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Should I Become a High School Teacher?

I always knew that I wanted to become a teacher. Because of my love for writing, I chose to study English Education in college and become a high school teacher. However, I worked as a Kindergarten Enrichment teacher and daycare supervisor to pay for college, which lead me to question my decision to teach secondary education. Although I spent a semester taking classes in Early Childhood Education, I ended up teaching English at the high school level.

I had to think about what was best for me, just as you have to determine which grade level is best for you. Where will you excel and thrive? If you’re thinking about teaching in a high school setting, here are some pros and cons that you should consider.

Pros of Becoming a High School Teacher

  1. Unlike elementary school teachers, high school teachers only need to specialize in one subject. This allows teachers to delve deeper into subjects that interest them.
  2. Many teachers cover the same course multiple times each day, so it’s less time consuming to come up with lesson plans. It also allows them to focus on projects and other interesting activities for the students.
  3. High school students tend to be more mature than middle or elementary school students. Many of them are looking ahead to life after high school. As such, it’s possible to create great bonds with your students. In the process, you can make a difference in their lives and help them better understand the subject.
  4. I’m not going to lie to you and say that every day of teaching feels like a success. You will have days when you question your choice to become a teacher, but it’s the little moments when you see a light bulb come on for students or help a student through a tough time in their personal life. Those are the moments that make teaching all worth it. And thanks to social media, you can keep track of your students and see the people that they become after they graduate from high school.
become a high school teacher

High school teacher passes out assignments to students.

Cons of Becoming a High School Teacher

  1. Let’s face it. Teenagers are difficult. They’re going to push your buttons and try to get away with all sorts of inappropriate behavior. If you don’t have excellent classroom management skills, you’re going to have a very difficult time making it through the day.
  2. On top of dealing with behavioral issues, lesson planning isn’t always easy. In many high school classrooms, you’ll find that you have a wide range of abilities. In order to meet each student’s needs and help them understand the information, it’s important to think about different ways to teach the same information. Teachers need to plan hands-on activities that require students to actively participate.
  3. Unlike teaching at a college level, there are lots of curriculum constraints in order to meet standards and help students pass the standardized tests. School districts often determine the resources and subject matter that can be taught, too.
  4. Although most parents won’t cause any issues, every now and again, you’ll deal with irate parents who have issues with you, the material, or your teaching style. The stress of these situations can make it difficult to look forward to coming into work each day.

If you want to love what you do, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons. If the positives outweigh the negative aspects of the job for you, then becoming a high school teacher might just be the right profession for you.

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