Teacher Job Description

WHAT DO TEACHERS DO?

There's nothing better than doing something worthwhile, and making money to boot! Everyone you know older than five has been influenced by a teacher. Teachers prepare and educate students for the world. Starting with teaching the basics of math, reading and skills in preschool and elementary school, and move to more complex and specialized concepts in middle, high school and post-secondary school.

Teachers create lesson plans and teach those plans to the entire class, individually to students or in small groups, track student progress and present the information to parents, create tests, create and reinforce classroom rules, work with school administration prepare students for standardized tests, and manage students outside the classroom, such as in school hallways, detention, etc.

Other types of teachers include special education teachers, who work with students with a range of disabilities, adult literacy and GED teachers, working with adults and young adults who are no longer in school, and post-secondary teachers in colleges, universities and vocational schools.

HOW MUCH DO TEACHERS MAKE?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2010 median income for teachers was:
$12.35 per hour ($25,700/year) for preschool teachers
$51,380 a year for elementary school teachers
$51,960 per year for middle school teachers
$53,230 per year for high school teachers
$53,220 per year for special education teachers
$22.37 an hour ($46,530 per year) for adult literacy/GED teachers
$62,050 per year for postsecondary teachers

WHAT ARE THE EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS?

Depending on state laws, preschool teachers may only need a high school diploma and certification or a college degree.

For elementary through high school teachers, you must have a bachelor's degree in education. Some states require teachers to have a degree in a specific area, such as english or history. In some instances, a master's degree is required. In addition, teachers must be licensed by the state, also known as state certification. Teachers in private schools may not need state certification.

Special education teachers can also get a bachelor's degree in special education.

Postsecondary teachers at universities and community colleges have at least a master's degree, and many have a Ph.D. in their field. For vocational schools, experience in the field is more important.

JOB SKILLS AND REQUIREMENTS

  • Communication Skills: You must be able to speak clearly to students, other teachers, parents and administration officials.
  • Instruction Skills: You will have to explain new ideas and unfamiliar concepts with authority and in a clear and concise way so that students can understand. You must work to keep the students' attention
  • Writing Skills: Teachers write progress reports, notes home, and in the case of postsecondary teachers, publish research. Writing skills are critical.
  • Patience: The students you work with will have different backgrounds and abilities. Patience will help teachers deal with students who act out or have trouble following the material.
  • Creativity: Teachers have to find ways to involve students into their lessons. Additionally, teachers may have to work with different learning styles to get the most out of each student.
  • People Skills: Engaging parents and creating healthy relationships with students and faculty will help create a quality learning environment.

CAREER PATHS FOR TEACHERS

lead teacher
teacher mentor
instructional coordinators