What Does A High School Teacher Do?
High school teachers are tasked with the very important job of preparing teenagers for real life after finishing Grade 12. Whether the student proceeds to go to college or enter the workforce right away, high school teachers are integral in equipping students with the skills and knowledge they need to cope with college or for those who choose to go straight to work, the realities of holding a job in any industry.
High school teachers play a pivotal role in the lives of the students that they teach. The lessons they impart, their views about certain matters and their advice on the seemingly conflicting issues that young people face all contribute to the very influential role they play in the lives of teenagers.
On a typical day, high school teachers don’t only teach. They counsel students, enforce rules, discuss with other teachers, confer with parents, plan activities and mediate issues among students. They have manifold roles which make the profession unique from that of others. In the classroom, they facilitate learning. They introduce topics in the subject area they handle and encourage students to participate in the discussion through various strategies. They also check if the objectives of their lessons have been met by administering oral and written tests and other methods of evaluating students. Evaluating students also entails doing additional tasks after giving discussions in the classroom. They have to check papers, record scores, advise students on research papers, plan follow-up or remedial activities for those who exhibit inadequate results and compute final grades.
Yet even before the teacher starts giving lectures in the classroom, their job has already started. Before classes start, they have already worked on their lesson plans to guide their discussions for the day. Since high school teachers may handle many different class levels in a day, they may need to make multiple lesson plans. They also have to set up the classroom to ensure that it has everything that the students need to digest a particular lesson.
This is especially true in a special needs classroom where the teacher has to double check if all the materials are ready and that the place is safe from objects that could otherwise harm a special needs child. Teachers handling science subjects like physics and chemistry may need time to test experiments outside school hours to make certain that it is safe for all students.
In addition to giving lessons and grading, high school teachers are also called upon to become club advisers, coach teams and accompany students to field trips and other school-sanctioned activities. These typically take place outside school hours, requiring flexibility on the part of the teacher.
High school teachers play a vital role in guiding students to become responsible adults and good citizens who show love and compassion to others. Thus, they ensure that school policies are followed. They act on instances of bullying right away and see to it that the erring child is given the appropriate sanction for the error. They make recommendations to the school principal and school counselors and work together with parents to ensure that any issues at home that may have prompted the undesirable behavior is addressed.
Administrative work is part and parcel of the job of high school teachers. This includes meeting with other teachers within the department to talk about matters that concern their students and the school. For example, they meet to talk about the set of books to recommend to their students for a particular school year, come up with a departmental schedule of activities or establish rules regarding protocol that must be followed.
All teachers are also required to attend regularly-scheduled faculty meetings which can take place once each month. Other administrative tasks include writing reports about the performance of each student and making requests for classroom tools or the repair of and improvement of facilities.
Teachers are already part of the lives of their students. They provide a listening ear when the latter expresses problems and guide them in making appropriate decisions for their future. Through career planning activities, for example, high school students are able understand what profession they want to do for life, prepare for it and take the right courses in college.