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Career and Education Opportunities for Special Needs Teachers in Amarillo, Texas

If you want to be a special needs teacher, the Amarillo, Texas area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 13,750 jobs for special needs teachers in Texas and this is projected to grow 50% to about 20,560 jobs 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. 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 $45,255 per year in Texas, 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 Texas and more than people in the Special Education category nationally. Jobs in this field include: resource teacher, lip reading teacher, and exceptional student education teacher .

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

  • 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.
  • 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

West Texas A & M University - Canyon, TX

West Texas A & M University, 2501 4th Ave, Canyon, TX 79016-0001. West Texas A & M University is a medium sized university located in Canyon, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,552 students and an admission rate of 66%. West Texas A & M University has a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated one student 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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Amarillo, Texas

Amarillo, Texas
Amarillo, Texas photo by Anonymous Cow

Amarillo is situated in Potter County, Texas. It has a population of over 187,236, which has grown by 7.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Amarillo, 79, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Amarillo are priced at $245,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, four hundred seventy-one new homes were constructed in Amarillo, down from six hundred forty-eight the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Amarillo are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and food. The average commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 20.5% of Amarillo residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.8%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Amarillo is 5.4%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Amarillo residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 86.4%, is more than both the national and state average. Pentecostal Church of God, Pentecostal Church of God in Christ and Pentecostal Holiness Church are among the churches located in Amarillo. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Amarillo is home to the Amarillo Globe Dream House and the Wolflin Historic District as well as Martin Road Park and Will Rogers Park. Shopping malls in the area include Western Plaza Shopping Center and Westgate Shopping Center. Visitors to Amarillo can choose from 3B Machine & Custom Fabrication, Bailey's Lounge and Comfort Inn Airport for temporary stays in the area.