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What New High School Teachers Need To Know
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By: Juliana Norton
Jul 30, 2020 • 10 min read

Back To School?

Though no one enjoys waking up at six in the morning, teachers show up because our goal is to provide the best education for our students. Of all people, teachers know how critical high school is to personal development. Whether your own experience was pleasant or miserable, you can use that experience to help make teenagers” time in high school productive and enjoyable. Not only will you become an educator in the classroom, but potentially a resource within the student’s personal lives. Keeping an eye out for certain behaviors is a responsibility of yours to ensure the safety of those in your classroom. Not everything will come naturally, but with time your skills will improve. high school teachers

Behaviors To Look Out For

It’s not unheard of that for a lot of people, high school is tough. Whether that’s because of their home life, friends, or school stress, it’s important to keep an eye out for a change in behavior. Though it can be developed at any age, depression, and anxiety is something all teens could experience. To best provide for your students, check in on them, and always make sure you’re present in the classroom to identify these signs.

Signs of Depression

  • Social isolation
  • Withdrawing from normal daily activities
  • Not attending their usual after school activities
  • No longer participating in class
  • Stops turning in assignments/lets grades drop
  • Frequent absences
  • Self Harm
  • Sleeping in class
  • A decline in personal hygiene or appearance

To continue learning about teen depression, visit this site.

Signs of Anxiety

  • Frequently doubting themselves
  • Overly worrying about tests/assignments/projects
  • Nervously shaking, picking at their nails, biting their lips, etc.
  • Often on edge
  • Trouble staying focused
  • Continually thinking of other responsibilities or things out of their control
  • Unable to subside or moderate their stress

To read more about anxiety in teens, go here.

Give Breaks

Even though your students are in high school, they are still people with many responsibilities. In fact, high school is one of the busiest periods in life for some. This is important to recognize so you can provide the best experience possible for your students. They aren’t going to take away many lessons from a teacher who wouldn’t hear them out as to why they can’t get an assignment in on time. It should be acknowledged that many teens try to cut corners and get out of some responsibilities, but if you assume this all the time, then those who need your leniency are significantly disadvantaged. It’s also essential to recognize that not all teenagers face the same or equal level of challenges. Class, race, ethnic background, sexuality, and gender all play a role.

high school teachers

Responsibilities of a High School Student

  • Homework, tests, projects, and other assignments
  • Family responsibilities
  • Caring for younger siblings or sick/elder family members
  • Running household errands when they get their license
  • Building up their college resume
  • After school clubs/sports
  • Volunteering
  • Internships/training programs
  • Working
  • Pay their car insurance, phone bill and/or other expenses

Other Ways To Make Money

Unfortunately, in many areas, teachers are well underpaid. Though this shouldn’t be the case for a profession of utmost importance, if you’re experiencing this, there are ways to earn some extra income. If you’re willing to put in the time and energy, teaching along with other roles that are presented with it should provide a livable wage.

Summer School

If you need some more financial support, there’s always the opportunity of summer school! This can be a great time to keep all your skills sharp and teach those who need it the most. Against popular belief, not everyone in summer school is a troublemaker who didn’t care to do their homework. Summer school has a variety of students. Some have learning disabilities who need the summertime to stay on top of their work. Others are in accelerated courses that have the desire to help students get a head start. It really depends on what class you teach! In addition to this, summer school is often taught only a few days a week with reduced hours. Either way, you can enjoy your summer while earning some more money!

After School

If you have a background in sports, whether that’s football, soccer, cheerleading, basketball, swimming, and many others, capitalize on it! Coach any team or lead any after school activity to increase your earnings. Not only will you make more money, but you’ll build a closer bond with your students and their families outside the classroom.

Other Avenues

Especially if you have acquired your masters or a higher degree, become a part-time professor! Teach a class or two at a local community college in the evenings or online. This is an excellent option for the summer as well. It will broaden your horizons on what your students can expect when attending. Now knowing the curriculum and reading syllabi, you’ll know what to focus on in your high school classroom to best prepare them for higher education.

Back To Your Roots

A fair amount of educators have had experience tutoring peers or students younger than them in their past. Why not go back to your roots? Tutoring is a perfect way to provide one on one attention to teens or children who need extra help. It’s’s a win-win! You’re practicing your skills, learning new ones, helping someone who needs it, and making more money.

Looking Into The Future

Your responsibility to these students is not to just teach them material to pass standardized tests or solely be their 11th-grade math teacher. Prepare them for what’s to come! You know first hand what happens after high school and what is vital information to take into their adult lives. Use as much class time as you can to cover topics they’ll actually benefit from learning. If you can determine individual students’ interests, show them avenues they can pursue. This can be attending a vocational program, a four-year university, community college, the workforce, or many other paths. Explain what they need to do to obtain a particular position. Do they need a college education, work experience, or specific certifications/licenses? Have a few answers in your back pocket to present to your students and guide them to the proper resources to learn more. You are not the end all be all, but you have a significant responsibility to push your students in the right direction.

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