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!
Click 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
Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.
Advance your teaching career with an online master's degree from University of Southern California Rossier School of Education.
Learning at Full Sail University has always centered around interaction and the exchange of ideas. Our online curriculum fully embraces this philosophy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: