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Career and Education Opportunities for Special Needs Teachers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Special needs teachers can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area. There are currently 10,900 jobs for special needs teachers in Pennsylvania and this is projected to grow by 6% to 11,500 jobs 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%. Special needs teachers generally teach elementary and preschool school subjects to educationally and physically handicapped students.

The average wage in the general category of Special Education jobs is $20 per hour or $49,475 per year in Pennsylvania, 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 Pennsylvania and more than people in the Special Education category nationally. Special needs teachers work in a variety of jobs, including: ed teacher , mentally impaired teacher, and special education resource teacher.

The Philadelphia area is home to 156 schools of higher education, including eighteen within twenty-five miles of Philadelphia where you can get a degree as a special needs teacher. Special needs teachers usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so 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 Philadelphia 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

Gwynedd Mercy College - Gwynedd Valley, PA

Gwynedd Mercy College, 1325 Sumneytown Pike, Gwynedd Valley, PA 19437-0901. Gwynedd Mercy College is a small college located in Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,513 students and an admission rate of 57%. Gwynedd Mercy College has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated eighteen and six students respectively in 2008.

Salus University - Elkins Park, PA

Salus University, 8360 Old York Rd, Elkins Park, PA 19027-6262. Salus University is a small university located in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,639 students. Salus University has a postbaccalaureate certificate and a master's degree program in Education/Teaching of Individuals with Vision Impairments, Including Blindness which graduated nine and two students respectively in 2008.

Eastern University - Saint Davids, PA

Eastern University, 1300 Eagle Rd, Saint Davids, PA 19087-3696. Eastern University is a small university located in Saint Davids, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,907 students and an admission rate of 62%. Eastern University has a bachelor's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated two students in 2008.

Wilmington University - New Castle, DE

Wilmington University, 320 Dupont Hwy, New Castle, DE 19720. Wilmington University is a medium sized university located in New Castle, Delaware. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 8,980 students. Wilmington University has 2 areas of study related to Special Needs Teacher. They are:

  • Special Education and Teaching, master's degree which graduated 94 students in 2008.
  • Education/Teaching of the Gifted and Talented, master's degree which graduated 26 students in 2008.

Rider University - Lawrenceville, NJ

Rider University, 2083 Lawrence Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648-3099. Rider University is a medium sized university located in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,011 students and an admission rate of 74%. Rider University has a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated fourteen students in 2008.

Rowan University - Glassboro, NJ

Rowan University, 201 Mullica Hill Road, Glassboro, NJ 08028. Rowan University is a large university located in Glassboro, New Jersey. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,271 students and an admission rate of 57%. Rowan University has 2 areas of study related to Special Needs Teacher. They are:

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

Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Great Valley - Malvern, PA

Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Great Valley, 30 E Swedesford Rd, Malvern, PA 19355-1488. Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Great Valley is a small university located in Malvern, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,238 students. Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Great Valley has a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated five students in 2008.

Arcadia University - Glenside, PA

Arcadia University, 450 S Easton Rd, Glenside, PA 19038-3295. Arcadia University is a small university located in Glenside, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,872 students and an admission rate of 69%. Arcadia University has a master's degree and a doctor's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated forty-nine and eight students respectively in 2008.

Cheyney University of Pennsylvania - Cheyney, PA

Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, 1837 University Circle, Cheyney, PA 19319-0200. Cheyney University of Pennsylvania is a small university located in Cheyney, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,488 students. Cheyney University of Pennsylvania has a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated seven students in 2008.

Widener University-Main Campus - Chester, PA

Widener University-Main Campus, One University Place, Chester, PA 19013-5792. Widener University-Main Campus is a small university located in Chester, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,913 students and an admission rate of 66%. Widener University-Main Campus has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated three and eleven students respectively in 2008.

Holy Family University - Philadelphia, PA

Holy Family University, 9801 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19114-2009. Holy Family University is a small university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,528 students and an admission rate of 72%. Holy Family University has a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated fifty-one students in 2008.

Gloucester County College - Sewell, NJ

Gloucester County College, 1400 Tanyard Road, Sewell, NJ 08080. Gloucester County College is a medium sized college located in Sewell, New Jersey. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,135 students. Gloucester County College has an associate's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated nine students in 2008.

Cabrini College - Radnor, PA

Cabrini College, 610 King of Prussia Rd, Radnor, PA 19087-3698. Cabrini College is a small college located in Radnor, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,580 students and an admission rate of 70%. Cabrini College has a bachelor's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated twelve students in 2008.

Saint Joseph's University - Philadelphia, PA

Saint Joseph's University, 5600 City Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19131-1395. Saint Joseph's University is a medium sized university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,846 students and an admission rate of 86%. Saint Joseph's University has 2 areas of study related to Special Needs Teacher. They are:

  • Special Education and Teaching, master's degree which graduated 10 students in 2008.
  • Special Education and Teaching, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated fifty-four and twenty-two students respectively in 2008.

Chestnut Hill College - Philadelphia, PA

Chestnut Hill College, 9601 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19118-2693. Chestnut Hill College is a small college located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,046 students and an admission rate of 74%. Chestnut Hill College has a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated one student in 2008.

West Chester University of Pennsylvania - West Chester, PA

West Chester University of Pennsylvania, University Avenue and High Street, West Chester, PA 19383. West Chester University of Pennsylvania is a large university located in West Chester, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 13,619 students and an admission rate of 47%. West Chester University of Pennsylvania has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated twenty-four and thirty students respectively in 2008.

The College of New Jersey - Ewing, NJ

The College of New Jersey, 2000 Pennington Road, Ewing, NJ 08628-0718. The College of New Jersey is a medium sized college located in Ewing, New Jersey. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,949 students and an admission rate of 42%. The College of New Jersey has 2 areas of study related to Special Needs Teacher. They are:

  • Special Education and Teaching, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and post-master's certificate which graduated thirty-four, forty-six, and three students respectively in 2008.
  • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Specific Learning Disabilities, post-master's certificate which graduated 15 students in 2008.

University of Delaware - Newark, DE

University of Delaware, , Newark, DE 19716. University of Delaware is a large university located in Newark, Delaware. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 20,500 students and an admission rate of 58%. University of Delaware has a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated fourteen 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

Elementary Instructional

Licensing agency: Department of Education
Address: Bureau of Teacher Certification and Preparation, State Board of Education, 333 Market Street, 3rd Floor, Harristown 2, Harrisburg, PA 17126

Phone: (717) 772-4737
Website: Department of Education Bureau of Teacher Certification and Preparation State Board of Education

K-12 Instructional

Licensing agency: Department of Education
Address: Bureau of Teacher Certification and Preparation, State Board of Education, 333 Market Street, 3rd Floor, Harristown 2, Harrisburg, PA 17126

Phone: (717) 772-4737
Website: Department of Education Bureau of Teacher Certification and Preparation State Board of Education

LOCATION INFORMATION: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania photo by Apollo1758

Philadelphia is located in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 1,447,395, which has shrunk by 4.6% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Philadelphia, 102, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Philadelphia cost $212,900 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, five hundred forty-five new homes were constructed in Philadelphia, down from five hundred ninety-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Philadelphia are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, educational services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 32 minutes. More than 17.9% of Philadelphia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.5%, is lower than the state average.

The percentage of Philadelphia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 53.4%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Boulevard Church, Mount Herman Church and Saint Michael Mission Center are all churches located in Philadelphia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the American Baptist Churches in the USA and the Muslim Estimate.

Philadelphia is home to the Five Points and the Academy Gardens as well as Durham Park and Cloverly Park. Shopping malls in the area include Roosevelt Mall, Andorra Shopping Center and Red Lion Shopping Center. Visitors to Philadelphia can choose from Comfort Inn, Concordia Worldwide Hotel Reservations and Embassy Suites for temporary stays in the area.