High School Teacher

emilu452 - 8/5/20
Job/Career Demand
Positive Impact
Work-Life Balance
Compensation & Benefits
Work Environment
Total Compensation
Years of experience
Recommended Education
Bachelor's Degree

Describe the path you took to become a high school teacher

I graduated college with a BA in Environmental Studies and worked various desk type jobs for non-profit and for-profit companies for 4 years after that, not in my original field of study, and was not happy with my career. A friend suggested that I go back to school for my teaching license because I liked science and working with people. I did, and it was a great fit!

What's a day in the life of a high school teacher?

Every day you get to make an impact on the teenagers of the world! It is hard to say what a day in the life is like because every day is different, which makes it exciting. Typically a day involves teaching, lesson planning, grading, and collaborating with peers. But it is hard to describe what goes into each of those things. It is typically a pretty fast-paced day where you feel like you have accomplished a lot when you are done with it.

What's the best part of being a high school teacher?

The things I like the most is the impact I had on the kids and the relationships that I built with the students and staff at the school(s) I work(ed) at.

What are some perks of your job?

Summers and major holiday vacations. Health care, dental, and vision for the employee free or at a discount. Pension and vesting available for public school employees.

What's the downside of being a high school teacher? Words of caution?

They pay is low and it is a lot of work.

What's the earning potential? Entry-level? Mid-level? Senior-level?

Public education teacher salaries vary based on school district but are public knowledge. Search the school district you want to work and and "salary schedule," and you will see what a teacher makes in your area based on years of experience and credit hours. There is an incentive to earn higher degrees and continue to take classes as you will increase your earning potential.

Advice on how to get started as a high school teacher

I highly recommend that if you are college-age or older, find someone you know, or call a local school and shadow them for a few days to see what it is really like. If you are in the United States, you will need to research what the requirements are to become a teacher for the state you live in. It is different for each state, so if you move around a lot or plan to move to a new state, make sure you know what their requirements are.

What skills are needed to be a high school teacher?

Skills: A desire to work with kids, strong communication skills, ability to work alone, ability to collaborate with colleagues, and a good work ethic.

Certification: You will need a teaching license in public schools; for private schools, it varies, so contact the school you are interested in teaching at. Each state is different, but it will most likely involve some further schooling (if you already have a bachelor's degree), whether it be a formal credential program, master's program, or various individual classes. Some states required continuing education units to maintain your license.

What's work/industry culture like?

This is totally based on the school/district that you work in. If you are in for an interview, ask to tour the school, you can get an idea of the culture based on that. Don't always believe the rumors you hear about a particular school, talk to people that work there (more than one person). But at the end of the day, remember you will be in a classroom with anywhere from 12-40 teenagers at one time, by yourself, expected to facilitate learning. So you can create the culture you want in your classroom.

What's the future outlook for a high school teacher?

We will always need teachers! With COVID things have shifted online in some districts, but there is still a demand for teachers!


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