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Career and Education Opportunities for Special Needs Teachers in Fort Worth, Texas

There are many career and education opportunities for special needs teachers in the Fort Worth, Texas area. About 13,750 people are currently employed as special needs teachers in Texas. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 50% to 20,560 people employed. 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. People working as special needs teachers can fill a number of jobs, such as: special education resource teacher, early intervention specialist, and visually impaired teacher.

There are ninety-one schools of higher education in the Fort Worth area, including five within twenty-five miles of Fort Worth 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, 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 Fort Worth 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

University of North Texas - Denton, TX

University of North Texas, Chestnut Ave., Denton, TX 76203-1277. University of North Texas is a large university located in Denton, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 34,795 students and an admission rate of 64%. University of North Texas has postbaccalaureate certificate, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Special Education and Teaching which graduated twenty-five, thirty-seven, and one students respectively in 2008.

Texas Woman's University - Denton, TX

Texas Woman's University, 304 Administration Dr, Denton, TX 76201. Texas Woman's University is a large university located in Denton, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 12,341 students and an admission rate of 56%. Texas Woman's University has 2 areas of study related to Special Needs Teacher. They are:

  • Special Education and Teaching, master's degree, post-master's certificate, and doctor's degree which graduated twenty-eight, one, and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Hearing Impairments, Including Deafness, master's degree which graduated 21 students in 2008.

Dallas Baptist University - Dallas, TX

Dallas Baptist University, 3000 Mountain Creek Parkway, Dallas, TX 75211-9299. Dallas Baptist University is a medium sized university located in Dallas, Texas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,297 students and an admission rate of 47%. Dallas Baptist University has a master's degree program in Education/Teaching of Individuals with Specific Learning Disabilities which graduated five students in 2008.

Texas Christian University - Fort Worth, TX

Texas Christian University, 2800 S University Dr, Fort Worth, TX 76129. Texas Christian University is a medium sized university located in Fort Worth, Texas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 8,696 students and an admission rate of 50%. Texas Christian University has 2 areas of study related to Special Needs Teacher. They are:

  • Special Education and Teaching, master's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Hearing Impairments, Including Deafness, bachelor's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.

Southern Methodist University - Dallas, TX

Southern Methodist University, 6425 Boaz St, Dallas, TX 75275-0221. Southern Methodist University is a large university located in Dallas, Texas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,965 students and an admission rate of 50%. Southern Methodist University has 2 areas of study related to Special Needs Teacher. They are:

  • Special Education and Teaching, postbaccalaureate certificate.
  • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Specific Learning Disabilities, postbaccalaureate certificate which graduated 29 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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Fort Worth, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas photo by Chin tin tin

Fort Worth is situated in Tarrant County, Texas. It has a population of over 703,073, which has grown by 31.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Fort Worth, 88, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Fort Worth are valued at $145,600 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, 3,790 new homes were constructed in Fort Worth, down from 5,669 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Fort Worth are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 22.3% of Fort Worth residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Fort Worth is 8.3%, which is greater than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Fort Worth residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 52.5%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Pentecostal Church of God in Christ, Pentecostal Water of Life Church and Petra Baptist Church are among the churches located in Fort Worth. The most prominent religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Fort Worth is home to the Hurst Sewage Disposal and the Hart Spur as well as Trinity Valley School Softball Field and Circle Park. Shopping malls in the area include Overton Park Plaza Shopping Center, Ridgmar Town Square Shopping Center and Fair Oaks Shopping Center. Visitors to Fort Worth can choose from Azalea Plantation Bed & Breakfast, Central Motel and Best Western Fort Worth Inn for temporary stays in the area.