Career Story: English Teacher In An Inner-City High School

English Teacher In An Inner-City High School

Job Title: High School English Teacher.

Type of Company: I work at an inner-city public high school. It is a very racially and economically diverse place.

Education: BA, English, UMass-Lowell •• MAT, Secondary English, Rivier College (Nashua, NH)

Previous Experience: I worked for nine years at a CVS Pharmacy, as a cashier (and later head cashier), as a closer, a photo lab tech and a pharmacy technician.

Job Tasks: My job is one that most college applicants are familiar with, teaching high school English. My schedule is generally 181 days, including one day prior to the students returning in the fall. My hours are 7:40 to 2:35. I teach five classes per day( 45 minutes each, approximately 20 students each). I have one 25 minute lunch period, one 50 minute duty period (lunch or hall), and one 50 minute prep period (where I get my classes in order, correct homework, make copies and do paperwork).

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: It may sound corny, but the best part about my job is helping my students improve their skills, understand new concepts, discover new material and graduate. The hours and the summers off also are very important to me.

The worst parts of my job are its grueling pace (180 days can really fly), the disrespect from students who don't know me, and some of the mandates that come down from the administration or the school committee which I'm compelled to enforce.

Job Tips:
1. I would absolutely get certified, licensed right away. I would not look for a job and plan to finish schooling while teaching a full load.

2. I would absolutely substitute teach whenever/wherever possible while working on degrees.

3. I would re-think the plusses and minuses of this job, the many hoops you have to jump through in a very demanding career. Not everyone is cut out for this.

Additional Thoughts: What surprised me about my job when I first started teaching was the fact that so little of the class work I completed was actually useful in my live classroom. Making pretty lesson plans is nice, but facing a roomful of 20-25 17-year-old students NOT interested in English is daunting. Having been a strong, Honors student my whole life left me painfully unprepared for a classroom full of truly needy students.

All of that said, I can't think of a job that would satisfy me as much as teaching does. It might not be pretty or easy, but it gives one a true sense of accomplishment.

Popular Schools offering English Education Teaching Programs

quickinfoThese schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).

Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.

Matching School Ads

Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.

  • Programs: M. Ed. in Teaching & Learning in Education Technology, M.Ed. Teaching & Learning: History, AA in Education (Non-Licensure), more...
  • Degrees: Master, Associate

Baker College is proud to be the largest independent college in Michigan with the most focused approach to education and training available. With one of the highest graduate employment rates in the country, our mission is to help our students find meaningful employment.

  • Programs: Secondary Mathematics - Additional Endorsement - Certificate, Elementary Mathematics - Additional Endorsement - Certificate
  • Degrees: Certificate

Advance your teaching career with an online master's degree from University of Southern California Rossier School of Education.

  • Programs: Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, Master of Arts in Teaching
  • Degrees: Master

Technology changes everything®

You’ve found Ashford University, where school comes to you

  • Programs: MA/Education - English Language Learner, BA/Instructional Design, MA/Education - Curriculum & Instruction, more...
  • Degrees: Master, Bachelor

Pursue your education at Pacific Oaks College.

  • Programs: M.A. Education with Preliminary Education Specialist Instruction Credential, Preliminary Education Specialist Credential, Multiple Subject English Learner Teaching Credential, more...
  • Degrees: Master

Study online with California University of Pennsylvania.

  • Programs: English as a Second Language (Master of Education) - Online, English as a Second Language (MEd plus Certification) - Online, English as a Second Language (Certificate Only) - Online, more...
  • Degrees: Master, Certificate

Learning at Full Sail University has always centered around interaction and the exchange of ideas. Our online curriculum fully embraces this philosophy.

  • Programs: Instructional Design & Technology
  • Degrees: Master

Colorado State University-Global Campus

Colorado State University-Global Campus (CSU-Global) recently received state approval to enroll students with little to no prior college experience. To help ensure student success, the university has created a program especially for these students who plan on starting their college experience for the first time with us.

  • Programs: MS - Teaching and Learning
  • Degrees: Master

Concordia University - Portland offers several fully online 14-month Master of Education (M.Ed.) programs and a fully online Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) program.

  • Programs: M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) (K - Adult), M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: English Language Development, M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Environmental Education, more...
  • Degrees: Master

Building on an innovative 25-year history, California State University San Marcos is a forward-focused institution, dedicated to preparing future leaders, building great communities and solving critical issues. Located on a 304-acre hillside overlooking the city of San Marcos, the University is just a short distance from some of Southern California’s best beaches and an hour from the US-Mexico border. CSUSM enrollment is over 15,000 and the university is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

  • Programs: Master of Arts in Education, Educational Administration, Master of Arts in Education, Literacy
  • Degrees: Master
Matching School Ads

Additional Career Stories for Secondary School Teachers

The inside stories from people actually working in the field.
Click a story title to show the story, and click the title again to hide it.

All Types

You are visiting:

Find a school near you

What are Career Stories?

Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.

Most stories include:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

More Details On This Career

Please also see our detailed information about Secondary School Teachers, including:

Back to Top
SPEAK TO AN ADVISOR 1.844.285.6104