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!
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.
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.
Advance your teaching career with an online master's degree from University of Southern California Rossier School of Education.
Technology changes everything®
You’ve found Ashford University, where school comes to you
The University of West Florida (UWF) has a central mission.
LSU Shreveport is a proud member of the acclaimed LSU University System.
Pursue your education at Pacific Oaks College.
Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.
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.
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.
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: