Teacher - Secondary
(Secondary Teacher, Secondary School Principal, High School Teacher)
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Secondary school teachers teach one or more subjects within the school curriculum to secondary students.
Subjects include English, mathematics, science, drama, dance, art, music, health and physical education, design and information technology, languages other than English, studies of society and environment, and home economics (see entry for Home Economist).
Duties and Tasks
Secondary school teachers may perform the following tasks:
- prepare daily lessons and long-term teaching programs in accordance with state or territory curriculum and guidelines
- teach using a variety of methods, including formal lessons, discussions, practical activities, experiments, projects, assignments and excursions, taking into account the differences between individual students
- use information technology to assist with lesson preparation, teaching and reporting
- set tests, exams, projects, assignments and homework; mark and correct assessments; and sort the results
- evaluate and report on the progress of students and discuss individual performance and problems with students and parents
- establish and maintain good working habits and discipline in classrooms and throughout the school
- supervise extra classes when other teachers are absent
- supervise students in the yard during lunchtime and other breaks
- carry out relevant administrative duties
- attend staff meetings, educational conferences and other professional development activities
- coordinate work experience and school-industry programs
- participate in other activities in partnership with parents and the school community, including parent/teacher nights, school council and other committees
- assist in organising sporting events, camping trips and other excursions
- be involved in distance education (for example, teaching using radio and television transmission, correspondence, audiovisual and other multimedia resources)
- coordinate administrative support programs and the work of non-teaching staff in schools
- network with other teachers
- work with other staff to revise the school's policies and curriculum to reflect changing student needs and government initiatives.
An English teacher - secondary teaches students communication, writing and critical thinking skills in response to a wide array of literature and media. They guide students in understanding the different concepts and themes that are present in literary and media-based material and inform them of their historical context.
An Aboriginal education teacher (secondary) teaches specially designed programs to Indigenous secondary school students.
A mathematics teacher - secondary teaches the fundamentals of mathematics in areas such as geometry, calculus, algebra and statistics. They help students develop analytical skills through the application of mathematics in everyday life.
A science teacher - secondary teaches students the scientific principles of the world around them. They may also specialise in areas such as biology, human biology, chemistry, physics and environmental science.
A teacher librarian - secondary manages the school's learning resources in addition to undertaking the duties of a teacher. Teacher librarians play a key role in teaching cross-curricular skills in information literacy and provide professional development for other teachers. They help students to seek, critically evaluate, synthesise and present information using a range of resources and information technologies. They expose students to a variety of genres (writing styles) in print and digital formats and promote the best quality literature and authors to reflect different cultures and themes. Teacher librarians make sure that the library resource centre is multi-functional and a focal point for student learning.
School subjects that include some aspect of COMPUTING STUDIES provide a useful background to these jobs. In some cases a computer studies-related subject is a pre-requisite for entry to courses that provide the training for the job.
School subjects that include some aspect of English provide a useful background to these jobs. In some cases an English-related subject is a pre-requisite for entry to courses that provide the training for the job.
School subjects that include some aspect of geography provide a useful background to these jobs. In some cases a geography-related subject is a pre-requisite for entry to courses that provide the training for the job.
School subjects that include some aspect of HISTORY provide a useful background to these jobs. In some cases a history-related subject is a pre-requisite for entry to courses that provide the training for the job.
School subjects that include some aspect of LANGUAGE provide a useful background to these jobs. In some cases a language-related subject is a pre-requisite for entry to courses that provide the training for the job.
School subjects that include some aspect of the PERFORMING ARTS provide a useful background to these jobs. In some cases a performing arts subject is a pre-requisite for entry to courses that provide the training for the job.
Workers performing these jobs would usually be expected to spend more than three-quarters of their day indoors, in an office, factory or other enclosed area protected from the weather.
These jobs require moderate or better reading and writing skills. Workers may be expected to prepare, understand or act on written materials, such as letters or reports. People may wish to avoid these jobs if their reading or writing English skills are limited to a small range of words or phrases and symbols. Jobs remaining may still require very basic reading or writing skills.
Included are teaching and teacher support jobs in areas such as early childhood, primary, secondary, vocational and higher education, and in special education, as well as other training jobs.
These jobs involve WORKING WITH PEOPLE, to help, inform, teach or treat them. Activities include discussing personal issues, listening to people's problems, and providing advice, instruction, information or treatment to meet their needs.
These jobs involve WORKING WITH DATA to order, process or retrieve facts and figures, or to develop or administer policies and procedures. Activities include organising, using or updating information, such as files or accounts, developing or following procedures or systems, and the planning, budgeting, and staffing of an organisation.
Jobs in this group usually require completion of a recognised Bachelor Degree, or extensive relevant experience. Some jobs also require post-graduate study, such as a Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma or Master Degree.
Secondary school teachers need to continually update their subject knowledge and teaching methods through private study and professional development activities.
- enthusiasm for, and ability in, their chosen subject area and teaching
- high-level organisational skills
- able to communicate concepts and instructions clearly
- enjoy working with teenage children
- patient when dealing with students of differing abilities and cultures
- acceptance of the rights and needs of all individuals
- prepared to work outside of school hours.
Retrieving resources required for a lesson
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