High school teachers are excellent sources of knowledge for students planning on going to college or university after high school graduation. These teachers not only instruct on academics, but they teach valuable skills dealing with both education and life. The abilities students learn in their last few years will be those they carry over into college. Study habits, self-motivation, and test taking skills are all very important in a student’s first year in college.
In order to fulfill the qualifications for a high school teaching certification, individuals will need a few items. The first is a bachelor’s degree. While, usually, this degree is in education, other majors are also welcome. Those who know they will be teaching high school typically specialize in a content area, such as science or math. Secondary teacher preparation is also required, which varies from state to state. The third requirement is student teaching. This is where potential future teachers will instruct in a relevant setting under the supervision of a certified teacher. After finishing school requirements, students will need to take a teacher competency exam given by their state.
Teachers typically work during the school year, which is 10 months long. The other two months are dedicated to a summer break. Some teachers also work during the two-month break, instructing summer school for students who need to take extra classes. Work hours include the time students are in school, plus extra time before or after school dedicated to students, parents, and other teacher meetings. Nights and weekends are usually dedicated to grading papers and preparing lessons and assignments.
Those who are considering pursuing this career should be aware that this job could be very stressful at times. Depending on where the teachers educate, class size may be large and barely manageable. In certain areas, teaching tools such as computers, current textbooks, and other resources may not be available. There may also be issues with disruptive, idle, or unmanageable students. Successful teachers typical possess exceptional skills in areas such as time management, critical thinking, coordination, speaking, listening, instructing, and decision-making.
As of 2012, the average wages for teachers is $55,050 annually. The bottom 10 percentile earned approximately $36,930, while the top 10 percent earned about $85,690. Top paying states include New York, Rhode Island, New Jersey, California, and Alaska. States that have the highest employment level are Texas, California, New York, Illinois, and Pennsylvania, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.