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How to start a Career as a Secondary School Teacher

Sharmain Zain
Reading time: 3 min

Teaching is a noble profession that plays a huge role in shaping the lives of many. Therefore, choosing to become a secondary school teacher is both a calling and a lifetime commitment to impact heavily on your students’ lives. As a secondary school teacher you will mostly deal with young minds aged between 11 and 18 years.

The secondary school curriculum covers a wide range of subjects and often teachers specialise in one or two of the subjects. As a teacher, you will interact with kids with different skill sets and from different backgrounds. Therefore, it’s important to pay close attention to each of your students and nurture their skills to the best of your ability.

Let’s look at a few things you need to know about a career as a secondary school teach before you venture into it:

Job basics

Newly qualified teacher entry salary: Around £ 22,917 pa
Experienced teacher salary: Ranges between £23,000 to £ 40,000 pa
Average working hours: 48.2 hours per week

What are the typical duties of a secondary school teacher?

The following are some of the tasks that you can expect to engage in during your career as a secondary school teacher:
• Prepare a course outline and the teaching materials
• Ensure discipline among your students and make sure they abide by school rules
• Offer instructions during lectures and other class room experiments
• Prepare assignments and grade tests for each student and keep track of their progress
• Engage with other education professionals and build on your skills
• Discuss a student’s progress with the parents/guardians

Qualities of a secondary school teacher

Teachers interact with students on a daily basis which calls for exceptional communication skills in order to pass a point to them. One needs to have an engaging personality in order to ensure that the students remain attentive and involved during lessons. A teacher needs to have extremely high discipline in order to instill and maintain the same with the students.

Good time management skills are also important because they ensure that the class starts and ends on time with the necessary lessons covered within the allocated time. Good management of the classroom will ensure that student behave well and perform well in a particular teacher’s lessons. A teacher should communicate high expectations to the students and encourage them to perform to their level best. As a teacher, it’s also important to build rapport with your students and create healthy relationships built on trust.

How to become qualified?

One of the first qualifications that one has to acquire in order to become a secondary school teacher is an undergraduate degree with the most popular being a Bachelor of Education(B.Ed). It’s also important to have a teaching qualification that’s qualified. The degree you choose to take can be specifically for the subject you want to teach. You can then advance and take a postgraduate course for example PGDE. All in all a career in teaching is fulfilling and does make a positive impact in children’s lives.

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