Secondary Science Teacher Career Analyis

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secondary science teacher career analyis

Secondary Science Teacher Career Analysis

After obtaining a bachelors degree in science, most people begin to scour the job market. Many people may find difficulty obtaining a job pertaining to science without a master’s degree. Rather than give up people tend to explore their options. Some people continue their education to ensure their success in the science industry. Others explore alternative careers which interest them. Another option is to share the knowledge obtained in four years of college by teaching in a middle or high school setting.
Each option is better suited for different individuals. Many people cannot go to graduate school for one reason or another. Maybe they do not have the financial means, or they lack the time needed to complete the program. Others choose not to change career fields because science is their main interest and prefer to stick with it. Some choose not to teach because it does not interest them or because they do not know enough about it.
Due to the high demand of secondary education teachers, often people choose this option. In the late 1990’s, the majority of high school students were not taught science by science teachers. The students were instead taught science by teachers who normally taught other subjects (“20 Hot”). That has not changed much in the new millennium. The need for secondary school teachers continues to rise and is not expected to decline in the near future. It is currently listed in the top five for occupations with the most job openings. Many states are also expecting a significant rise in
the number of teachers they are going to employ.

The average salary for a secondary educator ranges from $19,700 to $70,030 a year (United States). $35,750 is the customary income for first year secondary teachers
according to the Economic Research Institute. However, the Bureau of Labor statistics claims that the usual starting salary is $36,600 (“Secondary”). Conversely, $25,700 is the national standard for beginning secondary teachers according to the American Federation of Teachers (United States). And the income for private school secondary educators varies greatly. Some private schools offer free room and board and other offers included as the salary so a comparison is often difficult. Teachers are more likely to receive raises after they have been teaching at the same school district for more than a year. Coaching athletic teams and teaching extracurricular activities also increases pay. Obtaining a master’s degree or Ph.D also increase a secondary school science teacher’s salary. On average, a public school teacher with a master’s degree earns $44,525, and with a Ph.D it is increased even more to $49,125 for a beginning teacher (“Secondary”). But those are not the only reasons science majors decide to teach secondary education. Through the exploration of the definition of a science teacher and the job description, the skills needed to be successful, interests and values desired, future trends, advantages, and drawbacks of the profession you will see why teaching science is a feasible possibility many people majoring in science are beginning to choose.


The first aspect of a teaching profession a person interested in teaching science in a middle or high school setting must do is examine the definition of not only a science
teacher but also secondary teacher in general. It is also necessary to assess the daily tasks and duties involved in secondary teaching.

Job Description
A secondary school teacher can teach seventh through twelfth grades. Many educators teach either middle or high school but it is not limited to a specific grade level. Secondary teachers must present course materials by providing a lecture, using audio-visual aids, and assigning homework. In addition to actually teaching material, a secondary teacher must also evaluate students through observation and discuss the findings with the student, the student’s parents, and other involved teachers or administrators. Teachers must also supervise the students at all times and maintain proper behavior in the classroom through the use of guidance and discipline (“Secondary”). Most states also require teachers to hold a certification from the state.

Daily Tasks and Duties
There are a variety of tasks and duties that must be performed by a secondary teacher. Some of the duties are daily activities. Others are weekly, monthly, or as needed. The main objective for an educator is, through the use of multiple teaching
methods, to instruct students. A secondary science teacher must also prepare curriculums for each class they teach, including a course outline and the objectives of the lesson according to state regulations. Recording students’ progress through the use of evaluations and reports is an additional duty of a high school or middle school science teacher. Educators must also cooperatively work with parents, students, and counselors to help resolve behavior and academic problems. Through the use of discipline and
guidance, secondary teachers are required to maintain order in the classroom. Instructing students using a variety of teaching strategies including small group, modeling, projects, intergraded discipline and interactive teaching is an added task for science teachers at the secondary level (“Tasks”). Additional tasks include the following:
· Assign and grade homework
· Develop, administer, and grade tests
· Attend meetings, conferences, and training workshops
· Maintain attendance records (“Tasks”)

As with every profession, there are certain skills, interests and abilities needed to be successful. Teaching science at the secondary level is no exception. Many people
may find teaching difficult and unrewarding if they do not possess certain skills and interests.

Skills Needed
There are a variety of skills and abilities needed for the field of secondary education. Teaching is much more than just relaying information. It is a process of sharing knowledge in such a way that students’ not only want but are able to comprehend what is being taught. The ability to present information in a clear and organized fashion is of the up-most importance when teaching high school or middle school students (“Secondary”). In order to present information in such a way, a teacher must have the
capability to communicate oral and written ideas in a way others will understand (“Knowledge”). Another challenge for secondary teachers is keeping the interest of the students. The first step in engaging students’ attention is the ability to not only teach but also learn new things using a variety of approaches (“Knowledge”). Other skills needed to be successful include
· High reading comprehension
· Oral and written comprehension
· Using experience and knowledge to make decisions
· Ability to evaluate objectively
Interests Desired
Not only does a person need to possess the skills and abilities of a secondary educator but he or she must also have particular interests. In order for teaching to be a rewarding career, a secondary education teacher must have the desire to share information. The fascination to share knowledge is a key factor in becoming a successful high school or middle school teacher. While teaching, a person will encounter many different types of people and many types of situations. The ability, along with the desire, must be present in an educator (“Secondary”). Another interest that is desired in a secondary education teacher is the willingness to listen to students’ academic as well as personal concerns.

According to Jonathan Borowiec and Robert James, science professors at Texas A & M University, science courses at the secondary level are going to change in the future.

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