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Wyoming: Working in Education in Wyoming

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Teacher's Aides

Wyoming paraprofessionals founded the Wyoming ParaEducator Consortium to support the needs of paraeducators throughout the state.

The estimated mean annual salary for the nearly 4,000 teaching assistants in Wyoming was $22,150 in May 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The nationwide mean was $23,560 at that time.

A job posting for a teacher's aide in Wyoming lists qualifications as an associate's degree, preferably in education, or two to four years of progressive work experience, preferably in education or instruction.

Technology Education

Wyoming is a large and sparsely populated state with a highly diverse population; technology can and does play an important role in improving and equalizing educational opportunities for all Wyoming students. The Wyoming Educational Technology Plan defines the direction Wyoming's educational system will take for the use of technology. It is also intended to help educators understand statewide technology implementation. Wyoming has a number of online public and charter schools serving K-12 students in the state.

A number of school districts in Wyoming give a laptop to each student in a particular grade. The Natrona County schools, for example, give laptops to freshmen and sophomores. Frontier Middle School is in its fifth year of one-to-one computer use. The Natrona schools recently decided to unblock access to social networking sites, reasoning that students use them in real life and teachers are finding educational applications for such sites. Each student at a new online charter school will be loaned a laptop, with Internet hook-ups provided free at their homes.

Educational Managers

An endorsement as a school principal or program director requires Wyoming licensure in a teaching field and completion of an educational leadership program at an approved college or university. Wyoming does not allow educators to add an endorsement just by taking an exam.

The Wyoming Association of Secondary School Principals represents over 130 administrators, mostly principals and assistant principals in secondary schools. It focuses on providing professional development specifically for building level administrators, with conferences and workshops in different areas of the state.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the estimated mean annual salary for elementary and secondary administrators in Wyoming was $82,590 in May 2008. The annual mean across the country was $86,060.

Curriculum and Instruction

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the mean annual salary of the 300 or so instructional coordinators in Wyoming in May 2008 was $56,580; the nationwide mean was $59,780. Also called educational specialists or consultants, curriculum directors, or instructional materials directors, educators in this position develop instructional materials and help teachers develop curriculum and integrate technology into learning.

Wyoming is one of 15 states that recently lowered one or more of its educational standards. It is one of three states that lowered standards in reading and math in both fourth and eighth grades from 2005 to 2007. The states that lowered their standards did so to avoid sanctions under No Child Left Behind.

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