The career I chose to pursue is the secondary education teacher. This paper is research that discusses the requirements I will need to become a secondary school teacher, the job outlook, the potential income, and the necessary characteristics that will help me to succeed in this field. I will also highlight some of my strengths as well as talents that I believe will contribute to my future career success.
The requirements for becoming a secondary school teacher that is responsible for imparting knowledge in the grades nine to twelve students are enlisted in the following sentences. First, the pursuant must do a four-year undergraduate degree program in education, specifically a major in secondary education. Second, the applicant must have a secondary teaching credential for grades six to twelve and the degree certificate showing successful completion of the undergraduate course. Apart from the above necessities, the pursuant also needs to pass the teacher certification tests including the Licensure Testing System Test of Academic Proficiency, and the Subject-Area Test in the most preferred subjects for your particular state ("Teaching Certification." 2). Also, the pursuant must complete both the curricula (the pedagogy/science of teaching) and fieldwork (internships/observations/student teaching) ("Become a Teacher in Illinois." 1). Finally, the teaching license is necessary for the career and, therefore, every one pursuing a teaching career must obtain one to be allowed in the profession. The certification or license that the state issues may need an academic background in the unit(s) or the subject(s) that the teachers are certified to teach.
The students who wish to obtain a teaching certificate/credential must earn a grade of C and above for the entire coursework required for the teaching profession credential. This requirement includes the courses in the majors, electives, and other educational courses. These requirements are accredited by the Illinois State Board of education ("CLC Career Brochure." 10).
The employment of secondary school teachers was projected to grow by 8% in the duration from 2016 to 2026 (United States Department of Labor: Occupational Outlook Handbook, 1). This rate is as fast as the mean of all occupations in the U.S. The students' enrollments rise regularly, thereby, causing an increase in demand for secondary/high school teachers. This growth in employment, however, varies by regions.
Employment growth for the government secondary schools depends on the budgets of the local as well as the state government. Unless the state or the local governments face a budget deficit, the school board will continue recruiting the employees, including teachers. Otherwise, there would be employees' lay-offs by the school boards, and the demand may reduce. Budget surpluses in the state level are likely to increase the employment growth rate for high school teachers.
Also, from the year 2016 to 2019, a substantial number of teachers will hit their retirement age. This factor also assures that there will be job openings for that duration. Today, a lot of schools' reports show that there are difficulties in filling the high school teacher positions especially for particular the subjects including science, technology, English as a second language, math, and special education. Consequently, there are prospects that the teachers with such specialties or certifications allowing them to teach will have better chances for those jobs once they complete their bachelor's in education programs.
The following are some of the factors that would increase employment opportunities. The outlook shows that the chances are better in the rural and urban district schools than in the suburban districts. Flexible teachers regarding job locations thereby increase their job prospects.
The latest United States Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded an average median yearly wage of $58,030 for the secondary school teachers. This information is for May 2016 ("Summary." 1). This median wage means that half the number of the workers earned more than this amount whereas the remaining half earned less than the given amount. The data also show that the lower tensile earned less than $38,180 whereas the upper tensile earned more than $92,920. The top industry's elementary and high school teachers at the local schools earned a median of $58,740 while their counterparts at the private schools earned a median of $51,810.
The high school educators mainly work during the school hours, but this varies from one school to the other. Most of the evenings and the weekends are often for preparing for the lessons and grading of students' papers. Sometimes the teachers also use the times before and after classes to meet the parents of their students. Lastly, the trainers for sports also use the times before and after school to coach the students. All these factors as well as the education level, subjects a teacher handles, and experiences determine the salary scales.
Most of the secondary school teachers work for the regular ten-month school year and spend two months for the summer vacations. The schools also have a short mid-winter break offered by most schools. Finally, in cases teachers teach in the summer school programs, they are also compensated. Teachers work nine weeks in a row before having a break for three or four weeks before resuming work ("Summary." 2).
The characteristics necessary to be successful in the secondary education teaching career
The following features are essential for the teaching professionals. First, a teacher needs to be a visionary person who shares his or her knowledge to enable pupils or students to realize their potentials. It is crucial for a teacher to be creative, have strong communication skills, show care and understanding, and be knowledgeable and able to inspire students. The best teachers are those that are students' mentors, and the students can emulate their habits and lifestyle. Teachers also need to have effective learning styles, rightly issuing the current learning-based pedagogy and support students in various aspects of learning. Lastly, a teacher should understand the diverse cultural backgrounds are some of the best arsenals of teaching ("CLC Career Brochure." 11).
Other essential skills are organizational skills, presentation skills, excellent communication, and dependable decision-making skills. Teachers should also be patient, fair, and calm. Those with post-graduate education, prior experiences, industry certification for the relevant states are likely to stand out from others. Teachers with the shortage-area subject skills, for instance, the STEM subjects are more desirable and on higher demand than the others. The overall shortage of teachers are in fact associated with the STEM subjects which are; science, technology, English, and math.
On carrying out my self-evaluation on suitability to a high school teaching career, the following are some of my strengths and talents that I believe will allow me to perform better as a teacher. First, as a parent, I have learned to be patient with my children. Besides pursuing the profession of teaching, I am a parent, and I believe in my strength of being able to up-bring responsible children who can be responsible in the society. A skill of parenting is beneficial in educating children, in whatever level of education.
A teacher needs to give praise when necessary. This virtue is tricky. I am talented in giving praise to both strengths and efforts and rewarding when appropriate. As a parent, I have learned to encourage children to instill a positive sense in them for their future endeavors. Telling children 'well done' or even 'good work' in a classroom should not only be reserved for progress in academic but also at homes and when a child does well in all aspects. I believe that the praises that I give to my children at home will also be beneficial to the students I hope to teach in future.
As a teacher trainee, I believe that it is very important to abide by the teaching code of ethics. I have valued and respected people, and therefore, I believe that this is a virtue that boosts relationship at a place of work between colleagues. Personally, I take teaching as a calling to help the people in the society. Therefore, I am moved by passion rather than the pay. In summary, my strengths and talents as already highlighted, my degree and line of career line are among the critical elements that place me as a suitable future candidate for a high school teaching career.
"Become a Teacher in Illinois." Teach: Make a Difference, teach.com/become/teaching-credential/state-requirements/illinois/.
"CLC Career Brochure." Issuu, issuu.com/clcpublicrelations/docs/careerbook.
"Summary." U.S Bureau of labor Statistics, U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, 24 Oct. 2017, www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/high-school-teachers.htm#tab-5.
"Summary." U.S Bureau of labor Statistics, U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, 24 Oct. 2017, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/high-school-teachers.htm#tab-6
"Teaching Certification." University Center of Lake County, ucenter.org/prospective-students/teaching-certification/.
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