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Career and Education Opportunities for Special Needs Teachers in Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Special needs teachers can find many career and educational opportunities in the Murfreesboro, Tennessee area. There are currently 4,330 working special needs teachers in Tennessee; this should grow 30% to about 5,620 working special needs teachers in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for special needs teachers, which sees this job pool growing by about 19.6% over the next eight years. 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 $42,292 per year in Tennessee, 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 Tennessee, and better than the overall Special Education category nationally. People working as special needs teachers can fill a number of jobs, such as: elementary special education teacher, behavior specialist, and grade school teacher.

There are forty-five schools of higher education in the Murfreesboro area, including six within twenty-five miles of Murfreesboro where you can get a degree to start your career as a special needs teacher. Given that the most common education level for special needs teachers is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years studying 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 Murfreesboro 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

Lipscomb University - Nashville, TN

Lipscomb University, One University Park Drive, Nashville, TN 37204-3951. Lipscomb University is a small university located in Nashville, Tennessee. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,054 students and an admission rate of 75%. Lipscomb University has a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated seventeen students in 2008.

Tennessee State University - Nashville, TN

Tennessee State University, 3500 John Merritt Blvd, Nashville, TN 37209-1561. Tennessee State University is a medium sized university located in Nashville, Tennessee. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 8,005 students and an admission rate of 46%. Tennessee State University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated zero and nineteen students respectively in 2008.

Vanderbilt University - Nashville, TN

Vanderbilt University, 2101 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN 37240. Vanderbilt University is a large university located in Nashville, Tennessee. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 12,093 students and an admission rate of 25%. Vanderbilt University has 2 areas of study related to Special Needs Teacher. They are:

  • Special Education and Teaching, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated three, zero, and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Hearing Impairments, Including Deafness, master's degree.

Middle Tennessee State University - Murfreesboro, TN

Middle Tennessee State University, 1301 East Main Street, Murfreesboro, TN 37132. Middle Tennessee State University is a large university located in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 23,872 students and an admission rate of 65%. Middle Tennessee State University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated nineteen and twenty-one students respectively in 2008.

Fisk University - Nashville, TN

Fisk University, 1000 17th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37208-4501. Fisk University is a small university located in Nashville, Tennessee. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 726 students and an admission rate of 54%. Fisk University has a bachelor's degree program in Special Education and Teaching.

Belmont University - Nashville, TN

Belmont University, 1900 Belmont Blvd, Nashville, TN 37212-3757. Belmont University is a small university located in Nashville, Tennessee. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,075 students and an admission rate of 63%. Belmont University has a master'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.

LICENSES

TEACHER

Licensing agency: Office of Teacher Licensing
Address: Department of Education, Andrew Johnson Tower 5th Floor, 710 James Robertson Pkwy, Nashville, TN 37243-0377

Phone: (615) 532-4885
Website: Office of Teacher Licensing Department of Education

LOCATION INFORMATION: Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Murfreesboro, Tennessee photo by Pollinator

Murfreesboro is situated in Rutherford County, Tennessee. It has a population of over 101,753, which has grown by 47.9% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Murfreesboro, 85, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Murfreesboro are valued at $145,900 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, five hundred seventy-nine new homes were constructed in Murfreesboro, down from 1,157 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Murfreesboro are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 24 minutes. More than 30.8% of Murfreesboro residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.9%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Murfreesboro is 9.6%, which is less than Tennessee's average of 10.2%.

The percentage of Murfreesboro residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.6%, is less than both the national and state average. Central Christian Church, Saint Rose of Lima Catholic Church and Saint Pauls Episcopal Church are some of the churches located in Murfreesboro. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Churches of Christ and the United Methodist Church.

Murfreesboro is home to the Clement Hall and the Military Park Brannons Redoubt as well as Old Fort Park and Jones Field. Shopping malls in the area include Northside Plaza Shopping Center, Northfield Crossing Shopping Center and Northfield Court Shopping Center. Visitors to Murfreesboro can choose from Doubletree Hotel Murfeesboro, Best Western Chaffin Inn and Hampton Inn Motel Fax Line for temporary stays in the area.