dcsimg

Career Story: High School Science Teacher And Coach

High School Science Teacher And Coach

Job Title: High School Science Department Chair

Type of Company: A high school in a suburb of Boston.

Education: BS, Chemical Engineering, Northeastern University •• MS, Educational Administration, Cambridge College •• Ed.D., Science Education, Boston University

Previous Experience: I worked in the fabricoating industry for a year and the electroplating industry two years. During this time I also served as an assistant coach at our local high school and volunteered in a variety of youth organizations. I started my high school career primarily as a chemistry teacher, but have taught all of the basic disciplines at every level. I continued as a head coach of two different sports and served on a variety of committees within the school and community.

Job Tasks: As department head at the high school I am responsible for hiring new science teachers. This may constitute a major portion of the summer. I review up to 50 resumes per year and interview over 10 candidates for approximately three new staff positions. I observe and evaluate staff on a rotating basis: each of the twenty-five teachers are on one of four steps of a four tiered cycle. Professional development is designed and implemented by each department chair at our high school. There are monthly meetings and half-days that must have relevant curriculum development. Within each of the three science domains, teachers are responsible for submitting equipment orders for books, labs, and instructional materials. I am required to monitor the spending of this $60,000 budget. Both staff and I write grants for additional instructional support and these are monitored by me. There are a series of meetings each month at the system and school level that concentrate on formulating policy and following procedures. Each department chair sets the teaching schedule for their staff. Each department chair selects one course to teach each year. And last but not least is the need to communicate effectively with parents.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is the interaction with students and staff. There is ample time to meet with students who are selecting courses or having difficulty with their studies. Parents are usually very thankful for advice regarding their children. In our case the staff is very hard working and a pleasure to work with. There is a high degree of competence and a willingness to share ideas among the science teachers and across disciplines.

The worst part of the job occurs at those times when the best decision still alienates a portion of your clientele.

Job Tips:
1.) Choose coursework wisely. do not just take courses to move up the pay scale. Study those things that will challenge you. Work on shoring up what you perceive to be your weaknesses.

2.) Definitely practice your ability to communicate. Effective oral and written communication is necessary.

3.) Explore as many teaching strategies as possible. Effective inquiry-based, student-centered learning usually takes time to master. It is worth taking advantage of other teachers' ideas, you do not need to recreate them yourself.

Additional Thoughts: I was not surprised to find dedicated teachers, but the amount of work that dedicated professionals bring home is amazing.

For quite a while I was not sure if my job would be stable due to declining enrollments. It was therefore tough to rationalize spending additional money on graduate school. I eventually got a doctorate, which allowed me to have a much broader understanding of the reasons why specific educational philosophies developed. Looking back I am glad that I had taught for several years before going back to school because it enhanced the experience.

Teaching is both a profession and a craft. You have to be willing to work hard at it. The effort definitely pays off.

Popular Schools offering Science Education Teaching Programs

quickinfoClick the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab. .

Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school

Matching School Ads

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: Science, M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Social Studies, M.Ed. in Career and Technical Education, more...
  • Degrees: Master

Want to be a Teacher or Educational Administrator? Learn why GCU could be the best place to start!

  • Programs: M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, M.A. in Gifted Education, M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction, more...
  • Degrees: Master, Bachelor

Ashford University

  • Programs: Education, Technology & Online Learning - Bachelors, Education, Technology & Online Learning - Masters, Higher Education - Bachelors, more...
  • Degrees: Bachelor, Master

100% Online & No Standardized Testing

  • Programs: Doctor of Education: Curriculum and Instruction, Education Specialist: Curriculum and Instruction/Elementary Education, Bachelor of Science: Elementary Education in Interdisciplinary Studies, more...
  • Degrees: Doctorate, Bachelor, Master

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
  • Degrees: Master

Colorado State University-Global Campus

Colorado State University-Global Campus (CSU-Global) offers career relevant bachelor’s and master’s degree programs for working adults and nontraditional learners.

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

Abilene Christian University is a national leader in Christian higher education and a place where students, faculty, staff and alumni make a real difference in the world.

  • Programs: Doctor of Education in Organizatonal Leadership - Higher Education Track, Master of Education in Higher Education , Doctor of Education in Organizatonal Leadership, more...
  • Degrees: Doctorate, Master

Since 1977, Keiser University has provided quality student-centered, career-focused education.

  • Programs: Education Specialist in Instructional Design and Technology, Master of Science in Education, Master of Science in Education - Teaching and Learning, more...
  • Degrees: Certificate, Master, Doctorate

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

Founded by the Society of Jesus in 1851, Saint Joseph's University (SJU) has been developing the minds and abilities of men and women in a challenging academic environment steeped in the enriching Jesuit tradition of cura personalis (care of the entire person).

  • Programs: Online Accelerated Teaching Certification , MS in Education - Secondary Education, MS in Education - Instructional Technology - Master's Only
  • Degrees: Certificate, 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