Science Teacher

High school science teachers plan and teach science courses. Teachers in cities often teach classes in only one or two subject areas. In smaller, rural areas, teachers often have to teach a broader range of material. High school teachers need to have a broad understanding of the subjects they teach and should be patient, enthusiastic, and creative in their approaches. For example, you could plan a lesson about the properties of water and ice by having your students design and build an igloo. Most teachers work for public or private school boards. Others work in vocational schools or for the department of education.

At a Glance

Imagine standing at the front of a classroom. You’ve been teaching the physics of water displacement, which is a difficult subject to understand. The kids don’t understand the textbook explanation of this challenging topic, so you’ve given them a real-life example they can relate to, just like your parents and teachers did for you. As the students work through their exercises, you’re thrilled to see them as interested in science and the world as you were when you were their age.

As a science teacher, you prepare lessons and teach classes to students. When students need extra help, you spend time outside of class to tutor them. You mark assignments and tests, as well as attend meetings with other educators and parents. When you have spare time, you also help with extra-curricular and after school activities. You work an average of 50 hours a week for nine or ten months a year. You usually teach classes on your own, but also work in groups during meetings and extra-curricular activities. Apart from field trips, you work mainly indoors. You work very hard, but also enjoy a good lifestyle. You are happy to have the opportunity to influence the future by teaching youth to be smart and hardworking.

Job Duties

Duties vary significantly from job to job, but the following list includes typical job duties one might encounter as a science teacher:

  • Create a stimulating learning environment using creative techniques to deliver educational content.
  • Prepare and deliver lessons, laboratory materials, and remedial programs that support individual and special needs.
  • Grade student assignments and exams.
  • Evaluate and report on student progress.
  • Supervise extra-curricular and after school activities.
  • Attend seminars and training programs for professional development.
  • Perform duties according to professional codes of practice and legislation.

Work Environment

Science teachers work in a variety of locations, including, but not limited to:

In the office/classroom:

  • Develop lesson plans and activities for students
  • Mark assignments and exams
  • Teach students about science in the classroom
  • Administer laboratory assignments

In the field:

  • Facilitate field trips
  • Take students outside to learn about their natural environment

Where to Work

  • Public schools
  • Private schools and hospitals
  • Vocational schools and colleges
  • Specialist positions within government education departments, at universities, or in school districts
  • Environmental resource and educational centres

Education and Skills

The minimum educational requirement to work as a science teacher is a Bachelor’s degree in education with concentrations in at least two areas of science or mathematics. A Master’s degree may be required for advancement into administrative positions. The following post-secondary programs are most applicable for a career in this field:

  • Education
  • Science
  • Mathematics

Certification is mandatory to teach in Canada. Becoming a member of a provincial or territorial teachers’ association may be required. If you are a high school student considering a career as a science teacher you should have a strong interest in:

  • Biology
  • Mathematics
  • Language arts
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Geography

Role Models

Your Impact

Occupational Classification

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