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Career and Education Opportunities for Special Needs Teachers in Chesapeake, Virginia

For those living in the Chesapeake, Virginia area, there are many career and education opportunities for special needs teachers. The national trend for special needs teachers 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 $22 per hour or $52,855 per year in Virginia, 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 Virginia, and better than the overall Special Education category nationally. Special needs teachers work in a variety of jobs, including: exceptional needs teacher, lip reading teacher, and early interventionist.

The Chesapeake area is home to thirty-six schools of higher education, including five within twenty-five miles of Chesapeake where you can get a degree 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 Chesapeake 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

Hampton University - Hampton, VA

Hampton University, , Hampton, VA 23668-0099. Hampton University is a medium sized university located in Hampton, Virginia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has an admission rate of 45%. Hampton University has 2 areas of study related to Special Needs Teacher. They are:

  • Education/Teaching of the Gifted and Talented, master's degree.
  • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Specific Learning Disabilities, master's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.

Elizabeth City State University - Elizabeth City, NC

Elizabeth City State University, 1704 Weeksville Rd, Elizabeth City, NC 27909. Elizabeth City State University is a small university located in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,105 students and an admission rate of 80%. Elizabeth City State University has 2 areas of study related to Special Needs Teacher. They are:

  • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Mental Retardation, bachelor's degree.
  • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Specific Learning Disabilities, bachelor's degree which graduated 5 students in 2008.

Norfolk State University - Norfolk, VA

Norfolk State University, 700 Park Ave, Norfolk, VA 23504-8000. Norfolk State University is a medium sized university located in Norfolk, Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,330 students and an admission rate of 68%. Norfolk State University has a master's degree program in Education/Teaching of Individuals with Multiple Disabilities which graduated ten students in 2008.

Old Dominion University - Norfolk, VA

Old Dominion University, 5115 Hampton Blvd, Norfolk, VA 23529. Old Dominion University is a large university located in Norfolk, Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 22,973 students and an admission rate of 72%. Old Dominion University has a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated seventy-eight students in 2008.

Regent University - Virginia Beach, VA

Regent University, 1000 Regent University Dr, Virginia Beach, VA 23464. Regent University is a small university located in Virginia Beach, Virginia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,197 students and an admission rate of 50%. Regent University has 2 areas of study related to Special Needs Teacher. They are:

  • Special Education and Teaching, master's degree which graduated 34 students in 2008.
  • Education/Teaching of Individuals with Autism, postbaccalaureate certificate.

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: Chesapeake, Virginia

Chesapeake, Virginia
Chesapeake, Virginia photo by BetacommandBot

Chesapeake is located in Chesapeake City County, Virginia. It has a population of over 220,111, which has grown by 10.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chesapeake, 87, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Chesapeake are priced at $160,000 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, five hundred eighty-nine new homes were constructed in Chesapeake, down from seven hundred fifty-eight the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Chesapeake are educational services, health care, and public administration. For men, it is construction, public administration, and transportation equipment. The average travel time to work is about 25 minutes. More than 24.7% of Chesapeake residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.8%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chesapeake is 6.1%, which is less than Virginia's average of 6.4%.

Pleasant Grove Church, Refuge Mission Church and Saint Andrews Church are among the churches located in Chesapeake.

Chesapeake is home to the Jacks Camp and the Portlock Yard as well as Cascade Park and Ford Park. Shopping malls in the area include Great Bridge Shopping Center, Greenbrier Mall Shopping Center and Poplar Hill Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chesapeake can choose from Courtyard By Marriott, Chesapeake Travelodge Motel and Comfort Inn Bowers Hill for temporary stays in the area.