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Need For Special-Ed Teachers Provides Opportunities For Millennials

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(Credit: Thinkstock)

(Credit: Thinkstock)

Jim Williams (CBS) Jim Williams
Jim Williams, a native Chicagoan, co-anchors the CBS 2 Chicago Wee...
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CHICAGO (CBS) — Young people right out of college call it a crisis as the unemployment rate among the millennials is high.

CBS 2’s Jim Williams reports there is a profession with lots of job openings, but the work is very demanding.

For Robert Maddalozzo, it is a calling.

“I believe very strongly in working the students with the highest levels of needs,” said Maddalozzo.

And experts say there is a great need now for special education teachers, like Maddalozzo, in Illinois and across the country.

Mary Fergus is with the State Board of Education.

“Our most recent report shows it and historically we’ve show that there are shortages in teaching speech and language and behavior specialist positions under the special-ed umbrella,” said Fergus.

Fergus explains that there is a greater need because, “We know that the population has grown, just like the bilingual population has grown.”

Experts cite other factors, too, for the shortage. Special-ed teachers are leaving the profession at a higher rate than other educators, as they are frustrated with larger class sizes for kids who need more personal attention and they are buried under a lot of paperwork.

“No one tries to sugar-coat that it is one of those issues where you are going to constantly going to be advocating for your students, you’re going to be constantly fighting, it’s going to be constant change and struggle,” said Maddalozzo.

Still, Robert Maddalozzo, close to a master’s degree at UIC, is taking on the challenge and education officials are trying to recruit more young people just like him.

The state board of education is reaching out to colleges and universities to tell young people what they need to do to become special education teachers.

Education officials say job prospects are also good for math, science and Spanish teachers.

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