As a teacher, you can help motivate students to pursue a lifetime of learning. The job requires a special mix of patience, creativity, communication skills, cultural awareness and sensitivity. Many adults look back to secondary school for the role models that inspire them.
Secondary school teachers generally focus on specific subject areas -- math, science, history, English, language, physical education or the arts; some lead career or vocational classes, and others specialize in working with students with special needs. Public secondary school teachers must have at least a bachelor's degree plus a license, although private schools may not require a license.
Coursework for bachelor's degrees in secondary education includes general education requirements in the arts, English, the humanities, and mathematics, natural sciences and social sciences. Specific secondary education courses can include these:
- Classroom management and communications
- Curriculum, materials and methods of teaching
- Educational assessment strategies
- Educational psychology
- Foundations of education
- Human development and learning
- Information technology and the electronic classroom
The curriculum may incorporate special education or health and well being. Secondary education programs include a student teaching component for practical experience.
Secondary education career options, outlook and salaries
Most high school teachers are employed in public schools although positions are available at private, religious and technical schools. Outside of special education, the Bureau of Labor Statistics foresees slow employment growth between 2010 and 2020. Growth rates are likely to vary by region. Projected growth rates are shown here with 2010 median wages, which were well above the U.S. average:
- High school teachers: 7 percent; salary, $53,230
- Career and technical education teachers: 2 percent; salary, $53,920
- Special education teachers: 17 percent; salary, $53,220
Master's degrees can provide a deeper understanding of a specific subject area, enhance teaching practices and lead to administration roles. School administrators with master's degrees earned a median salary of $86,970 in 2010, according to the BLS. Doctorates qualify graduates to pursue leadership and research roles or teaching at the university level.
You may be planning a new career as a teacher, but you probably need your current salary to pay for your education. The coursework for bachelor's degrees in secondary education is conveniently available online. Web-based classwork allows you to balance your practice teaching schedule with your studies and other obligations. Enroll today so you can educate tomorrow's leaders.