Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Vocational Education Career Video
Description: Teach students in one or more subjects, such as English, mathematics, or social studies at the secondary level in public or private schools. May be designated according to subject matter specialty.
Secondary school teachers help students prepare for life after high school, from taking college entrance exams to getting ready for a career. They specialize in teaching seventh to twelfth grade students a single subject, such as English, physical education, science, or music. Secondary school teachers must adapt to students' varied abilities, including limited English proficiency, learning disabilities, and emotional or behavioral disorders. During open periods in their day, teachers plan lessons, grade assignments, and meet with other teachers and staff. They may post grades and assignments on school websites. Some high school teachers coach sports and advise clubs and other groups after school. Teaching can be challenging, especially where classes are large and important resources are in short supply. Teachers are often held accountable for students’ performance on standardized tests, and at times, must go to great lengths to engage students and maintain a respectful learning environment. Communication skills, patience, and resourcefulness… are important characteristics in this career. Teachers generally work a ten-month school year with a two-month break for summer, although some teach summer programs. A bachelor’s degree is required to enter this field, along with state certification or licensure to work at public schools. Candidates must also pass a test in their subject area. The payoff for teachers' commitment is seeing students develop a strong foundation for their future.