High School English Teacher Job Description
High school English teachers educate students on literary classics. They also teach students how to write essays, as well as how to critically analyze text. High school English teachers, teaching students in the 9th through 12th grades, can find employment in either public or private high schools. Their schedules follow the regular school schedule, which is either 7-3 or 8-4 Monday through Friday. They get weekends, holidays, and summers off unless they elect to teach summer school. Whether or not a high school English teacher has his or her own room depends on school size and teacher seniority. New teachers in large schools often have to rotate rooms each period.
High school English teachers are responsible for keeping their performance at a certain standard, which is monitored by the school principal. High school English teachers have a little more freedom to operate once they reach tenure. According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for high school teachers is set to rise 8 percent through 2026.
High School English Teacher Duties and Responsibilities
Teaching students how to critically analyze literature and compose essays involves many duties and responsibilities. We researched high school English teacher job descriptions to procure the following list of duties and responsibilities:
Plan Literature and Composition Lessons
High school English teachers plan their literature and composition lessons according to the English and language arts standards set by their state. They must show in each lesson plan how the lesson meets at least one of the curriculum objectives.
Deliver Lessons and Facilitate Class Discussion
High school English teachers spend a majority of their time in front of the class teaching their lessons. This typically involves facilitating a class discussion on assigned chapter readings.
Grade Student Work
High school English teachers grade quizzes, tests, assignments, and essays according to their state’s English and language arts standards. This involves explaining to students why they received their grade and providing constructive feedback for improvement. It also involves keeping track of student grades using a grade book or grade book software.
Prepare Juniors and Seniors for College Level Writing
High school English teachers who teach 11th or 12th grade are responsible for helping students craft their personal essays for their college applications. They are also responsible for teaching them the type of composition styles they will be expected to use in college.
Participate in Department Staff Meetings
High school English teachers meet with each other monthly, usually under the leadership of a department head. Teachers collaborate on teaching strategies and curriculum enforcement.
High School English Teacher Skills
English Teachers are literary experts. They have read all the classics numerous times and have a firm understanding of the various literary devices that make these pieces great. High school English teachers are experts in grammar, as part of their job is editing student essays. They also have to be experts in composition to teach students written communication skills. High school English teachers need to be comfortable speaking in front of groups. They also have to have a thick skin, as high school students can be brutal in how they talk about their teachers. Besides these traits and areas of knowledge, one must possess the following skills to find a job:
- Planning lessons in standard lesson plan format
- Ensuring lesson plan objectives comply with state English and language arts standards
- Connecting with students using compassion and interpersonal skills
- Collaborating with other high school English teachers to improve the student experience at their school
- Providing one-on-one counseling to struggling students
High School English Teacher Tools of the Trade
- Smartboard – used to display slideshows and enhance lessons with multimedia
- Grade book software –used to electronically keep track of and calculate student grades
High School English Teacher Education and Training
High school English teachers have to possess a dual bachelor’s degree in English and secondary education. Coursework covers various genres of literature, schools of literary criticism, linguistics, educational theory, diversity in education, and similar topics. Before students graduate, they complete a semester of student teaching. They start by observing their mentor teacher and gradually work up to getting experience leading a classroom on their own. After graduation, they must pass the licensing exam issued by their state. Each state has slightly different licensing requirements. They then must get their master’s in education to obtain their professional license.
High School English Teacher Salary
According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national median salary for high school English teachers is $58,030. Those in the highest 10 percent make above $92,920, while those in the lowest 10 percent make below $38,180.
High School English Teacher Resources
National Council of Teachers of English – The National Council of Teachers of English is divided into four sub-organizations: Elementary, Middle, Secondary, and College. High school teachers can find networking events, lesson planning resources, and stories from fellow teachers in the secondary section.
International Literacy Association – Founded in 1956, the International Literacy Association has grown to a membership of thousands spread out over 75 countries. Its resources for teaching reading can help high school English teachers who need to get their struggling students up to a grade-appropriate reading level.
Teaching Tolerance – Teaching Tolerance is a resource that helps high school English teachers incorporate diversity into their lessons in a respectful and progressive manner.
Purdue Online Writing Lab – The Purdue Online Writing Lab has amazing resources for all types of writing and citation formatting. It’s a great way for high school English teachers to prepare their students for college-level writing.
Classroom Management for Middle and High School Teachers – This book is designed to help teachers run a classroom. It contains step-by-step instructions on crafting and enacting a classroom management strategy.
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