Chemistry Teacher Job Description
Working at high schools or colleges and universities Chemistry Teachers’ main responsibility is to teach students basic, intermediate and advanced chemistry, all the while ensuring that their students are well-grounded in general scientific concepts and methods. They also demonstrate techniques and supervise students in laboratory experiments. Some postsecondary positions also include a research component.
Chemistry Teachers generally report to a principal or dean, however, their duties are often performed with minimal supervision. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, both the high school and postsecondary teaching categories are expected to have job growth through 2024. High school teachers can expect a 6 percent increase in jobs, adding about 55,900 new positions. Postsecondary teachers have a higher growth rate at nearly 13 percent, adding 177,000 jobs through 2024.
Chemistry Teacher Duties and Responsibilities
The type of school or institution a Chemistry Teacher works for will determine their particular responsibilities, however, there are several main duties all Chemistry Teachers perform. A review of current job listings identified the following primary tasks and responsibilities.
Create Lesson Plans
Chemistry Teachers develop and implement appropriate lesson plans. These must be geared toward engaging student interest in the subject while also effectively providing the information needed to excel in the class. In addition to lecture material, Chemistry Teachers create quizzes, tests and experiments to evaluate students’ understanding of the subject matter.
Chemistry Teachers are responsible for recording students’ grades, attendance and progress. This can include creating plans to help students in need of extra help and meeting with parents to discuss how students are progressing. In higher-level college and university courses, Chemistry Teachers may have an assistant that handles much of this administrative work.
Participate on Committees
Whether working in a high school or college, Chemistry Teachers will likely be expected to be active in their department’s committees or activities. This may include attending regular meetings, working on special projects or assisting in large functions, such as science fairs.
Chemistry Teacher Skills
A successful Chemistry Teacher enjoys working with students and is a strong leader. They have excellent communication skills and keep up-to-date on the latest developments in chemistry and teaching techniques. In addition to these traits, employers look for applicants with the following skills.
Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Chemistry Teachers with these core skills. If you want to work as a Chemistry Teacher, focus on the following.
- Mastering the science of chemistry
- Managing students in a classroom environment
- Utilizing techniques for effective teaching
- Evaluating student needs and progress
Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your skillset and broaden your career options.
- Department of Education or out-of-state teaching certificates
- Advanced degrees in a chemistry sub-discipline
- Experience creating curricula
- Experience working with students from diverse backgrounds and education levels
Chemistry Teacher Resources
There are more helpful and informational resources available on the Web for those interested in becoming Chemistry Teachers. We scoured the internet and found these links full of learning opportunities and the latest industry news.
On the Web
Teaching Chemistry: Building a 21st Century Chemistry Classroom – This blog is run by high school chemistry teacher, Ms. Bethea and offers a view into the activities and experiments she conducts in her classroom.
Science for All – A blog run by Kirk Robbins, a science professional development provider and consultant, that aims to share information and resources about science education.
The Art of Teaching Science – This site is run by a former teacher and current writer, Jack Hassard. Hassard writes about not just teaching science, but looks at subjects relevant to the entire teaching community such as testing and progressive education.
@IBchemmilam – This humorous feed is full of educational and entertaining bits of wisdom from chemistry teacher, Mr. Millam.
@RSC_EIC – This Twitter feed is maintained by the Royal Society of Chemistry, a UK magazine about education in chemistry. It provides articles and resources for Chemistry Teachers.
@ACSChemClubs – This site is created for high school students interested in exploring chemistry outside the classroom setting. It is a fount of great resources, articles and experiment ideas.
American Association of Chemistry Teachers – The AACT is a new association, launched in the past year. It is the first association of its kind; a national organization for supporting K-12 Chemistry Teachers. They offer resources, research, professional development and networking opportunities.
National Science Teachers Association – NSTA was founded in 1944 and has more than 55,000 members worldwide. The association provides learning opportunities, networking, latest research and other information to science educators, scientists, administrators and leaders in business and industry.
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