How to Become a High School Teacher

Becoming a High School teacher can be one of the most rewarding and difficult ventures you will ever undertake. High School students need mentors to fulfill every facet of their lives. They are young, highly impressionable and at a point in their lives when their actions are beginning to have consequences on the rest of their lives.

They need high school teachers to help direct their energies in positive directions. Their teachers need to be able to help them learn the valuable skills necessary for success after high school either in vocational settings or for further education. A quality high school teacher needs to be able to teach the same skills in a variety of different ways in order to accomodate every style of learner.

Lastly, a quality high school teacher needs to have the demeanor of an individual who sincerely cares for each student's success.
  1. The Basics:
    The basics are the prerequisites you will need to fulfill in order to be qualified for a high school teaching certification.
    • You will need to have completed at least a bachelor's degree that may or may not be in the field of education.
    • Secondly, you will need to complete some form of secondary teacher preparation. There are alternative programs to certification. You will need to explore the options available in your state. How to Become a Teacher in Your State.
    • Thirdly you will need to successfully complete a duration of student teaching where you will be observed while developing and refining your first set of teaching skills.
    • Teacher Competency Examinations. Typically, you will need to successfully complete your state's selected competency examinations prior to beginning your student teaching.
    • Finally, you will need to search for employment. This last step is made significantly easier if your student teaching is successful in the eyes of your teaching mentor.

  2. How to Become a REAL High School Teacher:
    • Clarify your motives for becoming a high school teacher
      Be honest with yourself. If you are interested in providing an environment for students that you believe will encourage confidence and motivation for success, accept that this is a difficult task. You do not have all the answers and if you wish to take steps toward creating this kind of environment you will need to gain the appropriate skills.

      Learn to ask for help and do not be afraid to change your methods of teaching and views of education. This will certainly be necessary if you are to become a successful high school teacher.

    • There is nothing worse than a stagnant high school teacher
      A quality high school teacher continues to increase and refine competencies not associated with teaching. Learning algebra and studying Shakespeare are not the only things on high students' minds. You will have much more success in reaching your students if they know there is more on your mind than teaching them algebra or Shakespeare.

      Encourage yourself to partake in extracurricular activities. Then share your interests with your students. You will gain a heightened report and mutual respect with your students.

    • Not all high school curriculum is created equal
      Learn to be open minded when creating your curriculum. Times are changing at an increasing pace. With advanced technology constantly bombarding our lives, we need to keep pace with a global market and encourage our students to adapt.

      You will need to refine and alter you curriculum on a whim as the world changes around you. A little more research and a little effort to stay current with your material and methods will go a long way to benefit your high school students.

    • Understand high school school politics
      No matter where you begin teaching, there will always be other teachers and administrators who do not share your point of view. This may be common sense, but try to understand it is better not to be too critical of traditional teaching methods. Veteran teachers and administrators are your most valuable resource when first beginning your career as an educator. Respect their experience and you will learn important information as well as create a much more friendly working environment.

    • All good high school teachers have thick skin
      As good as teacher education programs are these days, there will still be very much to learn when you enter the classroom. Learn to accept criticism without taking offense. You will learn valuable information about yourself. In addition, those who can help you will be more likely to lend their expertise in the future when they see you are open to constructive criticism.