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Inside High School Teacher Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

 

Biggest Surprises


"How Much One Learns From Students...
lack of respect" (; 2014)

4 years of experience, currently based in New York, male
School: Studied Math at NYU in New York; completed Bachelor degree in 2008


"Behavior Is A Big Issue...
I am most surprised by the attitudes of the students I teach. I did not expect to spend as much time dealing with discipline problems as I do." (High School Art Teacher; 2013)

Career: 3 years of experience, currently based in Iowa, male
School: Studied Fine Arts at University Of Iowa in Iowa; completed Bachelor degree in 2004


"Lack Of Student Motivation...
I am surprised by how little interest high school students have in learning. Even the better students are just trying to survive. You would think that the promise of a better future through education would be enough to give students some motivation." (Teacher; 2014)

Career: 7 years of experience, currently based in Tennessee, male
School: Studied Education at Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee; completed Master degree in 2011


"Student Respect For Teachers Is Declining...
I have been surprised at how student respect for teachers has gone down so much and so fast in the last 18 years. It makes the job more stressful and teachers seem to get burned out quickly." (Teacher; 2014)

Career: 18 years of experience, currently based in California, female
School: Studied History at Stanford in California; completed Bachelor degree in 1979


"A Successful Teacher Loves Their Career Choice...
Most people do not realize how time consuming it is to be a successful teacher. I have people judge my career all of the time with comments like "it must be nice to have summers off" and "your job ends at 3:00 every day". Most people do not realize that when my day ends at 3:00, I spend another 1-2 hours grading homework. I could just grade on participation but then I wouldn't truly know which students grasp the material and which have gaps in the learning. Then I spend the rest of my night worried about my students that don't have good home lives and trying to find ways to make a difference. A great teacher once told me that teaching is a job that is very mind numbing because you cannot quit thinking about the kids that really need someone to care. That is true. I find myself thinking about my students all evening. Then the summer months are spent trying to improve instruction, getting the classroom ready, looking through student files so I know what to expect the next year, analyzing test scores...it goes on and on. If you don't love it, don't do it! I love teaching." (Math Teacher; 2014)

Career: 15 years of experience, currently based in Kentucky, female
School: Studied Secondary Mathematics Education at Eastern Kentucky University in Kentucky; completed Master degree in 1999


"A Teacher Wears Many Hats"...
I believe that the biggest surprise about my chosen career, as a High School English Teacher, would be the various hats that I have found myself wearing. I am more than a teacher; I am a second mother to some, a counselor to many, and even a nurse in some instances." (English Teacher; 2013)

Career: 4 years of experience, currently based in Tennessee, female
School: Studied Secondary Education With An Emphasis In English at Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee; completed Bachelor degree in 2008


"Student Excitement...
I was surprised by how excited my students get about something just based on my excitement level of the topic at hand." (Teacher; 2014)

Career: 4 years of experience, currently based in Florida, male
School: Studied Education at University Of Central Florida in Florida; completed Bachelor degree in 2010


"Dealing With Administration And Evaluations Was Easy...
Daily dealings with my administration and the overall evaluation process has been a surprise. My admin is great and really seems to care about my opinions. The evaluation process for teachers in Missouri is changing, but it wasn't anything to be worried about." (High School Teacher; 2014)

Career: 5 years of experience, currently based in Missouri, male
School: Studied Education at Missouri Western State University in Missouri; completed Bachelor degree in 2009


"More Hours Than Expected...
I was surprised by the number of hours outside of the classroom that go into a teacher's work - planning, meeting, professional development, conferences, and parent nights. I was also surprised by the lack of understanding of many administrator's as to what actually happens in a classroom." (Theater Educator; 2014)

Career: 10 years of experience
School: Studied Theater at Emerson in Massachusetts; completed Bachelor degree in 2000


"Paperwork Is Always Everywhere...
Most people are surprised about how much paperwork there is in teaching. Of course, there are the students, but there are tests to be graded, assessments to create, IEPs to read, and things like that." (English Teacher; 2014)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Indiana, male
School: Studied Education at Miami University in Ohio; completed Bachelor degree in 2012


"Lack Of Curiosity Poses Biggest Challenge To Educators...
I am most surprised by the lack of interest in the classroom. At university, I had become accustomed to being around people who are just as excited about learning as I am. It has been difficult to interact with students who have no intellectual curiosity. I am also very surprised at how rude students are in the classroom, and how sweet they are outside of school. When I see and talk to students outside of school, they are quite nice and cheerful!" (Teacher; 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Texas, female
School: Studied Classics at Baylor University in Texas; completed Bachelor degree in 2008


"Teacher Continues To Learn Daily From Students...
Teaching for 30 years has not been the highest paying job but it has been very fulfilling. Everyday I have learned something new about life and living from my students. Teaching is my passion." (Teacher; 2013)

Career: 30 years of experience, currently based in North Carolina, female
School: Studied Biology at High Point University in North Carolina; completed Bachelor degree in 1983


"Testing Requirements In Education...
Many teachers get burned out because of all of the outside pressures put on teachers by the government and community. Specifically, the testing requirements of our state have caused many teachers to quit rather than teach only to the test." (Teacher; 2014)

Career: 19 years of experience, currently based in Indiana, female
School: Studied English Education at Grace College in Indiana; completed Bachelor degree in 1995


"Put On Your Boots To Wade Through The BureauCRAPic Twaddle...
I was surprised by how much paperwork is involved over and above the course work ~ state bureauCRAPcy being what it is. I was also surprised by the change in kids. At one time, my job was a lot of joy and a little stress, but then it became a lot of stress with little joy." (Teacher; 2014)

Career: 30 years of experience, currently based in Illinois, female
School: Studied English Education at Eastern Illinois University in Illinois; completed Bachelor degree in 1973


"Homework...
The amount of work that goes into the teaching profession was very surprising. I did not realize how much time outside of the classroom I spend on grading, creating curriculum, etc." (Teacher; 2014)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Florida, male
School: Studied Social Studies Education at Saint Cloud State University in Minnesota; completed Bachelor degree in 2012


"Amount Of Paperwork...
I was surprised by the amount of paperwork that is required as a teacher. Not only do we have to do lesson plans, but we have all kinds of paperwork to do for observations and continuing education and individual students." (Band Director; 2014)

Career: 6 years of experience, currently based in Louisiana, male
School: Studied Music Education at University Of Louisiana At Monroe in Louisiana; completed Bachelor degree in 2008


"Amount Of Freedom...
I was surprised how easy it was to interact with students. I was also extremely surprised at the freedom given to me as a teacher in terms of curriculum development and a number of other things regarding interactions with students." (Teacher; 2014)

Career: 2 years of experience, currently based in Missouri, male
School: Studied Education at Missouri State University in Missouri; completed Bachelor degree in 2012


"The High Standards At Union Gave Me The Advantage...
I was surprised about how unprepared other teachers are compared to the preparation I received at my alma mater. The other student teachers that I have supervised have much, much less classroom experience, as well as less experience with instructional methods and evaluation techniques. I feel like the rigorous program at Union gave me skills which surpass that of my colleagues from graduates from other colleges." (Educator; 2013)

Career: 7 years of experience, currently based in Nebraska, female
School: Studied Secondary English Education at Union College in Nebraska; completed Bachelor degree in 2006


"How You Teach Is More Important Than What You Teach...
I was surprised that the most important part of my career is not understanding the math- the subject matter that I am teaching, as that comes secondary. What is most important is developing good lesson plans and being able to explain concepts to students so that they understand them." (High School Math Teacher; 2013)

Career: 25 years of experience, currently based in New York, female
School: Studied Math at SUNY Potsdam in New York; completed Bachelor degree in 1979


"Teens Are Not Rude!...
I was surprised at how respectful the children actually are. I had been lead to believe that children these days are the epitome of rudeness. I have not found this to be true." (History Teacher; 2013)

Career: 4 years of experience, currently based in Illinois, female
School: Studied Secondary Education at University Of Illinois in Illinois; completed Bachelor degree in 2009


"The Future Is Bright...
It surprised me how smart the young generation is. They have so much to say and so much knowledge about the world. It surprises me every day getting to work with the future of America, and what big plans they have for the world. Most people would be surprised to know how new and different every day is as a teacher. You never have the same day twice." (Teacher; 2014)

Career: , currently based in California, female
School: Studied International Relations And History at University Of California Davis in California; completed Bachelor degree in 2008


"Teachers Are Often Scapegoats...
I was surprised at how teachers are often the first ones who are blamed when something goes wrong. I grew up admiring teachers, but many parents and politicians today do not feel the same way. A child can have no support at home, but when he fails a state test, it is viewed as entirely the teacher's fault." (Teacher; 2013)

Career: 10 years of experience, currently based in New Jersey, female
School: Studied Mathematics Education at Rutgers University in New Jersey; completed Master degree in 2008


"Lots Of Job Opportunities In Education...
I was surprised at how many opportunities there were in education, especially for those who didn't study Education in college. I came from a heavy math background and was able to find work as a Math teacher. Math and science teachers are in high demand." (Math Teacher; 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Colorado, male
School: Studied Industrial Engineering at University Of Missouri in Missouri; completed Bachelor degree in 2008


"Hours Run Far Beyond School Hours And School Days...
Most people are surprised by how much work it is to be a teacher, both the emotional load and the hours. Many teachers find themselves putting in long hours after school to work with kids, plan lessons, grade papers, attend meetings, and so on. There are a lot more demands on teachers than most people realize." (Teacher; 2014)

Career: 6 years of experience, currently based in California, female
School: Studied Education at Stanford University in California; completed Master degree in 2008


"Teachers Are The New Parents...
Being a teacher in an urban setting is much less about being an instructor and much more about being a mentor, coach, and older sibling. I was surprised by the personal interaction with students because it's clear that teachers often take the place of parents in terms of being a positive role model in the lives of pupils." (Teacher; 2013)

Career: 4 years of experience, currently based in New York, male
School: Studied Education at City College Of New York in New York; completed Bachelor degree in 2008


"Mentoring Students Is Extremely Rewarding...
I was surprised to find how well I was able to connect with students. My relationship as a mentor and friend is really important in helping teenagers develop their artistic abilities as well as gain confidence in everyday situations." (Art Teacher; 2014)

Career: 5 years of experience, currently based in Virginia, female
School: Studied Scene Design at Boston University in Massachusetts; completed Bachelor degree in 2008


"Lack Of Compensation...
Education salaries are lower than what I anticipated in that I never realized the amount of money that healthcare costs for educators in addition to contributions to retirement. Teaching can be satisfying as long as you have a caring, proactive administration in place." (Teacher; 2014)

Career: 10 years of experience, currently based in Texas, male
School: Studied Music Education at Eastern New Mexico University in New Mexico; completed Bachelor degree in 2004


"Biased Expectations...
I was most surprised that I couldn't find a job in my field." (Educator; 2014)

Career: 3 years of experience, currently based in Texas, male
School: Studied Mathematics at Texas State University in Texas; completed Bachelor degree in 2012


"Amount Of Extra Time", "Length Of Meetings"...
Most people are surprised about the amount of time that is required outside of school to prepare for the next day. Most people are surprised with how many meetings there are/the length involved." (Teacher; 2014)

Career: 9 years of experience, currently based in Florida, male
School: Studied Education at University Of Central Florida in Florida; completed Master degree in 2000


"Teaching Is Fantastic...
I find working with my students to challenge my beliefs fundamentally. Teaching and learning isn't just about learning of facts, but rather dialogue - I didn't expect my students to be so openly ready to challenge (in a good way) me and to participate in conversations. I didn't expect to have the latitude I do in creating my own curriculum and shaping how I teach." (Teacher; 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Missouri, male
School: Studied Atmospheric Sciences at Creighton in Nebraska; completed Bachelor degree in 2012


"Teaching Shortage Only In Math And Science - NOT In English...
One surprise is that people often talk about a teacher shortage, but the surprise is there are no shortages in English teachers. The shortage in teachers is only in a few areas such as math, science, foreign language, and special education, but the other areas are hard to find jobs to teach in." (Teacher; 2014)

Career: 12 years of experience, currently based in Arkansas, female
School: Studied English Literature at University Of Central Arkansas in Arkansas; completed Master degree in 1998


"Teaching Is All About Classroom Management...
I thought the profession was more about knowledge in the field but it actually deals much more with classroom management. I am also surprised by how much I end up learning from the student's opinions. Teachers have lots and lots of homework. Preparing and grading takes away a lot of my free time at home." (English Teacher; 2014)

Career: 5 years of experience, male
School: Studied Writing at University Of New Hampshire in New Hampshire; completed Bachelor degree in 2011


"Behavior Problems Are Numerous...
I was and still am surprised by the numbers of teenage students with severe behavior difficulties and are being raised by a single parent or grand parent." (Behavior Teacher; 2013)

Career: 20 years of experience, currently based in Tennessee, male
School: Studied Behavior at Middle Tennessee State University in Tennessee; completed Master degree in 1997


"Leadership...
I have been surprised about the amount of leadership I actually do use in this career. The students are looking for and need a leader even though they may not actually admit it." (Tech Teacher; 2013)

Career: 7 years of experience, currently based in Texas, male
School: Studied Leadership at College Of Biblical Studies in Texas; completed Bachelor degree in 2006


"Not Prepared For The Politics...
I was most surprised by the politics that exist in education. In college, we were just taught the aspects of our day-to-day classroom jobs. I heard nothing about teachers' unions, the position/purpose of the central office, how experienced teachers get the best classes, etc... I was also surprised at the retirement system, it's very different than any business." (Secondary Teacher; 2013)

Career: 6 years of experience, currently based in Virginia, female
School: Studied Education at Brigham Young University in Utah; completed Bachelor degree in 2006


"Thinking About Work After Hours...
I love working with teenagers and I was surprised just how overwhelming it can be to work with so many of them at once. I couldn't believe how often I was taking my work home with me; that is, thinking about them on the weekends, wondering if so and so is reading the assigned novel, etc." (High School English Teacher; 2013)

Career: 15 years of experience, currently based in Hawaii, male
School: Studied English at Loyola Chicago in Illinois; completed Bachelor degree in 1995


"More Teachers Than Jobs...
I was surprised at how saturated the job market was when I graduated. I was surprised at the amount of restraint the job would require." (High School Teacher; 2013)

Career: 5 years of experience, currently based in New Jersey, male
School: Studied History at Stockton College in New Jersey; completed Bachelor degree in 2005


"Expectation Of Instant Mastery...
I was surprised by how apathetic children have become toward a lot of things in life, and how quickly they expect to be able to master things. The quickness and apathy has an adverse affect when trying to teach band." (Band Director; 2013)

Career: 15 years of experience, currently based in Arkansas, female
School: Studied Music Education at Arkansas Tech University in Arkansas; completed Bachelor degree in 1998


"Long Work Day...
I was surprised by just how much work teachers have to do. People often think that because teachers get off at 3 or 4, they have a long, relaxing night. Actually most nights, I have to grade papers and prepare for the next day of classes, which often takes hours. On top of that, I need to be in school by 7:30, so I need to get up at 6. It is much more work than anticipated." (Teacher; 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Wisconsin, female
School: Studied Japanese at Georgetown University in District of Columbia; completed Bachelor degree in 2012


"I was surprised to find how much energy is required to be an effective educator. I did not realize in the beginning that while you may only have a 6.5 hour day, you are "on" for the entire 6.5 hours. This is something I was never taught in school. However, it is definitely worth it though when you see the light bulbs go off in students' minds when they finally understand something." (High School Teacher; 2013)

Career: 7 years of experience, currently based in New Hampshire, female
School: Studied Education at Northeastern University in Massachusetts; completed Master degree in 2009


"I was surprised to find the amount of work being a teacher involves. It involves a lot more hard work than I thought." (Teacher; 2013)

Career: 3 years of experience, currently based in Ohio, female
School: Studied Biology And History at Allegheny College in Pennsylvania; completed Bachelor degree in 2010


"Most students expect you to hand them an "A" without working for their grades. These kids would rather text all day instead of preparing themselves for their future. Many students have low self-esteem and have helplessness. Students always ask about what is the easiest way to get good grades. Students do not want to work, they want everything handed to them." (Teacher; 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Florida, female
School: Studied Psychology at Florida International University in Florida in 2012


"Managerial Elements Toughest...
A lot of the things I learned in college are not relevant to my career. Although I'm a language teacher, the most challenging parts of my job are managerial and not technical. Even though I have training in grammar and pronunciation, I usually spend my time teaching very elementary English. I also waste a lot of time making lesson plans and in meetings that are unnecessary. I'm also surprised by how unprofessional a lot of people can be in the workplace. A lot of my coworkers have very different work habits. I am very studious and professional, but there are cliques at work that center around our social life. I thought I would be making more money than I am. I work park time in addition to my full time job to supplement my income." (Teacher Of English As A Second Language; 2012)

Career: 3 years of experience, currently based in Pennsylvania, male
School: Studied Classical Studies at University Of Pennsylvania in Pennsylvania; completed Bachelor degree in 2008


"Lots Of Red Tape To Manage...
I was amazed at the amount of paper work that is required of a teacher outside of grading papers. That much was expected. However, there is a lot of red tape that must be taken care of several times throughout the year." (High School Teacher; 2012)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Tennessee, male
School: Studied Biology at Maryville College in Tennessee; completed Bachelor degree in 2012


"Kids Teach Me Much Too...
I was surprised at how much I learn from my own students, rather than just teaching them things. They have been a source of knowledge on everything from history, to popular culture, to deep introspections on life." (Teacher; 2012)

Career: 2 years of experience, currently based in Ohio, female
School: Studied German, Political Science, Psychology at Ohio State University in Ohio; completed Bachelor degree in 2009


"Difficult To Effect Change...
I was surprised at how conservative education is. I don't mean this is a political sense, but rather as a group that is mindful of the past and resistant to change. Most of the teachers I know are politically liberal, but have a very strong respect for how things have been done before. Teaching is fabulous career for helping individual students, but not so much for changing the world." (High School Teacher; 2012)

Career: 5 years of experience, currently based in Illinois, male
School: Studied Mathematics at Grinnell College in Iowa; completed Bachelor degree in 1989


"Professional Development Lacking...
I was surprised at how little time teachers are given towards professional development. It is very important in any career to continually improve your skills. Teachers are not given that training and support that they need for a job that is extremely important." (High School Mathematics Teacher; 2012)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Connecticut, male
School: Studied Mathematics Education at University Of Connecticut in Connecticut; completed Master degree in 2012


"Students Lack Of Interest In Learning...
I was surprised at student apathy in regards to assignments and long term projects. I thought that many would care more about their grades and learning." (High School Teacher; 2012)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in California, male
School: Studied English at UCLA in California; completed Bachelor degree in 2011


"I was surprised in the amount of patience needed to work with kids. Also by the lack of education possessed by other teachers." (Educator; 2012)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in South Carolina, male
School: Studied Psychology at USCB in South Carolina; completed Bachelor degree in 2012


"I was surprised to find that teaching is as much about making the students interested in what you're teaching, not just getting across your lesson. In addition, I find it surprising how much social media impacts students and faculty." (High School History Teacher; 2012)

Career: 7 years of experience, currently based in Illinois, male
School: Studied Teaching at SWIC in Illinois; completed Associate degree in 2004


"I was surprised that my field involves a significant amount of communication and understanding of the technology you are using on a day to day basis. Having a good knowledge of how computers function has assisted with solving the foundational problems encountered with technology." (High School Teacher; 2012)

Career: 6 years of experience, currently based in Texas, male
School: Studied Computer Information Systems at University Of Houston in Texas; completed Master degree in 2010


"I was surprised that Art Teachers get little respect in the school setting. We are viewed as superfluous. I was also surprised by the number of students who excel in Art are also often labeled as "trouble" or "disobedient" in the eyes of the other teachers. Art is dying in our schools and until it is recognized as a valuable teaching tool, we are all in trouble!" (Teacher; 2012)

Career: 8 years of experience, currently based in Pennsylvania, female
School: Studied Art Education at Seton Hill University in Pennsylvania; completed Bachelor degree in 2004


"I was surprised to find out how many students just don't care to do well in school. So many of them do not study whatsoever and yet act surprised when they fail. I'd say about ten percent of each class is like this." (Science Teacher; 2012)

Career: 17 years of experience, currently based in Missouri, female
School: Studied Biochemistry at Michigan State University in Michigan; completed Doctorate degree in 1988


"I was surprised to find out that the training they give you for being a teacher is not really that helpful - it's all about thinking on your feet. Preparation is great, but you have to be flexible!" (English Teacher; 2012)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in California, female
School: Studied Psychology/Cognitive Science at UCSD in California; completed Bachelor degree in 2012


"I was totally surprised by how well I would click with my students and how much I would relate to them. Being that I am still in my 20's, but especially more so right when I got out of college, my students were so close in age to me (18). Going into high level teaching you forget that it was not to long ago you yourself were just walking those same halls and can relate to and really be there for your students." (Teacher; 2012)

Career: 5 years of experience, currently based in New York, female
School: Studied Teaching at The College Of Saint Rose in New York; completed Bachelor degree in 2006


"I was very surprised when I started to work in an actual school after being in college for two years. Many of the things that we do everyday are things that were not even mentioned when I was taking college classes. One thing is the way that we plan our lessons, we use an entirely different format in the real world. Another thing that was surprising was the first time that I had to deal with a parent conference. It was nothing like the simulated ones that we did when we were in class." (High School Teacher; 2012)

Career: 5 years of experience, currently based in Delaware, male
School: Studied Secondary Education at Wilmington University in Delaware; completed Master degree in 2006


"The low quality of continuing education surprised me. Another aspect that was surprising was the lack of accountability, in terms of teachers and administrators." (Secondary Teacher; 2012)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Michigan, female
School: Studied Secondary Education at Grand Valley State University in Michigan; completed Master degree in 2012


"The thing that surprised me most was finding out that I dislike 9th graders because they are evil incarnate. I do kind of like being able to set my own hours (though some days I want to work, I don't work due to no assignments being available)." (Substitute Teacher; 2012)

Career: 6 years of experience, currently based in Florida, male
School: Studied Psychology at University Of North Florida in Florida in 2006


"What most surprised me about the teaching profession is how fast my day goes by. I teach three classes a day with one planning period. With the constant stream of students and the constant change in activities, I feel like my day is over before it begins. It is definitely a job that is never boring and never the same." (High School English Teacher; 2012)

Career: 9 years of experience, currently based in North Carolina, female
School: Studied English at UNC-Chapel Hill in North Carolina; completed Bachelor degree in 2001


"What surprised me most about teaching was just how political it is with administrators and other teachers. I went into the profession very naive and idealistic about wanting to help and make changes, but the reality is they don't want teachers to question current trends and policies even if they do not think it is in the students best interest. The second surprise I had once I started teaching was the enormous amount of faculty meetings one had to attend. The third surprise I had was how data driven teaching has become instead of wanting students to just learn, administration is more concerned about how the school is performing overall. The public doesn't understand that even if one is teaching high school many of the students are still functioning at a 4-6th grade level. I was surprised that teachers are pressured into giving passing grades even if the students are not performing at passing levels. If the teacher has too many students not passing the teacher will be called into the office and disciplined as if they are not working hard enough." (High School Teacher; 2012)

Career: 14 years of experience, currently based in California, female
School: Studied History Degree With A Social Studies Teaching Credential at University Of California, Irvine in California; completed Bachelor degree in 1991

Best & Worst Things About This Career


Teacher: "The best parts of my job are working with the students and engaging them in the learning process. I truly love working with learners who want a "second chance". I enjoy working with the staff throughout the State of NH and seeing how all of the programs work together for the common benefit of all learners in NH. Worst part: The lack of programming to meet the needs of all students. Our program meets two nights a week, and that is great, but some students would love to come more often, but budgeting constraints do not allow for this." (2011)


High School English Teacher: "The best part of my career is the satisfaction gained from teaching students skills and knowledge that will benefit them in college or in their future careers. I know I am helping them to become informed, productive citizens of the world. I also feel that I am a significant role model in students' lives. I know I make a difference in how they feel about themselves and how they behave and interact with each other. Also, you can't beat having all summers and holidays off! The worst parts of my job include the high stress environment. I always have to be on my toes and aware of what is going on in the classroom at all times. Also, parents are sometimes critical of teachers, especially when their children aren't doing well. Outside of the classroom, I spend a large amount of time grading, sometimes six hours per day or more. Finally, there is the unfortunate fact that high school teachers are no well paid. This is not a job where you can expect to earn a lot of money." (2011)


Physical Education/Health Teacher: "The absolute best part of my job is to see the pleasure in a student's face when they are able to do something that they either thought they couldn't ever do, or had been previously unable to do. It is also great when all the kids are as eager to participate both at the beginning and end of the class. The worst part is when parents try to keep their kid from experiencing consequences for doing something that deserves them." (2011)


Education - Technology Coordinator: "My job can get stressful when there are a number of troubleshooting calls going on at once. Since I have many responsibilities, it can be hard to juggle all of them in a timely manner. Teaching also requires many hours of work in the evenings and often on weekends. However, I am fortunate to have the 2 summer months in which to regroup. The best parts of my job are all involving the satisfaction of teaching new skills to the students. It is a great atmosphere where I can share my skills and knowledge and feel like I'm making a difference in the future of the students and other teachers at our school." (2011)


High School Teacher: "The best part of my job is the fact that I get to teach a subject that I enjoy and share it with young people. I also have the opportunity to influence young people to go to college and strive for a career they enjoy. Teaching is a very tiring job. I must be teaching or walking around the room and helping during the entire class period. I only have about an hour to grade papers, call parents etc. This means a lot of work gets taken home to be finished. I do not get paid for the time I work at home, and it keeps me from spending time with my family." (2011)


High School English Teacher: "The best part of my job is sharing my love of literature with the students. It is wonderful to watch them grow in their ability to read on their own, interpret, analyze and form their own opinions about the literature read. It is also great to hear them articulate and become more secure in their ability to handle some of the difficult works that they encounter. It is also a joy to watch their writing improve over time and hear them using the vocabulary words which they have studied. The worst part of the job is all the papers that need to be corrected. Fortunately, I have a smaller student load of about 80 students. Still, if every student writes an essay each week and takes a test and some quizzes, it adds up to many hours of correcting papers." (2011)


High School English Teacher: "The best part of my job is the schedule. I work from 7:40-2:35 each day. I have July and the first 4 weeks of August off. Also, we have three weeks off throughout the school year. I have great benefits that come with this job: good pay, insurance, holidays, pension. I love following the flow of the school year, watching my students grow and learn over the course of the year. I love reading, and I love sharing ideas and knowledge with these students. The worst part of my job is the lack of parental interest/support. It would be difficult for the school's students to imagine this concept. But the majority of my students (and they are low level) speak English as a second language, have special learning difficulties, and have never been read to (in English) as a child. Thus, they have a very tough time succeeding." (2011)


Teacher: "The best part of the jobs is dealing with students. Seeing them grasp a task, skill, or concept that they had not been able to master before is very rewarding. Introducing new ideas that stretch their mind or way of viewing the world is a great feeling. Teaching students how to learn things and watching them use that to improve their grades and fell better about themselves is a great feeling. Having former students come back to share how they have used what they've learned in my class, is also gratifying. The worst part is all the paperwork and non-instructional duties that go with the job. Filling out forms for guidance (which arrive surprisingly often), making copies, dealing with computer and A-V equipment can also be frustrating." (2011)


Teacher: "The best part of my career is seeing growth in the students. I like it when students are unable to articulate themselves well in my writing class at the beginning of a semester and then are able to at the end of the year. I also love graduation and seeing students who worked very hard make it to that point. I also like it when students come back to see me after several years to show me how they've been successful. I like knowing that I was a part of all of that." (2011)


Teacher: "The best part of my career is that I can continue working in a subject I love, and as long as I keep to the curriculum, I can decide for myself what I will do each day. I am also able to exercise a lot of creativity day to day, which keeps it interesting for me. The worst parts are motivating unmotivated students, managing student behavior, and being on the receiving end of a lot of unearned hostility. Also, this job has a set salary and very limited upward mobility." (2011)


Teacher: "The best part of teaching is watching the kids graduate. The most challenging part of teaching is trying to teach kids who don't care about anything and they make it difficult to teach the kids who really want to learn." (2011)


High School Teacher: "The best part is when you have been trying to get a student to understand something and they final get it. It is also really nice when a old student comes back and thanks you. It is nice to think at the end of the year I taught them all that. The worst part is dealing with some of the parents. They sometimes believe their kid can do no wrong no mater what you say. Dealing with students that do not listen to you and ask the same thing over and over." (2011)


Teacher: "Worst? Too much paper work, too many demands made on teachers by the city and the school administration. Some of those demands lead to new and interesting teaching techniques, and challenge teachers (including senior teachers like me) to find other ways to learn and teach. The best thing? Watching students go, "Oh!" or "Aw!" or "Wait, is that because...or is that why?" and begin to see what's going on. I love that, it makes it all worthwhile." (2011)


Teacher: "Given the daily challenges of urban school districts, I still enjoy the camaraderie and support of my fellow teachers. There are many students who are excellent young people who are here to learn and to succeed. This is the "golden apple" for me! On the other hand, I have a large number of students who suffer from various forms of mental illness. This makes teaching very difficult. Also, there are many parents who do not take responsibility for raising their children. They consider that to be the school's job. I wear many hats - teacher, surrogate parent, guidance counselor, social worker, probation officer, guardian, etc." (2011)


Teacher/Director Of Dramatics: "The constant variety of experience, especially the live interpersonal interactions that characterize most of my workload, is the best part. The worst is the amount of paperwork (grading student work, writing comments and letters, numerous e-mails, filling out various forms that) come with the academic territory." (2011)


Teacher/Football Coach: "This is easy. The best part of my career is the fact that I can effect and change lives. There is nothing more rewarding that having a former student or player come back years after they graduated to say "thank you." The hardest part of my job is the time. During football season I work between 75-80 hours a week. That's a lot of time away from my family." (2011)


Substitute Teacher For A Military Education Center: "The best part of my job is the ability to work for the military. Though the job may not involve fighting alongside them, furthering the education of the military is a passion for me. Coming from a teaching background, I know what skills and study habits the soldiers may need to complete classwork and achieve good scores on test. By being in the positions that I fill, I am able to lend a helping hand to those who may need the help." (2011)


Teacher: "Best: the best moments are when I see the look on a students face as they transition from confusion to clarity on the topic we are studying. It is especially rewarding when dealing with less prepared students. Worst: Trying to motivate students who don't see the value of education and are too apathetic to actively participate in their own education. Lazy is the worst four letter epithet." (2011)


Teacher: "The best part of the job for me is spending time with the students, listening to what they have to say. I appreciate the challenge of making what we are trying to teach meaningful for the students and helping them make the connections to their own lives. The worst part of the job is that you may never know the impact you have had on some students' lives. Additionally, the administration may not be as supportive or as in line with your vision. You often have to "play the game" - as your livelihood depends on the administration's approval." (2011)


Teacher/Coach: "The best part of my job is the relationships with the students/players/staff that I work with. When you coach, you get to see the students in a different way. You understand what their "likes" and "dislikes" are, this really helps you to help them. Summers off! If you have a family you can plan a vacation for the summer because you are not working. The hardest part is the long hours! As a teacher and coach, my day starts at 7:45am and ends after practice at around 6:30pm. Long day!!!" (2011)


French Teacher: "For me the worst part of teaching is dealing with demanding parents. While the vast number of parents are supportive and easy to deal with, one demanding parent can take up an inordinate amount of my time. The best part of my job is the actual teaching. I love getting students excited about French and am always amazed at the progress they make every year. I also love coming up with new activities. It's wonderful to see the students having fun in the classroom, using the language that I love." (2010)


Teacher: "The best part of my job comes from the interaction with the students. The girls have so much energy and enthusiasm, and by living on campus, I get to know them outside of the typical classroom experience. I also enjoy being able to spend two months in the summer with my family. The worst part of my job comes from the number of hours that I work in a typical week. With a wife and two elementary aged boys, there can often be situations where I am wanted or needed in two places at once and juggling the demands on my time can be stressful. Adults and parents are often more difficult to deal with than the students." (2010)


Teacher: "The best part of my job is helping people learn. The best thing that a student can say is, "Will you help me with this?" That makes my day! I am also very happy to be a positive influence on someone. My students are "at risk" for not graduating so when they do graduate, I feel that a part of me is graduating also. The worst part of the job is that I wish I had more time to spend with individual students." (2010)


Teacher: "I can't say that there is a "worst" part to the job. I really enjoy what I do. I like spending time with my students - either instructing them or working on their service hours, rehearsing their readings, planning the music for a service or planning any number of other activities. I find the students very helpful and also find that if I put them in charge and given them a task, they always come through. And I get great satisfaction when students return after graduation to let me know that something I taught them has in some way made a difference. This is possibly the most rewarding thing happens to me." (2010)


Teacher: "The best part of this job is the fun I have teaching and reinforcing the lessons in the classroom. I love acting out new vocabulary and concepts. I also love the interaction among the kids when they are incorporating what they have learned into dialogues. I love the serendipitous moments when I invent a new way to look at a difficult concept and reap the reward of enthusiasm in my students. I love the smiles on their faces when they really get it. I find the paperwork, especially correcting papers and recording grades, to be time-consuming and tedious. It is especially frustrating when a student is not thriving in my classroom. If a student isn't learning I worry about the reasons why and try to fix it, but I am not always successful." (2010)


High School Teacher: "The best part of the job is the students themselves. Helping a student learn a new skill and seeing success can be so gratifying. Kids have a lot of energy and this is a great way to spend the day instead of working in an office setting. The worst part of the job is the demands that the district puts on my time. I have to do a lot of paperwork and attend a bunch of meetings that cut into my time with students and my further professional development. Also, teachers have little control over the working of the district as a whole. So budget cuts and monetary constraints really affect what we can and can't do in the classroom." (2010)


English Teacher: "The best part of my job is working with teenagers. I love their idealism and energy. I love when they read a novel and fall in love with the characters. I also love using technology to increase student knowledge. I constantly create PowerPoint presentations to show on my Smartboard. The worst part of my job is the timing. I have to wake up each morning at 6AM. I wish school could start at 8AM." (2010)


High School Science Teacher: "Every day is different. For me, this is a great thing! We have the opportunity to get to know each child's unique differences and needs, but have the freedom of teaching different topics every day. We repeat this every year, of course. The hours that a teacher puts into his work can be deceiving. Although we have school hours from 8 to 3, we work at home every day and spend most weekends designing new lessons and tests. That may seem like a drawback, but I see that as a fun part of the job. I can change things from last year that did not work so well and improve on them. The bad part is that parents sometimes seem to believe that we have all the time in the world to focus on one child. Contrary to other grades, high school teachers have around 180 to 200 kids they are teaching and have a host of responsibilities before and after school that people are unaware of. It can be frustrating sometimes that parents are blind to this. We also have 25 minutes for lunch - and also have lunch duty occasionally!" (2010)

Career Background


High School Teacher

  Salaries
  Job Tasks
  Work Environment
  How to Prepare for the Job
  Job Outlook

Career Tips


"Find Supportive Administrators...
One of the biggest things that will your contribute to your satisfaction with the school is the administration. When interviewing, meet as many administrators as possible and talk to them about how teachers get support. A good administrator will talk about support for teachers around student needs (discipline, special education, etc.) as well as your own professional development as a teacher (observations, feedback cycles, collaborative time, etc.)." (Teacher; 2014)


"Be Passionate"...
If you want to make a good educator you need to find a subject that you are passionate about. The kids will be able to tell if you are just going through the motions or not." (Teacher; 2014)


"Don't Sacrifice Your Personal Goals...
If you want to pursue a career in art education, always remember to keep working as an independent artist. If you sacrifice your own artistic goals you will never be able to grow as an artist and pass along your knowledge to students." (Art Teacher; 2014)


"Patience And Love...
You need to be patient and love people and what you do." (; 2014)


"Lesson Planning...
If you want to be a successful educator you will go above and beyond the expectations of your professors. You should be creating lesson and unit plans that are not asked for by the teacher, and trying to develop a portfolio of usable lessons." (Teacher; 2014)


"Love It...
If you would like to be a successful teacher, you must be dedicated to the craft. It takes so much work and time that one must really enjoy it to be a great teacher." (Teacher; 2014)


"Be A Teacher? Don't Quit Your Day Job...
If you want to pursue a career in education, find a day job too." (Educator; 2014)


"You Have To Love It...
If you plan to be a teacher make sure it is in a subject that you enjoy, and that you really enjoy the age group you are teaching. If you don't enjoying being around young people teaching is not for you." (Teacher; 2014)


"Can't Get Around The Lack Of Money And Testing...
Consider the lifestyle you want and the passion you have for your major before you commit to it. If you would like to have a big family or fancy cars then education might not work. Education can be rewarding but in the modern era is infested with testing." (Teacher; 2014)


"Passion Is Essential...
To be a successful teacher, you must be passionate about your chosen career - it's true what they say: the hours are long and the pay is terrible, but the benefits of sharing knowledge outweigh the negatives if you truly believe in what you do. Expect that you will run into opposition from students, parents, administrators and colleagues, but trust in the fact that you will make a difference in someone's life." (Theater Educator; 2014)


"To Be An Effective Teacher, You Must Love Education...
Before you go into education, be sure that you will love it. You have the opportunity to be a positive influence on hundreds of students every year. In some cases you may be the only positive person that they see all day." (Math Teacher; 2014)


"Make No Final Career Decisions Without Spending Time In Classroom...
Job shadow or intern in an actual classroom. Until you have actually been in the trenches, you do not know what the job really demands. All the education classes and texts do NOT prepare you for the realities of teaching." (Teacher; 2014)


"Passion For Education...
If you want to be a successful teacher you have to realize it's not just about your content that you want to teach. You have to want to help students learn, grow and achieve." (English Teacher; 2014)


"Teacher Isolation...
Make sure you discuss things with teachers around you instead of isolating yourself." (Teacher; 2014)


"Teach Life...
Want to be there every day and give kids knowledge from every aspect of life, not just from your chosen field." (High School Teacher; 2014)


"Go With The Flow...
Always be willing to go with the flow of the day, things are going to come up that throw off your lesson plan every day, but don't let that bother you too much. Just take it in stride." (Teacher; 2014)


"Acting Helps You Keep Your Demeanor While Teaching...
If you want to be a successful teacher, take an acting class because although you may like being around kids, you will encounter hundreds of kids every year, which adds up to thousands over the years. It is imperative to show everyone that you care about them, and sometimes there are kids that you just don't like, so an acting class will help you keep that face of caring on even when the feeling is not always deep down inside." (Teacher; 2014)


"A Benefit You Won't Find In Most Jobs...
Before you become a teacher you should realize that, even though it can be putting your liberal arts education to good use, the benefits are still very intrinsic. If you don't actually value the act of passing on knowledge and helping people get a better understanding, it won't be the job for you. It is far too easy to complain about being a teacher but when you have a student, even one, who has a eureka moment or really accomplishes something he's proud of, it gives a pay-off you won't find in most jobs." (English Teacher; 2014)


"Meeting Objectives...
If you want to be a successful teacher, learn how to reach curriculum objectives. Being able to meet objectives without resorting to "teaching to the test" provides the most personal satisfaction." (Teacher; 2014)


"Lots Of Extra Hours...
Don't do it unless you are ok with doing almost a whole separate full time job of paperwork and behind the scene jobs that teachers are required to do now." (Band Director; 2014)


"Volunteer In Your Field First...
To make sure you want to work in a classroom you should try volunteering first with the appropriate age group." (Teacher; 2014)


"Gain Valuable Experience As A Tutor...
If you are still a student and interested in Education, start now. Look for opportunities where you can tutor other people. You will make money and gain valuable experience." (Math Teacher; 2013)


"You Are The Boss...
If you want to have success in the classroom as a teacher you have to manage the kids and keep them under control and on task. The way you do this is by establishing yourself as an authority figure that is not to be questioned." (High School Art Teacher; 2013)


"It Really Is "Who You Know"...
Spend as much time as you can networking with administrators, other teachers, and staff. Most often, it is "who you know" that will help you get the job." (Educator; 2013)


"Get Classroom Experience...
If you want to become a successful teacher, begin by substituting or volunteering in a school to get some classroom experience. It will really help you to familiarize yourself with how classrooms and schools are run. It will also help you see a variety of teaching methods and classroom management methods." (Teacher; 2013)


"Don't Stop Living...
If you want to be a successful teacher, you need to have a life outside of school. It's important not to get too personally or emotionally invested because teaching will drain the life out of you and you'll get burnt out very quickly." (Teacher; 2013)


"How To Lead A Classroom...
I would advise going in with an air of "in-chargeness", but not armed for war." (History Teacher; 2013)


"Organization And Flexibility Key Ingredients To Successful Teaching...
If you want to maintain your sanity as a teacher, you must remember not to take things personally. It is impossible to reach and connect with every student, so please do not give yourself a hard time. Invent lesson plans that are organized and flexible. It is important to have confidence in the classroom, so having a plan will definitely boost your confidence. However, allow the lesson to flow with the students, and be willing to change a few things to suit each individual group of students." (Teacher; 2013)


"Ask Questions...
Pose real world problems for your students; don't just disconnect what you are teaching in the world. Ask them what it is they want to learn, why they want to learn it - and demonstrate how what you are doing is connected to bettering their world and the world around them." (Teacher; 2013)


"Intern And Practice...
To understand what teaching is like, try to intern with as many teaching related professionals as possible. Work with children and develop your ability to explain things in a comprehensive manner." (High School Math Teacher; 2013)


"Mutual Respect In A Classroom Leads To Learning...
To be a successful teacher it is obvious that you must know your subject matter, but most importantly you must develop a respectful rapport with your students. Once students learn to respect and trust you then learning will take place and can truly become fun." (Teacher; 2013)


"There Is More To Being A Teacher Than Giving Homework"...
To be an effective teacher, one needs to learn more about her students; thus, being able to meet those students' needs. I have found that students are much more willing to listen and learn if they think that the one teaching them cares about them." (English Teacher; 2013)


"Anyone Can Learn...
Believe that all people are capable of learning, despite what they may think, feel, or say. Be creative and think "outside of the box". Don't base your judgments on your students by what others say. Learn for yourself what they are capable of doing. Be willing to invest yourself completely in the learning process and engage with the students in the process. Be willing to change your lesson plans to meet the needs of the students." (Teacher; 2011)


"You Can't Fool Your Students...
Before deciding on this career, work with children and teenagers in a variety of capacities first. Interact with them and lead them so that you can get an idea of how they work and what they care about. Get into the classroom as much as you can before taking a job. Student teach and substitute teach - this job is mainly about how much experience you have in trying to teach kids. Know your subject well. Take courses in grammar, writing, and classic literature. Kids can tell when you don't have a good grasp of a topic. So the more you have learned and read, the better." (High School English Teacher; 2011)


"Be A Teacher Not An Athlete...
1) Don't do this job because you were a good athlete and want only to pay attention to kids with high skill levels. You must want to be a *teacher*! The only difference between you and the Math or Science teacher is course content. 2) Take as many Science and Psych courses as you can. Human movement is all Physics, human behavior and attitude are integral to learning and Health, of course, is very science-heavy. 3) Always try to make interdisciplinary connections both in your learning and teaching. For instance, use both the French and English terms when teaching Fencing. Talk about how the American Indians played the first forms of Lacrosse, etc." (Physical Education/Health Teacher; 2011)


"Develop A Broad Knowledge...
Try to expose yourself to as many different technologies as possible. Although technology changes very fast, a broad background will help you adapt and easily learn many of the new features that are introduced." (Education - Technology Coordinator; 2011)


"Don't Befriend Students...
If you are hired by a school make sure you pay close attention to the procedures. There is always a "right way" to do things, but they are often different at each school. Be a role model for your students. Show them respect and get them to respect you. Do not be their "friend." If you don't know something, be honest. Don't make something up. Explain that you will get the information for them. This shows that the teacher isn't a "know-it-all" and shows the student that even the teacher can (and should) keep learning." (High School Teacher; 2011)


"Find Your Age Level...
You have to like young adults to do this job. It is also helpful to discover the age level that you work best with. For example, I have no toleration for middle school kids. They just have too much undirected energy, are so silly, and have such a low attention span. However, there are wonderful teachers on that level who would never want to set foot in a high school classroom. So the secret is to find out what age student you resonate with." (High School English Teacher; 2011)


"Get Your Grad Degree Straight Away...
I would suggest getting a job as a substitute teacher in the kind/level of school in which you are interested in teaching. I would suggest getting into a 5-year Master's degree program and NOT taking a year off, it is very difficult to get back to school after taking an extended break." (High School English Teacher; 2011)


"Kids Make The Job - One Way Or The Other...
You have to like working with kids. It sounds obvious, but they are what makes the job rewarding or infuriating -- you'd better enjoy that part or forget it. Be prepared to run extra-curricular activities (class advisor, yearbook, drama club, ski club, coaching, etc) to make yourself a more attractive candidate for a job. Be professional! In your dealings with faculty, administration, students, parents, staff, and the community. It all counts towards how you are perceived and affects your ability to do your job." (Teacher; 2011)


"Know Your Subject Well...
1. You must be very knowledgeable in your subject areas. I think that a lot of people think that teaching is easy and that you can get by by just following the textbook. You can't. You need to love and understand what you teach. If you do not, you will wear out and be a poor teacher. 2. You should have a fall-back. Teaching is very difficult. The state in which we work does not support teachers, and really, neither does the culture and parents. You have to do your job while working against everybody. The truth is that many people burn out. I would advise choosing a field that will have additional avenues if you teach for a couple of years and want to move on. 3. Things do get better after the first couple of years. The most difficult thing in teaching is making the lessons, and during the first few years of teaching, that consumes your whole life. After two or three years, it becomes more automatic and much easier." (Teacher; 2011)


"Learn To Roll With Adolescent Issues...
1. Develop your organizational skills right away. This job requires a lot of organization and unless you keep track of everything, you can have some major problems. 2. Develop a thick skin. You will have to deal with a lot of adolescent issues and emotions, some of it very ugly, and it can get to you if you let it. Try not to take things personally. 3. It will be very helpful if you love the subject area you teach, because you will never stop learning about it." (Teacher; 2011)


"Look For Where The Jobs Are...
If you are looking to go into teaching determine what area(location) you want to live and look at what areas in the teaching profession have a lack of teachers specializing or what is the area of demand. Finish all the certification requirement prior to start working if possible, this allows the teacher more time to concentrate on building their career and dedicating the needed time in the beginning of their career. When considering a teaching career make sure that there is a need for your skills. It can be very disappointing going through all the training and then not being able to find a job." (Teacher; 2011)


"Love Your Subject - And Teenagers...
Make sure you really love your subject and that you really like teenagers. Get as much as you can from student teaching and try and spend as much time in a class as you can. Go visit your old school and see if they will let you watch. Talk to other teachers that teach the same subject as you want to. Find the age group that you enjoy working with the most. Make sure it is really what you want to do." (High School Teacher; 2011)


"Mind The Rapidly Changing World Of Science...
Continue to learn and study. Science, like everything else in the world, is never changing, and there are so many things--almost too many--to draw connections from the real world to the stuff in the books... In fact, there are arguments that we can do without textbooks, and only use the internet as a source of information. Some think that's the best way to learn science now, as things are changing so quickly. Pay attention to all of these changes. Continue to learn new ways of teaching and learning." (Teacher; 2011)


"Shadow Teachers In Multiple Environments...
As an individual, I pursued teaching as my second career. I was a professional using my administrative degree and experience. My advice to anyone who wants to pursue teaching is to "shadow" teachers in different settings - urban, rural and suburban. Truly consider all of the pitfalls and triumphs that teaching can bring. As far as coursework, I would suggest to take as many sociology, counseling and psychology courses as you can (together with the education courses). I spend more of my time in this other areas RATHER than time teaching! If there is a way to teach motivation and respect, I would spend a fortune on that education!" (Teacher; 2011)


"Some Pointers From An Acting Teacher...
1) Come to the teaching profession prepared to learn continuously--from your students most of all. 2) If you find anything else 2/3 as satisfying as acting, do it, and act on the side. 3) Prepare all material for class or stage so well that you can do it in your sleep, as you'll probably have to. 4) Learn to write efficiently--avoid forms of the verb to be, and choose nouns and action verbs over pronouns and linking verbs." (Teacher/Director Of Dramatics; 2011)


"Study The Habits Of A Good Teacher...
1. Sit in on a actual classroom and watch a good teacher do his or her work. That was one of the best things I did. 2. Go into this job knowing that the best tool you can have is the ability to be organized. Prepare for the unexpected. 3. Take a good hard look at the school you are applying for. If it's a private school, ask questions about health care and 401k." (Teacher/Football Coach; 2011)


"Substituting Can Lead To Permanent Position...
Being a substitute may be hard because of the fluctuation of opportunities to work, but having a love for the Army and how the soldiers can better themselves makes the job well worth it. Working hard as a substitute may lead to a permanent position. A love for education is also a great thing to have. It will help you work harder for the soldiers because you know how important a quality education is in the life of a person, let alone the structure of the United States Military." (Substitute Teacher For A Military Education Center; 2011)


"Teachers Are Role Models...
DO NOT take this job unless you really enjoy working with children/adolescents, and are willing to be patient with all of them. Understand that you are a public figure, and will be expected to act as a role model. Accept that you have selected a career that does not engender a great deal of professional respect or monetary reward. Realize that many people will resent you in July and August, and when they pay their school taxes." (Teacher; 2011)


"You May Need To Relocate...
Be flexible - although you may love your subject, you need to be prepared for a diverse group of learners, think about special education courses and/or an ESL background. Also, you may want to teach high school, but be prepared to teach middle school, or visa versa. Be prepared to re-locate, some job markets are saturated with teachers, however, there are many high need areas, just be willing to move. Even before you begin your course of study, spend some time in the kind of school and specifically with the age group and subject matter you intend to teach." (Teacher; 2011)


"Your Hard Work Will Be Rewarded...
Make sure that you enjoy being with kids! If you are not a people person you should not teach. This is a demanding field, but the most rewarding if you put the time into it. You must have "some" athletic ability! How can you teach Physical Education and not be able to perform the skills you teach? You do not have to be great at all of them, but the students should see that you are respectable. This will earn their respect!" (Teacher/Coach; 2011)


"Continue Finding New Ways To Teach...
1. Spend as much time as you can speaking the language. If you have the opportunity to live abroad, do so for as long as possible. 2. Consider your colleagues to be a resource. Other teachers are a great source of ideas and support. 3. Never stop adding new activities to your repertoire. If you do, your teaching will become stale and both you and your students will be bored." (French Teacher; 2010)


"Get Experience At A Public School...
1. Always be professional. 2.If you don't want to be involved or are very protective of your personal time, a boarding school is NOT a good place for you to work. 3. I would encourage beginning teachers to work at a public school first before taking a job at a boarding school. It will provide excellent perspective and allow you to work your way up to the expected workload. 4. Be calm and patient whenever you can." (Teacher; 2010)


"Managing The Classroom...
My advice to anyone starting out in education is to volunteer in a classroom with a teacher who has good classroom control. In years gone by, teacher preparation classes did not include classes in classroom management. (They may not provide them now, but if they do, take them!) Classroom management will either "make you" or "break you." I have found building positive relationships with the students goes a long way toward establishing classroom discipline. My second piece of advice is to learn along with the students. Continue to take professional classes and be willing to grow and learn in your teaching styles." (Teacher; 2010)


"Need Passion For The Subject...
Find a subject that is the essence of your being. Be passionate about wanting to impart your knowledge to your students. Realize that you have to truly enjoy what you do, regardless of the money!!!" (Teacher; 2010)


"Need To Stay Current...
In addition to all your teaching duties you will be required to maintain a level of proficiency in your field of expertise. This means you will have to take professional development classes throughout your career. Your school district may also require you to participate in classes or seminars. Some of these can be rewarding, others a test of endurance!" (Teacher; 2010)


"Passion For Your Subject Not Enough...
You must really like kids. Loving your subject matter doesn't necessarily mean you will be a good teacher. Learn as much about teaching strategies as possible. Everything in your teacher toolbox helps! Be prepared to work hard. Teaching requires a constant renovation of your skills to keep abreast of changes in technology and culture." (High School Teacher; 2010)


"Sit In On Classes With Excellent Teachers...
I would encourage anyone considering teaching as a career to visit different high schools and observe master teachers. Also, working as a substitute will help you gain classroom management skills. It is also important to have an open mind. Teachers are responsible for many tasks during the day. A high school teacher is responsible for approximately 100 students, whereas an elementary school teacher is responsible for 25 students." (English Teacher; 2010)


"Talk To Teachers And Kids...
Visit school whenever possible. Volunteer at the school. Make opportunities to visit elementary, middle, and high schools to see which level of student you feel more comfortable with. Visit private schools and charter schools as well as public schools. Ask questions of all teachers and understand that there are many excellent teachers, not just tired teachers who might be a little jaded by a stressful day! Talk to kids about what they like in their teachers and what they do not like about teachers or school. Sometimes you can relate to them and decide to make sure that you give them a different experience than what they might have already experienced." (High School Science Teacher; 2010)