Secondary school teaching can be a very rewarding career, and if you have a science qualification then becoming a Secondary Science Teacher may be something you want to pursue. Secondary education means you will be teaching classes of mixed ability pupils aged 11 to 16, in Key Stages 3 and 4. Your background may be in a specific science, but as a Secondary Science Teacher you will be expected to have a comprehensive knowledge of the three major science disciplines: physics, chemistry and biology.
What does a Secondary Science Teacher do?
Science is a vast subject covering lots of different concepts and theories which can be hard for many pupils to learn and understand. As a Science Teacher it is important that you have a passion both for science and for relaying your knowledge to young people, instilling in them the same excitement for the subject. Science is important in many aspects of life and work, so is extremely relevant to all pupils. Your job as a Science Teacher is to give pupils a good grounding in the subject, including the ability to question hypotheses, the skills to conduct experiments and the understanding to evaluate results.
Being a Secondary School Science Teacher requires a hands-on teaching approach, with practical experiments and demonstrations to explain things clearly and bring science to life in the classroom. Working with pupils who will have their own ideas and attitudes can make the role challenging, but also provides a sense of achievement as you see your pupils’ scientific knowledge and ability grow.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic meant that Teachers had to switch from face-to-face classroom teaching to online teaching. This presented some challenges as they learnt to use new technology and had to adapt their teaching style for the online classroom. Secondary Science Teachers in particular had to be more creative without the option for hands-on practical classes. Being innovative, adaptable, and open to learning yourself, are all key attributes if you want to become a Secondary Science Teacher.
Is a Secondary Science Teacher job a good fit for you?
If you are just starting your teaching career, this is an excellent opportunity to put your teaching skills into practice by bringing science to life for a new generation. Your search for a secondary science teaching job can begin at any time, as start dates can be throughout the school year.
Your day-to-day duties as a Secondary Science Teacher will include:
- Creating engaging lesson plans that meet the requirements of the National Curriculum, keeping up-to-date with changes.
- Planning classes to include a variety of demonstrations, instruction, hands-on activities, group work and individual projects, providing pupils with opportunities to learn through different methods.
- Teaching lessons at an appropriate level to include all pupils, aiding their understanding of the three major sciences: physics, chemistry, and biology.
- Adapting teaching approach and materials according to the pupils’ abilities, giving them the opportunity to question and investigate.
- Communicating effectively with the pupils so they are clear about the objectives of each lesson and project.
- Demonstrating experiments and assisting pupils to safely carry out practical experiments themselves, to enhance their comprehension of the topic.
- Encouraging and supporting pupils in their own research for science projects.
- Working closely with colleagues in the science department, coordinating lessons and instructing Laboratory Technicians and Teaching Assistants (TAs).
- Setting homework and carrying out assessments.
- Taking the register, updating records, marking work and writing performance reports.
- Establishing good behaviour requirements in the classroom.
- Following safeguarding and health and safety procedures.
- Meeting with senior staff, parents, or external bodies to discuss pupils’ progress or any concerns.
- Attending staff meetings and parents evenings.
- On-going training events in or outside of school.
Are you a good fit for a Secondary Science Teacher Job?
Having a genuine interest in science and a desire to make a real difference in the education of young people, makes becoming a Secondary Science Teacher an ideal choice of career.
To succeed in the job you will have:
- Outstanding knowledge of science as a National Curriculum subject, covering the core disciplines of physics, chemistry and biology.
- Ability to plan and design interesting lessons and projects using a variety of teaching methods.
- Excellent organisational skills.
- Enthusiasm to motivate pupils to enjoy the subject, work hard and do their best in science.
- Good communication skills to engage with pupils.
- Ability to inspire a positive attitude in pupils and colleagues.
- Patience to deal with various situations.
- Dedication to providing an optimum learning environment.
- Commitment to provide a safe school environment.
- Competence in the use of various computer systems and software packages, including Microsoft Excel, Word, PowerPoint and Google Classrooms.
Qualifications, Licenses and Certifications.
To be a Secondary Science Teacher you will need the following qualifications and experience:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including Science, English, and Maths.
- An Undergraduate Education degree or a degree in a science subject, such as biology, physics or chemistry and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).
- Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). This is usually included as part of a PGCE course.
- In-school teaching experience, gained through your Teacher training.
- Fluent level of spoken and written English.
You must also pass an enhanced background check from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
As well as qualifications and teaching experience, being enthusiastic and confident will make you stand out when looking for a Secondary Science Teacher position. Being trustworthy and supportive are also key attributes that employers will look for as well as having an inspiring, resourceful approach in your teaching methods.
Where can a Secondary Science Teacher job take you?
The world of science is always changing as new theories are developed, new discoveries are made, and scientific knowledge advances. As a Secondary Science Teacher it is important to stay up-to-date to pass on the most current knowledge to your pupils, our future scientists. It is also important to future-proof your own career by keeping abreast with scientific advances and participating in teacher training opportunities to ensure you are performing to the best of your ability.
Your teaching career could eventually see you moving into a leadership role, perhaps becoming Head of Department, Head of Year or even a more senior position such as Deputy Head or Headteacher. Alternatively, you might want to take on different responsibilities, adapting your teaching skills to work with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) pupils or by becoming a Tutor.
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