Job Title: High School Teacher
Type of Company: I work for a school district in a suburb of Boston.
Education: MA, Critical and Creative Thinking, UMass-Boston
Previous Experience: I've worked with the mentally handicapped, and I've been a pre-school and middle school teacher, but for the past 20 years I have only taught high school.
Job Tasks: Teaching is a demanding but highly rewarding profession. There are few occupations that give you the immediate feedback, good and not-so-good, that this one provides! One wonderful thing about it is that you're never finished getting better. It's a job you never fully master. That can, of course, be frustrating, but it is also immensely stimulating. Teaching is very active work, which requires real engagement, even complete immersion. But if it's your cup of tea, that kind of involvement carries many rewards.
Teaching and learning are more about processes than products. Unfortunately, in education we often get lost in the maze of quizzes, tests, assignments and grades, veering a bit far from the crux of education: the nurture and stimulation of human curiosity. As I've progressed through what is now a fairly long career, I've come to accept that "the stuff" I teach is really only the tool to encourage thinking, reflection, and intellectual integrity. I happen to love the things I teach, but I enjoy the daily process even more. And that seems like the point to me.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best parts of my job revolve around the people. I love being in the classroom with the kids, and I get joy out of "talking teaching" with many colleagues. Those colleagues have become friends of mine outside the school, and there's a lot to be said for doing work with people of like mind and heart.
The worst parts of the job are the things that consistently take me away from the best parts: an endless stream of emails, many of which are irrelevant or unnecessary but still require a response (!), poorly coordinated and mis-managed meetings which appear to be scheduled in isolation and thus do not mesh with the day-to-day of teaching and learning, and various district-wide "initiatives" which too often sap one's energies and attention with no positive impact at all on teaching and learning.
1. Do yourself and your students a favor, and do not be a teacher unless you care: about kids, about thinking, about learning, about doing things well. It's very difficult to do this job well, and it sometimes requires massive amounts of energy and empathy. If you don't feel a real attraction to the profession, avoid it. If you do, it's just about the best job there is.
2. Remember that teaching is a cooperative enterprise. Be prepared to work WITH kids and colleagues.
3. Become an expert (as far as that's ever possible!) in what you teach. While it's true that a good teacher can teach many things well, there's no substitute for content mastery, both in terms of helping kids make meaningful connections but also in aiding the kids who struggle. If you don't have a great grip on what you're teaching, it's hard to give kids different ways to approach or see a problem when they struggle at the outset.
Additional Thoughts: If you have the energy and the passion, teaching is a marvelous profession.
These 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.
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.
Advance your teaching career with an online master's degree from University of Southern California Rossier School of Education.
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.
St. Thomas University offers fully online business and education graduate degrees built on a 50-year tradition of scholastic excellence, community leadership, and faith-focused values.
About The University of Texas at Arlington
Pursue your education at Pacific Oaks College.
Abilene Christian University (ACU), founded in 1906 and affiliated with the Church of Christ, has a long and proud heritage dedicated to educating students for Christian service and leadership throughout the world. Instructors teach students how to think critically and globally in each of their respective programs, while still maintaining a focus on their particular program of study. ACU is an academically notable institution top ranked by U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges", as well as The Princeton Review and Forbes.
You’re serious about success. With your busy schedule and the desire to move your career forward, you can earn an accredited associate, bachelors or master’s degree at a pace that works for you anywhere, anytime, 24/7.
At AIU, the Serious U, you can get started to get ahead.
LSU Shreveport is a proud member of the acclaimed LSU University System.
Learning at Full Sail University has always centered around interaction and the exchange of ideas. Our online curriculum fully embraces this philosophy.
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.
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:
Please also see our detailed information about Secondary School Teachers, including: