Secondary School Teaching

Teaching early career undergraduates with creativity, dynamism, and commitment is often a critical component of the professional training that graduate students in many fields receive. Whether they serve their universities as classroom instructors, adjunct faculty members, lecturers, teaching assistants, or tutors, graduate students learn to communicate their expertise in a way that students will find accessible, compelling, and significant.

Mastering effective approaches to classroom pedagogy – including active learning techniques, approaches to teaching diverse classrooms, digital classroom technologies, and ways to mentor students navigating a long-term project or their own career prospects – is work that many graduate students find as satisfying producing original research in their fields.

A growing number of candidates for master’s and doctoral degrees are applying their pedagogical training in secondary school environments in both public and independent school settings. In the United States, depending on a school’s location and classification (public or private), new teachers are not always required to have a state-certified teaching license, and some schools will offer guidance on how to become licensed at the beginning of a new teacher’s career.

Secondary school teaching affords advanced degree holders an opportunity for meaningful collaboration with other teachers while integrating themselves into an educational community where they develop long-term and meaningful relationships with students and parents. Many teachers find such an opportunity a fulfilling application of their discipline-specific knowledge and skillsets.

An effective secondary school teacher has a demonstrated capacity to:

  • Design and/or implement daily curriculum according to school guidelines, collaboration with other teachers, and subject expertise
  • Utilize classroom techniques to enhance student engagement and participation, including digital tools, active learning methods, and methods to facilitate a diverse classroom
  • Provide frequent and thoughtful feedback on student assignments
  • Establish dialogue on student progress with students, parents, and administrators
  • Apply effective classroom management techniques

Annual salaries for secondary school teachers vary according to a teacher’s experience, degree level, whether a school is publicly or privately funded, and the school location’s, among other factors. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, high school teachers received a median salary of $59, 170 in 2017. In New York City, salaries for public high school teachers range from $56,711 as a starting salary to $85,794 for teachers with over eight years of experience. For the 2014 – 2015 academic year, the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS) reported a salary range of $42,000 to $93,000 for private school teachers in New York state.

Professional Associations for Secondary School Teachers:

Job Boards and Resources for Secondary School Teachers:

  • Carney Sandoe and Associates: Carney Sandoe is an employment agency for teachers seeking roles in independent (private) school settings.
  • NYSAIS Job Board: The job board platform on the web site of the New York State Association of Independent Schools regularly features new employment openings for private school teachers in New York. NYSAIS also holds two annual career fairs to promote diversity.
  • The Education Group: The Education Group is an employment agency specializing in placing teachers in private schools.
  • CalWest Educators Placement: CalWest is an employment agency that specializes in placing teachers in private school settings in the Western United States.