High School Teacher Employment and Working Conditions
High school teachers held about 1 million jobs in 2010.
Most high school teachers work in either public or private schools. Some teach in public magnet and charter schools. Others teach in private religious or secular schools.
Most states have tenure laws, which mean that after a certain number of years of teaching satisfactorily (the probationary period), teachers have some job security.
Seeing students develop new skills and gain an appreciation for knowledge and learning can be very rewarding. However, teaching may be stressful. Some schools have large classes and lack important teaching tools, such as computers and up-to-date textbooks. Most teachers are held accountable for their students’ performance on standardized tests, which can be frustrating. Occasionally, teachers must cope with unmotivated or disrespectful students.
High school teachers generally work school hours, which vary somewhat. However, they often spend time in the evenings and on weekends grading papers and preparing lessons. In addition, they may meet with parents, students, and other teachers before and after school. Plus, teachers who coach sports or advise clubs generally do so before or after school.
Many work the traditional 10-month school year with a 2-month break during the summer. Although most do not teach during the summer, some teach in summer programs. Teachers in districts with a year-round schedule typically work 8 weeks in a row, are on break for 1 week, and have a 5-week midwinter break.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition
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