Skip to main content
A-Z IndexCalendarsDirectoryMaps

Background Image for Header:

Home / Academics / Careers / Secondary School Teachers Career

Secondary School Teachers Career

Career Description

Teach students in one or more subjects, such as English, mathematics, or social studies at the secondary level in public or private schools. May be designated according to subject matter specialty.

What Job Titles Secondary School Teachers Might Have

  • English Teacher
  • Math Teacher (Mathematics Teacher)
  • Social Studies Teacher
  • Teacher

What Secondary School Teachers Do

  • Establish and enforce rules for behavior and procedures for maintaining order among students.
  • Instruct through lectures, discussions, and demonstrations in one or more subjects, such as English, mathematics, or social studies.
  • Adapt teaching methods and instructional materials to meet students' varying needs and interests.
  • Maintain accurate and complete student records as required by laws, district policies, and administrative regulations.
  • Enforce all administration policies and rules governing students.
  • Assign and grade class work and homework.
  • Prepare materials and classrooms for class activities.
  • Observe and evaluate students' performance, behavior, social development, and physical health.
  • Plan and conduct activities for a balanced program of instruction, demonstration, and work time that provides students with opportunities to observe, question, and investigate.
  • Prepare, administer, and grade tests and assignments to evaluate students' progress.
  • Establish clear objectives for all lessons, units, and projects and communicate those objectives to students.
  • Guide and counsel students with adjustment or academic problems, or special academic interests.
  • Prepare students for later grades by encouraging them to explore learning opportunities and to persevere with challenging tasks.
  • Prepare objectives and outlines for courses of study, following curriculum guidelines or requirements of states and schools.
  • Confer with parents or guardians, other teachers, counselors, and administrators to resolve students' behavioral and academic problems.
  • Meet with parents and guardians to discuss their children's progress and to determine priorities for their children and their resource needs.
  • Instruct and monitor students in the use of equipment and materials to prevent injuries and damage.
  • Use computers, audio-visual aids, and other equipment and materials to supplement presentations.
  • Prepare for assigned classes and show written evidence of preparation upon request of immediate supervisors.
  • Prepare and implement remedial programs for students requiring extra help.
  • Meet with other professionals to discuss individual students' needs and progress.
  • Confer with other staff members to plan and schedule lessons promoting learning, following approved curricula.
  • Prepare reports on students and activities as required by administration.
  • Collaborate with other teachers and administrators in the development, evaluation, and revision of secondary school programs.
  • Sponsor extracurricular activities, such as clubs, student organizations, and academic contests.
  • Attend staff meetings and serve on committees, as required.
  • Plan and supervise class projects, field trips, visits by guest speakers, or other experiential activities, and guide students in learning from those activities.
  • Attend professional meetings, educational conferences, and teacher training workshops to maintain and improve professional competence.
  • Administer standardized ability and achievement tests and interpret results to determine students' strengths and areas of need.
  • Select, store, order, issue, and inventory classroom equipment, materials, and supplies.
  • Provide disabled students with assistive devices, supportive technology, and assistance accessing facilities such as restrooms.

What Secondary School Teachers Should Be Good At

  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

What Secondary School Teachers Should Be Interested In

What Secondary School Teachers Need to Learn

  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.