If you’re considering getting an online bachelors degree in education, you’re also looking forward to what you’ll use it for once you graduate. One great option is working as a high school teacher. Teachers enjoy more job security than most workers in the modern economy, get significantly more vacation time than average, and enjoy the luxury of knowing their work has real utility and meaning in the lives of young people.
On the other side, being a high school teacher can be incredibly stressful. Teachers often work long hours, many of which are unpaid. They deal with school bureaucracies, state guidelines, testing requirements, and troubled students in what can often be a grueling, thankless job. But for those who make it through these difficulties, the work is incredibly rewarding. If you’re thinking about earning an education bachelors degree online, here’s a great resource for selecting a program.
Being a high school teacher requires working with students individually, the ability to lead a class towards an objective, assessing students accurately on their strengths and weaknesses, and calibrating the instruction given to them accordingly. Teachers are constantly grading work, adjusting their lessons according class size and aptitude, and are also often required to communicate with students’ families in order to improve performance or chart progress. High school teachers are increasingly pushed into the position of enforcing rules, standards and norms, which can be extremely difficult. Often, high school teachers specialize in one subject, and are expected to deal with several classes daily. They can be responsible for the work and education of dozens of students.
High school teachers can also be expected to supervise after school or extracurricular activities, proctor exams, help students prepare for college preparation, plan, organize and execute field trips, and be responsible for study halls and detention. Teachers may also be called upon to coach sports or other school teams and help represent their school while traveling. Being a high school teacher requires teamwork with other over-extended colleagues who must transition from solitary instruction of many teens to coordinated work with a school administration.
When it comes to pay, there’s a large disparity between what high school teachers earn depending on location, experience and other similar factors. Payscale found that teachers make $47,760 per year on average. Payscale also noted that being fluent in a foreign language like German or French, or having Information Technology skills correlated with better pay for high school teachers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said the 2016 median pay for a high school teacher was $58,030 per year. They also found that the lowest 10 percent of high school teachers earned less than $38,180, and the highest 10 percent of them earned over $92,920. They predicted a 6% growth between 2014 and 2024 for high school teaching positions, which is about average, and comes out to an estimated 55,900 new high school teaching jobs created over that period.
In the long term, high school teachers often end up moving higher in school bureaucracies, and can eventually work as deans, executive assistants, assistant principals, principals and eventually even school district positions like superintendent.