dcsimg

Career Story: Twelfth Grade English Teacher At A Small Suburban School

Twelfth Grade English Teacher At A Small Suburban School

Job Title: Teacher

Type of Company: I work as a high school English teacher in a small suburban setting.

Education: BA, Goucher College (Towson, MD) •• M.Ed., SUNY-Buffalo

Previous Experience: I've done both teaching and non-profit work.

Job Tasks: I teach high school seniors with all levels of ability and I have to differentiate curriculum so all of them learn. I love teaching "Hamlet" to the brightest students who actually memorize lines and deeply debate Hamlet's mental status. But I also love teaching "Hamlet" to less motivated students who are surprised and sometimes shocked to find that Hamlet's adolescent feelings resemble their own. Our curriculum for seniors is world literature, so I try to expose students to Buddhist ideas (via Siddhartha), existential ideas (via The Stranger) and Greek ideas (via Oedipus Rex). The Sound of Waves by Yukio Mishima is a recent favorite for all students because the ideas are so traditional and the Shinto customs are fascinating.

Seniors in high school have split personalities depending on what time of year it is -- before college transcripts are sent or after! I have to front-load the academic work, assigning heavy essays, research papers and finely developed presentations for the first semester. For the second semester, I'm more likely to ask kids to debate, perform skits or write a personal response. If I can keep kids engaged during the second semester, I feel accomplished, but I know it's doubtful they'll perform at their best academic level.

Still, it's hard to see the seniors leave each year. I hear from a few, but for most, it's a fond farewell.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is seeing kids feel successful -- feel that they are expanding both their thinking and their skills. The worst part of my job involves disciplining poorly behaved and poorly motivated students. I know many kids hate English: hate reading and hate writing.

Job Tips: Try to understand the student's point of view but remember, the teacher is an adult role model, not a friend.

Many kids have issues, so don't always assume it's not your teaching.

Additional Thoughts: You must enjoy the kids. They make teaching worthwhile. You need to love what you teach to engage the kids, but you need to consider what interests them as the stimulus!

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

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

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

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

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

  • Programs: English Second Language - PhD in Education, English Second Language - EdS, English Second Language - Doctor of Education, more...
  • Degrees: Doctorate, 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

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

For over 35 years, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals. 

  • Programs: Education Specialist in Instructional Design and Technology, PhD in Instructional Design and Technology
  • Degrees: Certificate, Doctorate

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: MS Instructional Technology Specialist, Masters in Secondary Education                                                   
  • Degrees: Master

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.

  • Programs: Master of Education in Higher Education
  • Degrees: Master

NU has been educating leaders since 1934 at our campus near Seattle. If you have a dream, we can help make it possible.

  • Programs: Master of Education - English Language Learning (ELL) , Master in Ministry, Bachelor of Arts in Ministry Leadership, more...
  • Degrees: Master, Bachelor, Associate
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