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Career and Education Opportunities for Special Needs Teachers in Warwick, Rhode Island

Warwick, Rhode Island provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for special needs teachers. There are currently 590 jobs for special needs teachers in Rhode Island and this is projected to grow by 18% to 700 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%. 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 $20 per hour or $57,273 per year in Rhode Island, and an average of $22 per hour or $49,620 per year nationwide. Jobs in this field include: deaf teacher, emotionally impaired teacher, and paraprofessional.

The Warwick area is home to fifty-one schools of higher education, including five within twenty-five miles of Warwick where you can get a degree 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 Warwick 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

Bridgewater State College - Bridgewater, MA

Bridgewater State College, 131 Summer Street, Bridgewater, MA 02325. Bridgewater State College is a large college located in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,269 students and an admission rate of 62%. Bridgewater State College has bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, and master's degree programs in Special Education and Teaching which graduated zero, ten, and seventy-eight students respectively in 2008.

Salve Regina University - Newport, RI

Salve Regina University, 100 Ochre Point Avenue, Newport, RI 02840-4192. Salve Regina University is a small university located in Newport, Rhode Island. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,691 students and an admission rate of 59%. Salve Regina University has a bachelor's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated thirty-four students in 2008.

Providence College - Providence, RI

Providence College, River Ave and Eaton St, Providence, RI 02918-0001. Providence College is a medium sized college located in Providence, Rhode Island. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,180 students and an admission rate of 45%. Providence College has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated zero and thirty-six students respectively in 2008.

Community College of Rhode Island - Warwick, RI

Community College of Rhode Island, 400 East Ave, Warwick, RI 02886-1807. Community College of Rhode Island is a large college located in Warwick, Rhode Island. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 17,612 students. Community College of Rhode Island has an associate's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated twenty-five students in 2008.

Rhode Island College - Providence, RI

Rhode Island College, 600 Mount Pleasant Ave, Providence, RI 02908. Rhode Island College is a medium sized college located in Providence, Rhode Island. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 9,085 students and an admission rate of 72%. Rhode Island College has 4 areas of study related to Special Needs Teacher. They are:

  • Special Education and Teaching, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated zero and ten students respectively in 2008.
  • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Emotional Disturbances, master's degree.
  • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Specific Learning Disabilities, master's degree.
  • Special Education and Teaching, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated zero and twenty-four students respectively 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

Early Childhood Special Educator

Licensing agency: Office of Educator Quality & Certification
Address: R.I. Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education, Shepard Building, 255 Westminster St., Providence, RI 02903

Phone: (401) 222-8808
Website: Office of Educator Quality & Certification R.I. Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education

Teacher (Elementary)

Licensing agency: Office of Educator Quality & Certification
Address: R.I. Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education, Shepard Building, 255 Westminster St., Providence, RI 02903

Phone: (401) 222-8808
Website: Office of Educator Quality & Certification R.I. Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education

Teacher (Special Education)

Licensing agency: Office of Educator Quality & Certification
Address: R.I. Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education, Shepard Building, 255 Westminster St., Providence, RI 02903

Phone: (401) 222-8808
Website: Office of Educator Quality & Certification R.I. Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education

LOCATION INFORMATION: Warwick, Rhode Island

Warwick, Rhode Island
Warwick, Rhode Island photo by Marcbela

Warwick is located in Kent County, Rhode Island. It has a population of over 84,483, which has shrunk by 1.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Warwick, 94, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Warwick are priced at $129,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, thirty new homes were constructed in Warwick, down from forty-nine the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Warwick are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 22 minutes. More than 24.5% of Warwick residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.9%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Warwick is 11.5%, which is less than Rhode Island's average of 12.2%.

The percentage of Warwick residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 67.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Warwick Bible Chapel, Warwick Central Baptist Church and Warwick Christian Fellowship Church are all churches located in Warwick. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Warwick is home to the Kent County Chamber of Commerce and the Community College of Rhode Island Learning Resources Center as well as Apponaug Historic District and Salter Grove State Park. Shopping malls in the area include Buttonwoods Plaza Shopping Center, Buttonwoods Shopping Center and Clocktower Square Shopping Center. Visitors to Warwick can choose from Fairfield Inn Providence/Warwick, Extended Stay America and Courtyard by Marriott for temporary stays in the area.