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Career and Education Opportunities for Special Needs Teachers in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

There are many career and education opportunities for special needs teachers in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area. About 3,710 people are currently employed as special needs teachers in Wisconsin. By 2016, this is expected to grow 13% to about 4,170 people employed. This is not quite as good as 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 $25 per hour or $50,210 per year in Wisconsin, and an average of $22 per hour or $49,620 per year nationwide. Special needs teachers earn less than people working in the category of Special Education generally in Wisconsin and more than people in the Special Education category nationally. People working as special needs teachers can fill a number of jobs, such as: exceptional student education teacher , adapted physical education teacher, and hearing impaired itinerant teacher .

The Milwaukee area is home to thirty-nine schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of Milwaukee 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, 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 Milwaukee 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

Alverno College - Milwaukee, WI

Alverno College, 3400 S 43rd St, Milwaukee, WI 53234-3922. Alverno College is a small college located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,782 students and an admission rate of 89%. Alverno College has a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching, Other Specialties which graduated three students in 2008.

Carthage College - Kenosha, WI

Carthage College, 2001 Alford Park Dr, Kenosha, WI 53140-1994. Carthage College is a small college located in Kenosha, Wisconsin. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,990 students and an admission rate of 77%. Carthage College has a bachelor's degree program in Special Education and Teaching, Other Specialties which graduated seven students in 2008.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee - Milwaukee, WI

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2200 E Kenwood Blvd, Milwaukee, WI 53201-0413. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is a large university located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 28,995 students and an admission rate of 96%. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated twenty-eight students in 2008.

Cardinal Stritch University - Milwaukee, WI

Cardinal Stritch University, 6801 N Yates Rd, Milwaukee, WI 53217-3985. Cardinal Stritch University is a medium sized university located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,300 students and an admission rate of 90%. Cardinal Stritch University has a master's degree program in Special Education and Teaching which graduated seventeen 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, Special Education - Preschool/Kinderharten/Elementry School

Licensing agency: Dept of Public Instruction
Address: Teacher Education, Professional Development, and Licensing, 125 S. Webster St., Madison, WI 53703

Phone: (608) 266-1027
Website: Dept of Public Instruction Teacher Education, Professional Development, and Licensing

LOCATION INFORMATION: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Milwaukee, Wisconsin photo by Towpilot

Milwaukee is located in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. It has a population of over 604,477, which has grown by 1.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Milwaukee, 87, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Milwaukee cost $167,400 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, ninety-six new homes were built in Milwaukee, down from one hundred sixty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Milwaukee are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is administrative and support and waste management services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 18.3% of Milwaukee residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Milwaukee is 10.6%, which is greater than Wisconsin's average of 7.7%.

The percentage of Milwaukee residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 47.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Church of the Epiphany, Saint Mark African Methodist Episcopal Church and German Full Gospel Church are among the churches located in Milwaukee. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Milwaukee is home to the Caroline Hall and the Wood as well as Cannon Park and Fifth Ward Playground. Shopping malls in the area include Juneau Village Shopping Center, Times Square Shopping Center and Grand Avenue Mall Shopping Center. Visitors to Milwaukee can choose from Edge-O-Town Motel, Manor House Hotel and Days Inn West Allis for temporary stays in the area.