Job market for Art teachers and Special Ed Teachers

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by blackbolt_2017, Jun 21, 2017.

  1. blackbolt_2017

    blackbolt_2017 Rookie

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    Jun 21, 2017

    Hi everyone I've really been giving serious thought to going to graduate school for becoming an Art teacher and a spec ed teacher. Now from what I have read so far teaching like a lot of other fields and occupations isn't doing so well. I am an artistic person and really would love to make Art a career in someway shape or form and I think teaching could be a good way to do that however I'm just worried about putting myself into deep debt without a job in the field at the end of the day.

    I live in NY if that matters and could use some insight as to what I am up against here.

    BTW I could also get certified to teach History and Business since that is what my undergrad work is made up of. Oh and just putting it out there I know I would have to take a number of undergrad classes in Art but that isn't an issue at all.

    Thanks again everyone
     
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  3. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I'm confused about being "an art teacher and a special ed teacher." You mean in the same position, like art therapy or something? I've never heard of a position like that in public school; your only option might be something like a specialized private school that only serves special education students. If you're talking about either an art teaching position or a sped teaching position, those job markets are going to be drastically different. I think it would be extremely hard to find an art teaching position as those positions are few and far between and many schools are making cuts to their fine arts programs. You'd have a much easier time finding something in sped, especially if you're flexible about the age group you work with (secondary would be easier to find a job) and the level of disability you're willing to work with. I wouldn't go into this field if you truly don't have any interest in it because you won't last- it sounds like the art position is what you really want. I would also point out that at least in the settings I've worked in, there would be little to no opportunity to bring in art projects or anything like that as part of your curriculum. I'm a resource teacher and part of the job that I don't like is that I have to be 100% focused on academics all of the time and can't do any of the "fun stuff" that classroom teachers get to do. I think it may be different in life skills or something like a behavior unit, but I've never held those positions so I can't say for sure.
     
  4. blackbolt_2017

    blackbolt_2017 Rookie

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    Hi thank you for responding. What I mean was being certified in Art and Special Ed to make myself more marketable. My thinking is aimed about getting my foot in the door.

    Why are Art teacher jobs so hard to get? Why do those subjects get targeted for cuts? I mean I understand that these are tough times and money isn't plentiful in the same ways it was before 2008 but I just think it's so sad and heart breaking that Art gets kicked out.
     
  5. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Well for starters, each school will have at most one art teacher, just due to the nature of how specials classes work. Many smaller schools will share an art teacher, so there's not even one position per building. When you compare that to the number of classroom positions there are in a school, just by sheer numbers you're looking at jobs that are hard to come by. As far as the arts getting cut, you can thank "school accountability" for that. Now everything is about test scores and the only things that matter are tested subjects. I've always worked in title 1 schools in danger of losing funding for poor scores, so maybe it's different in wealthy schools, but you're also facing a lot stiffer job competition in wealthy schools.

    I definitely wouldn't recommend getting into SPED thinking that you can "get your foot in the door" and move to an art position later. I just can't imagine a scenario where that would ever work out. It ends up being a catch-22- if you are a good sped teacher, they won't want to lose you in that position because it's hard to find good sped teachers. If you're not a good sped teacher, they're not going to be willing to give you a shot at another position in the building when they have many other qualified applicants for those positions. Not to mention, as I said each building has at most one art teacher. The art teacher in my building has been there for 15 years and will likely stay until retirement. I'd be waiting a long time if I were trying to move into her position! It's also not like art and sped really have anything to do with each other, so you're not really going to be able to showcase any specific talents that would make someone want you as an art teacher while working in a sped position.
     
  6. RainStorm

    RainStorm Aficionado

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    Jun 21, 2017

    There is usually one art teacher per school (some schools have only a half time art teacher who works at two schools.) There is very little turn over in art teachers -- once they get their foot in the door, they tend to stay 'til retirement.

    So a school might have 40-60 academic area teachers, but only one art teacher. The odds are not in your favor.

    As another poster pointed out, doing SPED as a way to get in your foot in the door will likely backfire.

    I'm not discouraging you from becoming an art teacher -- just sharing the reality of it.
     
  7. RainStorm

    RainStorm Aficionado

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    Those are also fields that are hard to get into. History/Social Studies is a field with a glut of teachers. There are very few Business teaching jobs available in High School and many teachers can easily get that certification.
     
  8. blackbolt_2017

    blackbolt_2017 Rookie

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    Well what about different states? As I said I live in New York. Would going somewhere else help me and give me a much better chance?
     
  9. blackbolt_2017

    blackbolt_2017 Rookie

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    Also does the college you go to matter. I mean if a person went to say Pratt Institute or SVA ( The School of Visual Arts ) for Art Education would that help as opposed to going to Hofstra or Adelphi for it?
     
  10. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I'm in Kentucky. I've been at the same school district for my entire 24 years. We have had two art teachers at the middle school during that time. One was full time art. The current one is also our librarian. I think that the elementary teachers may do their own art classes, but they may share an art teacher. That would mean our district has at most 4 art teachers.

    Special education has more teachers, but there is still little turnover. Our building has three special education teachers.
     
  11. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I believe there's still a market for special ed teachers in NY. Depending on where you are looking in NY, there are designated special education schools such as where I work. We have 20+ teachers as opposed to a public school that might have only a few. In the large district I used to work in there were 2 high schools and they alone had at least 15 special ed teachers in each school. It will mainly depend on your area though. I would put Art on the back burner and focus on special ed for now. You could always add Art later.
     
  12. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    If you don't even have the credits necessary to teach art, this is going to be a long shot - lots of undergrad and then grad school. I would really make sure that teaching is the career you REALLY want to pursue before going so deeply in debt. My answer would be different if you already had the art credits, but apparently you don't. I only recommend SPED if you know that this is something you really understand and believe that it is a calling for you. The sad truth is that we have posts on this forum all the time from SPED teachers who are desperate to get a general education position, leaving SPED after investing the money to become SPED certified.

    If you are considering alternate route into teaching, go with whatever your transcript will support, and consider adding other certifications once you are going to school on the employer's dime, through tuition reimbursement. Business classes are taught at many high schools, and history can be taught as social studies as a teacher for younger kids, or history in the upper grades. Crowded? In lot's of places, yes, but I would at least try before going in debt for a certification that may not be as marketable (art), or one that you really don't know whether or not you would really love. I work in SPED school, and our art teacher just retired after almost three decades. All that time, only one art teacher. On the other hand, the number of SPED teachers who have come and gone would trump that more than 10 to 1.

    There are states where you would be able to add additional certifications simply by passing the Praxis Exams, but I don't know if that is available in the AR way into teaching. I strongly suspect that NY is not one of those states, but apparently PA and VA (and others I don't know about) are. I would make sure that teaching is what you really want to do, then try to find a state that will make the road to teaching as easy as possible so that your debt load doesn't balloon into an unbearable burden that hinders you for years.

    I am not saying that teaching is a bad choice, but I am advocating planning, research, and going into it with eyes wide open. You have posted on this forum, so take some time to read through a lot of the posts in many of the categories, to educate yourself on the pros/cons of teaching. Who knows, if you are willing to go back to school to basically get an art major, maybe you would be able to get a job in art through different routes outside of education. Just a thought.
     
  13. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I worked at a K-5 elementary school with two full-time art teachers (same for music and PE). Similar to what others have said, though, those positions rarely open up. About the only time they do is when someone retires or transfers to another building in the district where that position has opened up because someone else retired.

    I'll agree with what others have said about sped. Don't go into it to be more marketable. It's not an easy job, and it's rarely a fun job. If you're not truly passionate about it (and, frankly, even if you are), you probably won't last long in a position.

    If you really want to teach, I'd think long and hard about what type of teaching position you really want and whether or not you have a realistic shot at finding such a position in the region where you want to live. If you really want a career in art, I'd start thinking about what other career options there are outside of teaching.
     
  14. Mshope2012

    Mshope2012 Companion

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    I hate to say don't be an art teacher, but don't just get certified in art. I did this and ended up subbing for years and adding on THREE more certifications to actually get hired. This process took me through many schools and locations. I finally got hired in English.

    In my school in the last 11 years, we have hired no art teachers. Two retired and they didn't even replace them. Several travel between schools. They all have to do lunch and hall duty.

    I loved teaching art, but the reality is that kids do not take the class as seriously as their "core" classes. Other teachers try to steal supplies and you constantly have to justify your subject. They even asked me if I wanted to transfer back to art and I said, "No, thanks!"

    Special education might be a better choice. Social studies is also saturated and hard to get into unless you are some kind of coach. Then again, I know math teachers who have subbed 8-10 years and cannot get hired in my area. Hopefully, you are in a better place or willing to move?
     
  15. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I'd suggest sped if you think you'd like working with that population (and truthfully, we ALL work with all kinds of learners) and you can use some of your interest in art to complement your instruction.
     
  16. blackbolt_2017

    blackbolt_2017 Rookie

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    Hi everyone thank you all for your reply's. After reading everything here and giving it some VERY objective thought I'm dropping the idea of being an Art Teacher completely. Also what is funny the graduate program at a college that is close to me out here on Long Island in New York got back to me to tell me that I'm no longer wait listed from the graduate social studies program and that I have been accepted. Now with all that said after doing my research and remembering things I've talked to people about and on here as well I'm not going to go into it either. The job market for teachers has basically never recovered in general and it would be insane for me to go into such debt for teaching when at best I will get a substitute teaching position for years until if ever a full time job opens up.
     
  17. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

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    Jul 11, 2017

    Since you are in the NYC/LI area I will tell you the past 2 years there's been a huge push to bring the Arts back into the NYC public schools. So there's been jobs. But by the time you are done with a program that may not be the case. This year there are so many Phys Ed openings because there's a push to have a certified Phys Ed person in elementary where in the past you could just have your gen Ed license and teach it.

    I shouldn't have to tell you the LI market is VERY saturated with teachers. The likelihood of getting a job in LI is super low. You'll do better in NYC. High demand license areas are Sped, ESL/ENL, Bilingual Ed and Math. But you could get a job in NYC with any license because there are jobs just with some licenses there are more jobs.

    FYI I do know someone who teaches an art therapy course in NYC in a District 75 school. But that is definitely a unicorn job.
     
  18. blackbolt_2017

    blackbolt_2017 Rookie

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    I hear what you are saying. Believe me I am well aware that there us no future for Long Island in anyway shape and form. Yup a day late and a dollar short from now till then when I would graduate. As far as NYC is concerned ESL/ENL, Bilingual Ed are out. I have no desire to go for those. Spec Ed yes, Math maybe. I ultimately really want to get out of New York State
     
  19. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Fanatic

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    Jul 13, 2017

    I don't know all markets, but usually I see that there is a huge demand for special ed teachers and Art unfortunately a smaller demand.

    New York has always been very competitive in getting teachers, but if you are in special ed, are very good, and willing to leave Long Island, your chances might be fine. Those who really love special ed are willing to put up with all the ups and downs. I know too many who only got into it because it is easier to get a teaching job. They didn't last too long in it. I don't know you well enough, but I would decide what you really want to do, and then just go for it.
     

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