Teacher - Secondary

Summary

Secondary school teachers teach one or more subjects within the school curriculum to secondary students. Subject areas include English, mathematics, science, history, geography, drama, dance, art, music, health and physical education, design, information technology, languages other than English, and home economics (see separate entry for Home Economist).

Duties & Tasks

Secondary school teachers may perform the following tasks:

  • prepare daily lessons and long-term teaching programmes 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 industry-based programmes
  • participate in other activities in partnership with parents and the school community, including parent-teacher nights, school council and other committees
  • assist with 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 programmes 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 implementation to reflect changing student needs and government initiatives.

Specialisations

Aboriginal Education Teacher (Secondary)

An aboriginal education teacher (secondary) teaches specially designed programmes to Indigenous secondary school students.

English Teacher - Secondary

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.

Mathematics Teacher - Secondary

A mathematics teacher - secondary teaches the fundamentals of mathematics in areas such as geometry, calculus, algebra and statistics. They help students to develop analytical skills through the application of mathematics in everyday life.

Science Teacher - Secondary

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.

Teacher Librarian - Secondary

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 ensure the library resource centre is multi-functional and a focal point for student learning.

Working Conditions

Secondary school teachers need to continually update their subject knowledge and teaching methods through private study and professional development activities.

Personal Requirements

  • enthusiasm for, and ability in, their chosen subject area and teaching
  • excellent organisational skills
  • able to communicate concepts and instructions clearly
  • enjoy working with teenagers
  • 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.

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