Hickory, North Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,548 students and an admission rate of 81%. Lenoir-Rhyne University has a bachelor's degree program in Education/Teaching of Individuals with Hearing Impairments, Including Deafness.
Winthrop University - Rock Hill, SC
Winthrop University, 119 Tillman Hall, Rock Hill, SC 29733. Winthrop University is a medium sized university located in Rock Hill, South Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,018 students and an admission rate of 70%. Winthrop University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated seven and six students respectively in 2008.
University of North Carolina at Charlotte - Charlotte, NC
University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 9201 University City Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28223-0001. University of North Carolina at Charlotte is a large university located in Charlotte, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 23,300 students and an admission rate of 75%. University of North Carolina at Charlotte has 6 areas of study related to Special Needs Teacher. They are:
- Special Education and Teaching, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated zero and four students respectively in 2008.
- Education/Teaching of the Gifted and Talented, master's degree.
- Education/Teaching of Individuals with Emotional Disturbances, master's degree.
- Education/Teaching of Individuals with Mental Retardation, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated twenty-five and six students respectively in 2008.
- Education/Teaching of Individuals with Specific Learning Disabilities, master's degree.
- Special Education and Teaching, Other Specialties, master's degree.
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: Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte is located in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. It has a population of over 687,456, which has grown by 27.1% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charlotte, 86, is well below the national average.
The three big industries for women in Charlotte are health care, finance and insurance, and educational services. For men, it is construction, finance and insurance, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 36.4% of Charlotte residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.5%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Charlotte is 9.7%, which is less than North Carolina's average of 10.6%.
The percentage of Charlotte residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 48.0%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. New Hampton Church, New Emmanuel Church and New East Stonewall Church are all churches located in Charlotte. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.
Charlotte is home to the Crown Point Plaza and the Providence Square as well as Kilborne District Park and Little Rock Road District Park. Shopping malls in the area include Heckinger Shopping Center, Hampshire Hills Shopping Center and Providence Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Charlotte can choose from American Motel, Extended Stay America - Charlotte/Tyvola and Drury Inn and Suites Charlotte for temporary stays in the area.