A Career as a High School Teacher
Career Goal- High School Teacher
High School Teachers teach a certain subject to students in the age range of about 13-18. They teach subjects such as:
- Foreign Languages
Some Responsibilities they have are taking attendance, keeping track of supplies like textbooks, and establish a set of classroom rules to make it easier for students to work and learn.
They have to make lesson plans to teach, and have to go according to the school curriculum. They assign and grade homework. They have to check the students' progress and give tests. Then, they analyze the test scores to make progress reports and final grades.
Sometimes, High School Teachers have to help out with school functions by supervising activities.
They have to go to faculty meetings where they discuss school and class issues with the administrators of the school. There, they talk about different teaching methods and discuss ways to do their job better.
There are times where they have to provide advice for their students with certain problems. They have to meet with parents of students on occasion to try and resolve problems.
Career Skills and Interests
Some skills that a High School Teacher would need are:
- express ideas clearly
- listen and understand students
- be able to read and understand information
Reason and Problem Solving Skills
- noticing when something is wrong
- use reasoning to find answers to problems
- analyze ideas and determine students' strengths and weaknesses
- identify problems then develop solutions
- make rules or follow guidelines
- think of creative, new ideas to solve problems
- be able to concentrate without being easily distracted
- identify ways to improve performance
Time and People Management
- check how well students are learning
- manage time of self and others
- motivate people as they work
- use different methods of teaching
- pay attention to reactions and changes in behavior
- notice people who need extra help
- teach students how to approach different situations
- solve problems by talking, not violence
Career Working Conditions
Teachers will have interpersonal relationships with their co-workers. They have to have a lot of social interaction with students, and speak in front of their classes on a daily basis. Communication is a big part of being a teacher; they communicate by phone, e-mail, and in person. They are placed in conflict situations where students and parents may become unpleasant. Teachers are responsible for their students' health and safety. The staff work as a team to help the students get better education.
The physical work conditions are quite bearable. Teachers work indoors unless they are a gym teacher. Sometimes in the classroom students can make distracting noises. Teachers have to be able to work near others.
All of teachers' work must be done correctly. They have to repeat the same activities such as planning class and grading assignments and tests. They often make decisions that affect others, and don't often consult a supervisor. Teachers must meet strict daily and weekly deadlines.
The time teachers work are regular school hours. Lunch, evening, or weekend hours can be taken to supervise school events. They often have to work overtime to complete grading assignments or tests.
Career Wages and Outlook
The average Minnesota wage per year for a high school teacher is $53,440/yr.
The job outlook for a High School Teacher in Minnesota is very high.
Career Related Occupations
- Adult and Vocational Education Teachers
- Coaches and Scouts
- Elementary School Teachers
- Employee Training Specialists
- Instructional Coordinators
- Middle School Teachers
- Public Health Educators
- School Counselors
- School Psychologists
- Teacher Aides
- University and College Teachers
Program of Study- Secondary Education and Teaching
This program helps people prepare to teach in High Schools. People learn how to teach a certain subject to kids. Included in this program are the following: curriculum and instruction methods, adolescent and teenager development, and specific subject areas. Teachers need a bachelor's degree in education and a minor in the subject they want to teach. Before students graduate, they would need to complete a student teaching experienced under the supervision of a licensed teacher. A bachelor's degree usually takes 4 years to complete, and to get a master's degree it would be 2 more years.
Preparing for this program helps people get admitted. The usual high school class requirements and 2 years of a language can are the needed classes. People usually apply to the program during their freshman or sophomore year of college. Here are some high school courses that will help prepare for this program:
Program Typical Course Work
The undergraduate program usually includes the following courses:
- General Computer Applications
- Child Development and Parenting
- Teacher Aide
- School Governance
- Community Service
- Teacher Assisting
- Education Methodology
- Adolescent Development in Social Contexts
- Curriculum Development
- Design of Learning Environments
- Early and Middle Childhood Development and Learning
- Educating Exceptional Children
- Educational Psychology
- Foundations of Education
- Instructional Media and Technology
- Instructional Methodologies
- Junior High and Middle School Curriculum
- Literacy in the Secondary School
- Secondary School Curriculum
- Social Contexts of Education
- Teaching, Engaging, and Assessing
- The Teacher and Secondary School Organization
There is also the possibility of taking more courses that relate closer to chosen subjects. The outline of a typical graduate curriculum looks like the following:
- Required core courses
- Teaching portfolio
- Thesis and thesis defense (master's degree only)
- Comprehensive oral and written exams (doctoral degree only)
- Dissertation and dissertation defense (doctoral degree only)
The core courses will be a more thorough study of topics and issues. The portfolio is a compilation of your best academic work. This reflects growth of the student as a developing teacher and their learning process. The pre-practicum fieldwork usually consists of classroom observation. This gives you a chance to familiarize yourself with the classroom before you actually start to teach in it. Next, you get to practice your teaching skills when you do your student-teaching.
- Curriculum and Instruction
- Education of the Gifted
- General Education
- Middle School Education and Teaching
- Multilingual and Multicultural Education
- Special Education
- Teacher Assisting
- Urban Education
Schools that Offer my Program of Study
College of St. Scholastica
Bethany Lutheran College
College of St. Scholastica
- Size and Location - CSS, Duluth is located in Duluth, Minnesota and there are about 4,144 undergraduate students.
- Admission Requirements - Students must take the ACT or SAT. The writing test is not required, but is encouraged. Students must have a GPA of 2.0 or higher and their average ACT test score to be 23 or above.
- College Expenses - Tuition, Books and other fees all add up to about $51,510.
- Financial Aid - Some of the possible grants and scholarships that I would be eligible for are: the Biurger King Scholars Program, Minnesota Jobs Scholarship, Benedictine Scholarships, Summit Scholarship, and Alumni Referral Scholarship.
- Housing - St. Scholastica has co-ed dorms, double suites, and apartments available.
- Activities - These are some of the clubs CSS has: Choral groups, Drama, Newspaper, TV Station, and Student Government. Some intramural sports CSS offers are: Badminton, Dodgeball, Ultimate Frisbee, Tennis, Volleyball, Bowling, and Rock Climbing.
I went to the elementary side of St. Clair School so I could see the differences from teaching in high school and elementary. I also wanted to find out which I would like better if I were to teach younger or older kids. I interviewed Amy Senkyr, a first grade teacher. The work place has a very kind and happy feel. It's different from high school because more things seem like a game. It is a bit less serious teaching to younger kids because every other minute they make you smile. When I went in, I learned about the frustrations of needing to get all of the required curriculum done although some kids need more time to do certain things. Also, now they are moving more and more things that the kids need to learn to lower grades. This puts more stress on the teachers of the lower grades. I thought it was really interesting to hear why she wanted to start teaching in the first place. I don't like the discipline part of teaching, but I think I can learn that part of it. The advantages of the occupation are all of the kids. They are great and watching them understand something is what will make the job fulfilling. She told me that the best way to get experience is to help out and tutor classes. In college, I can get in classrooms and either job shadow or help in the classroom. The only other occupations that would be kind of like this one would be working at a tutoring center or substitute teaching. I think I would be happy in this job.
Plans to Reach My Goal
Some things I have already done that will help me reach my goal of becoming a high school teacher are job shadowing and volunteer experiences. I job shadowed one classroom for a day at Maple River High School. I also tutor a first grade class at St. Clair School. Something I can do to help me reach my goal is set up another interview so I can learn about different schools and their atmospheres. By doing that I will also be networking and getting to know more people who work in the field I want to go into. There aren't really any entry-level jobs for teaching, but I could try to find a job at a tutoring center or volunteer at schools so I could still be working with kids even if I don't get paid.