Career Profile: High School Teacher
Life changes for students when they go to high school, but the same is true for teachers. If you choose to be a high school teacher, you will need to study and work hard, but you can have a good career. Working as a high school teacher can be a challenging but rewarding job.
Teachers at all levels need to have a four-year Bachelor of Education degree and certification or a teaching license from the province or territory where they work. Often, people who want to teach high school get a Bachelor of Arts or Sciences and then complete a two-year post-degree education program. The degree never expires, but teachers have to renew their certification regularly. Taking courses and attending conferences is part of being a high school teacher, and people in this field need to keep on learning.
In the younger grades, teachers normally work with most or all of the subjects that students learn. In high school, teachers tend to specialize in one or two subjects, such as history, physics, or mathematics. In smaller schools, the same person might teach all of the sciences or maybe history, geography, and social studies.
Larger schools might have enough teachers so that they can each work with only one subject, but knowing a few others is helpful. Another option is to specialize in English as a Second Language, which usually requires taking another year or two of university studies to learn the necessary skills.
The style of classes often changes between middle school and high school. Often, teachers spend a lot of time giving lectures and leading discussions. In the sciences, teachers might need to give demonstrations of experiments. Besides all of that, teachers need to give tests and assignments, mark them, and keep student records. They keep order in the classroom and enforce the school rules. If there are problems, they deal with them on their own or get help from the principal.
High school teachers work fairly regular hours at school, but they also have a lot of preparation and marking to do beyond that time. Often, they need to start planning classes during summer holidays, and they might need to work over Christmas and spring break. Work during the year can also be very busy. Still, high school teachers have more holiday time than many other people do. The job can be quite stressful at times, and the holidays can be a good time for teachers to get ahead on their work.
Finding a job as a high school teacher can be difficult, and many people have to work as substitutes for a long time before they can find full time jobs. Most full-time teachers can earn between $37,000 and $93,000, although that depends on the school, the city or town, and other factors. A small private school, for example, might have low salaries, but teachers can earn a lot if they move up north to a place like the Northwest Territories or the Yukon.
Working as a high school teacher is a good way of helping students prepare for their adult lives. If you like the idea, why not consider training for this field?
Canadian Teachers’ Federation. “Teaching in Canada.” https://www.ctf-fce.ca/en/Pages/TIC/TheCanadianEducationalSystem.aspx.
Degrees.ca. “Teaching Degrees: Becoming a Teacher in Canada.” http://www.degrees.ca/education/.
Payscale Canada. “Average High School Teacher Salary.” https://www.payscale.com/research/CA/Job=High_School_Teacher/Salary.
Trade Schools, Colleges & Universities. “How to Become a Teacher in Canada.” https://www.trade-schools.net/ca/articles/become-a-teacher.asp