How to be a Good Secondary School Teacher?
There are lots of skills and qualities people require to be a good secondary school teacher. If this is a role that you think would suit you, you should consider whether you have the following skillset to ensure you will be the best teacher you can be.
Responsibilities of a secondary school teacher
Secondary school teachers have the following responsibilities:
- preparation and delivery of lessons to suit a range of ages and abilities
- setting homework, marking work, and giving feedback to students, other teachers, and parents
- maintaining up to date knowledge on their subject, researching and learning new information, teaching methods, and best practice
- preparing pupils for examinations
- behavioural management, both in-classroom and on school premises
- various pastoral duties and organisation of and participation in a variety of school events
- liaising with parents and other professionals in the education and healthcare sector
- supervising and supporting NQTs and trainee teachers
- undergo observations and take in-service training (INSET) to continue their own professional development (CPD).
Skills and knowledge that good secondary school teachers need
Undertaking your PGCE to become a qualified secondary school teacher means you will be able to apply for teaching jobs and teach in a classroom environment. However, if you want to be a good secondary school teacher, you also must embody particular traits to ensure you build good relationships with your pupils and are able to deliver the knowledge you have in a way that most benefits them. So what are some of the qualities good secondary school teachers should have?
Fantastic people skills
Teaching is a social job, and communicating with others clearly and positively is an integral part of the role. Having good empathy, the ability to build trust, maintain boundaries, and have compassion is hugely important, particularly when dealing with teenagers.
Excellent organisation skills
Teachers have a heavy workload and lots of different hats to wear. Staying super organised and working methodically can help ensure that you stay on top of work and tasks such as marking and homework setting don't become overwhelming.
Comprehensive subject knowledge
The best secondary school teachers will have in-depth knowledge of their subject and be passionate about it. Loving your subject and being genuinely enthused about passing that knowledge on will be infectious in a teaching environment. By caring about your subject you will naturally want to learn more about it, and the more knowledge and expertise you have, the more you can benefit the pupils you can teach.
Resilience and humour
Teaching can be tough at times. Having resilience when lessons donâ€™t go as planned, when a student is being disruptive, or when workloads become intense is crucial to keep a cool head and stay calm, organised, and effective. Having a good sense of humour, being positive, having the ability to laugh at yourself, and being fun can also help build a bond between you and your class, creating positive associations in the classroom and helping to create a fun, engaging, inclusive learning environment.
A caring nature and good listening skills
Good secondary school teachers genuinely care about student welfare. They have a vested interest in the success of their pupils and work hard to ensure they get the best out of them. A desire to see others succeed and give students the best possible start is important and will have a massive impact on job satisfaction. Teachers should also have good emotional intelligence, pick up on underlying problems that may affect a student's performance, be great listeners, and support pupils who come to them with issues relating to both academia and their home life.
Are you ready to be a secondary school teacher?
Good secondary school teachers might naturally have all of the skills above. However, if you donâ€™t feel you do, the good news is that many of these can be learned and developed over time. Becoming a great secondary school teacher can take time; itâ€™s a learning curve. A commitment to developing the skills you need and a desire to continually learn and improve is a fantastic place to start.