How To Become A High School Teacher In USA | Eligibility Scope

By | September 12, 2022

How To Become A High School Teacher In USA | Eligibility Salary Scope

Teachers at various levels have a tough job, but high school teachers face double the challenges. Their students are still children, but these children often have the personal problems of adulthood. Even the most intelligent, curious and motivated students can also be rebellious, quick to anger and indiscipline.

Also, high school teachers have to do more than prepare lesson plans and give lectures. They must ensure that students meet state testing standards and basic college and university admissions requirements.

They must also assess interpersonal conflicts, help students overcome the emotional hurdles that are part of most teens’ lives, and watch for signs of abuse, neglect, and drug addiction.

Becoming a high school teacher is simply no cakewalk. However, if you have the drive and determination, helping ninth through twelfth graders navigate some of the most difficult years of their lives while preparing them for college or the world of work can be extremely rewarding work.

The Teacher Career Guide

A secondary school teacher, more commonly called a high school teacher, teaches students in grades nine through twelve in both public and private educational institutions. The primary goal of these teachers is to educate students and prepare them for college and/or the job market. This guide provides more information about what high school teachers do, how to become one, and the salary and job prospects in the profession.

Job Description of A High School Teacher

High school teachers typically plan and teach lessons in student classrooms. They can also teach small groups or do one-on-one mentoring depending on the needs of their students.

High school teachers usually specialize in one or two subjects, such as math, English, science, art, history, Spanish, French, or music, usually teaching several classes within their specialty subject throughout the day.

Teachers assess students’ performance, evaluate papers and tests and prepare them for state tests. To be an effective and successful high school instructor, the ability to communicate well with teenagers and gain their respect is key.

A consistent and approachable approach will help the teacher maintain order, good behavior and discipline when working with adolescent students.

Common Tasks Of a A High School Teacher

A teacher’s responsibilities at the high school level include course preparation, assigning and grading homework and tests, creating classroom rules, and meeting with parents to discuss student progress and behavior problems.

They may also spend extra time with struggling students, often mentoring and tutoring them after class. Although high school teachers normally work in the classroom, they may work in other settings, including the outdoors, the gymnasium, the school library, or the computer lab. Secondary level teachers also maintain order in the classroom and during breaks and lunches, and may be involved in various extracurricular activities.

High school teachers must have the ability to effectively impart knowledge to adolescents. Calmness and patience are attributes teachers need; their role can be seen as part instructor and part mentor.

Qualities you need to become a teacher

To be successful in your teaching career, you need more than just a degree or certificate. A teacher’s job is much more than just teaching students. For example, teachers must create lesson plans, communicate with parents, and collaborate with administrators. While some requirements may come naturally to some teachers, others may need to learn them. One way to learn these skills is through formal education, and another way is through hands-on experience. Here are some of the most important soft skills that a teacher would need in their career path.

1. Patience

Patience is the key to success as a teacher. Every teacher must understand that the classroom is a mixture of different intellectual abilities, cultural backgrounds and learning styles. It would be easier for teachers to work with enthusiastic students who contribute during class discussions, turn in work early, and are generally easy-going.

On the other hand, some students may cause behavioral disturbances and turn in assignments late. In cases like this, teachers should be able to balance their expectations with the unique abilities of each student.

2. Critical thinking

Critical thinking is essential for a teacher because it will help him achieve the goals of the institution. At the same time, they take into account the best interest of the students. For example, a good English teacher should check whether the themes of a particular story are appropriate for the class.

3. Communication

Teachers interact with their students in many ways on a daily basis. Communication includes body language, written and verbal communication channels. Body language is one of the most common and yet unconscious methods of communication in the classroom.

The way a teacher stands, how often they smile and make eye contact with students can greatly influence whether or not students engage with the course. Strong verbal communication is also a key characteristic of good teachers.

Teachers should clarify their expectations in lessons and present complex concepts in simple language. Written communication skills often come into play when teachers provide feedback on classroom work or draft progress reports for parents.

4. Organization

Most public schools have at least 30 students or more per class. This environment can be overwhelming if a teacher loses control of their classroom. To prevent this, the teacher must ensure that every material needed to keep the class running stress-free is in place. In addition, a well-organized classroom should be free of distractions.

5. Imaginative thinking

The teacher would have to use different creative methods in teaching the students. And the method used largely depends on the age range of the students involved. A middle school teacher may need to use relevant media such as short clips and pictures to illustrate specific lessons. On the other hand, those teaching younger populations can incorporate creative arts and singing to enhance learning.

6. Leadership

Every teacher must demonstrate leadership skills both inside and outside the classroom environment. A teacher who demonstrates strong leadership skills is more likely to advance in the profession more quickly.

Teachers can focus on additional responsibilities outside the classroom to develop leadership qualities. Opportunities include managing a sports team or leading a particular club such as dance, drama or chess.

7. Teamwork

Teamwork is related to how teachers communicate with other school officials. Most schools have regular meetings to discuss best practices and curriculum for student learning.

In these scenarios, teachers can demonstrate their teamwork attributes. They can do so by working with school nurses, guidance counselors and psychologists. Teachers can also work with the suggestions of other staff, even if they differ from their personal opinion.

8. Organization of time

A teacher’s job does not end in the classroom and they usually have to work from home during evenings and weekends. Teachers must grade papers, obtain course materials, and plan lessons outside the classroom.

To maintain a healthy work-life balance, they should set aside certain hours of the day for personal activities. These healthy boundaries should not interfere with school and student activities.

9. Computer skills

With the increase in classroom technology, teachers must have good computer skills to stay relevant. In addition to tracking grades, teachers can also use computers to prepare study guides, worksheets, lesson plans, and tests.

Classroom activities are not left out as technology is also useful for interactive videos and online databases/libraries. Thus, the educator must be comfortable using the computer for various purposes.

10. Conflict solving

Disagreements are likely in any classroom, especially when all students come from different backgrounds. Younger students may have disputes over toys and games, while conflicts over personal matters are more common among older students. It is the teacher’s responsibility to keep these arguments to a minimum and nip any disagreements in the bud. This skill also comes in handy when dealing with parents of students who may have different opinions.

Steps For How To Become A High School Teacher

1. Get a bachelor’s degree

Planning for a teaching career usually starts early. So decide what content area you want to teach and get your degree. The university you are attending must be accredited by the Texas Coordinating Council for Higher Education.

2. Choose an EPP (teacher training program)

The next step is to enroll in the EPP. The Educator Preparation Program (EPP) focuses your training on the subject and assessments you might want to teach. The right program can help you narrow down your content area choices and plan your school experience.

Computer science, language other than English, food science, journalism, mathematics, history, agriculture and food and natural resources are just some of the fields of study.

In addition, a subject like health technology requires several years of professional experience. Find out which fields require teachers to have specific licenses and permits to be considered qualified. After consulting with your program, review your eligibility and plan a plan of action.

A GPA of 2.5 is usually required to enroll in EPP. If you do not meet the EPP requirements, your program can still help you plan an alternative path to education. If you don’t have a bachelor’s degree in the content area you want to teach, you can secure an alternative teaching certificate.

3. Take the PACT

The gateway to the EPP is the PACT or Pre-admission Content Test. It is mandatory to take the PACT if you want to apply. Although most programs are satisfied with this test, the results of the test are important. You will need to report them before you can take the final licensing exam.

4. Secure a teaching internship

Once your EPP is underway, you will have plenty of time to gain an in-depth understanding of the secondary school subject of your choice. At the same time, you will need to gain experience at one of these schools.

This internship is the highlight of the EPP as it will test your strengths and weaknesses as a teacher and help you grow professionally. Your program should suggest schools and help you secure a position at a Texas high school that fits your needs.

5. Pass the certification exam

All the hours of study and practice lead you to just that – the certification exam. Register for the test after consulting with your program. Make sure you meet all the conditions of the exam and are well acquainted with its features – question pattern, duration, syllabus, deadlines and everything else in between. Usually, candidates are tested on their teaching skills and pedagogical knowledge.

Your program will help you create accounts, make payment, take the test and check the results. With 240 questions and lasting over 100 minutes, this exam is considered the entry point into teaching for new teachers. Although the test is not considered too difficult to crack, you can write it once and repeat it only four times. If you fail, you will have to pay new fees and wait for the next available date. TExES is the last hurdle to overcome.

6. Get fingerprinted

The last step standing between you and your first teaching job is a background check. Texas teachers must undergo a fingerprinting process. All teaching aspirants must undergo security screening. This could be a criminal record check or verification of your academic credentials. It is a mandatory process for all beginning teachers.

High School Teacher Salary and Job Prospects

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for high school teachers in 2018 was $60,320.1 The top 10% of teachers earned more than $97,500.1 Key factors that determine salary are geographic location, subject, and experience. Overall, the teaching profession at the high school level is expected to see job growth of approximately 4% through 2028.1 Science, math, English as a second language, and special education teachers are most in demand in most school districts.1 High school teaching positions schools are found in both private and public schools in rural, urban and suburban settings, with more jobs on the horizon for teachers in rural and urban areas.

  1. High school teacher career interviews
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High school teacher salary information

Amid debates over teacher pay, many teachers with a passion to change the lives of students and contribute to the education of our next generation are pursuing teaching careers regardless of the expected pay. Their commitment is admirable. However, you may be surprised to learn that the salary of a high school teacher is not as low as some would think.

Average annual salary of secondary school teachers

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2021 Occupational Employment Statistics, the national average annual salary for high school teachers is $61,820. Actual salaries can vary widely depending on industry specialization, location, years of experience, and a number of other factors. National long-term employment growth projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or labor conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.

Teacher benefits and perks

A sometimes overlooked component of high school teacher salaries are the great benefits teachers receive for their hard work. Public high school teachers enjoy some of the most comprehensive benefits packages offered today. Good health and dental insurance and a generous pension supplement supplement the above teacher salaries, making for an attractive overall package.

In some areas, teacher shortages have left districts scrambling for qualified candidates. These understaffed schools are known to offer additional benefits such as subsidized housing, further education credit and on-site childcare.

How to raise teachers’ salaries

Most school districts increase teacher salaries based on the number of approved continuing education credits they have accumulated and the number of years they have been teaching. Teachers with master’s degrees or national certification often command higher salaries. Charter school teacher salary will vary depending on your specific school charter.

Private school teachers generally earn less than public school teachers, but have additional benefits such as smaller class sizes. Some teachers earn extra by teaching summer school, tutoring, or holding other jobs in the school system, and many teachers earn $75,000 or more by the end of their tenure with no additional income.

Whether becoming a teacher is a lifelong dream or a recent interest, a teacher salary survey can help you set accurate expectations and create achievable goals.


What does a high school teacher do?

High school teachers usually educate students in grades 9-12. year in various subjects. They help students meet state standards in their academics and state high school graduation requirements. Most high school teachers have specific subjects that they teach different students that rotate from class to class throughout the day. They can teach in a public school, charter school, or private school.

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