High School Teaching
When considering a career in teaching, you'll likely spend some time considering what level you would like to teach at. If you're planning to teach elementary school, your studies will focus on the core subjects – math, reading, writing, and social studies – while at the middle school level, you may just focus on a few subjects like English, history, or chemistry.
When teaching high school, your focus is primarily on a single subject so that you can teach it to many different grades. It's important to decide which grade levels you want to teach before you get too far in your studies so you can take the appropriate subjects.
The Responsibilities of a High School Teacher
As a high school teacher, you're not only teaching the subjects that students need in order to pursue college, university, and various careers, but you're also preparing them for life. Within each lesson you are effectively showing students how they need to interact out in the world – with respect and dignity. Other traits your high schoolers will learn include:
While this may not be part of a defined lesson plan, these characteristics are learned by your students from your daily interaction with them.
Overcoming the Learning Gap
One of the main challenges as a high school teacher is trying to catch up students who have so far been passed along, even though they may not fully understand the concepts they were taught. The higher grades usually show a larger gap between the excelling students and the ones who are falling behind.
A good high school teacher has to balance new lessons while trying to help the struggling students catch up. It can be a difficult situation, but this is a fact of life as a high school teacher.
Specialize In Your Passion!
If you have an interest and sufficient educational background in music or dramatic arts, then you can become a high school music or drama teacher. Not only does teaching these subjects give you a chance to flex your artistic muscles as well as creating the opportunity to travel with your class to various parts of the country. For some classes there may even be the chance to visit other countries to show off your students' skills.
For those with a passion in psychology, your career in high school could be as a teen counsellor. Kids at this age are often in need of help sorting out problems at home, issues with their peers, and trouble figuring out just who they are. They also need someone to help them decide what they are going to do with their lives, and how they are going to get there. As a qualified school counsellor, you can help kids every day, and help them find out who they are and what they want to be.
While being a high school teacher certainly has its ups and downs, it's a great career that offers a reasonable salary and excellent job security. It is one of the only jobs where you get to help children on a daily basis and see the results of your efforts instantly. While many may tell you that being a teacher is a thankless job, the truth is that everyone who has been taught or have children in school are thankful every day for what teachers do.
Get started on your path to high school teaching by checking out the requirements to becoming a teacher in your state. If you already have a bachelor's degree you could be teaching in no time at all.