Educator : High School

High school educators specialise in the education of learners in Grades 8 - 12. They usually teach in selected subjects only and therefore are required to have a solid understanding of their subject and a mastery of core teaching skills.

They follow the syllabus of work laid down by the relevant education department and may use various teaching methods and demonstrations, as well as audiovisual aids. They prepare teaching outlines, assign tasks and correct homework. They give learners tests to evaluate their progress and prepare them for examinations.

In addition to the implementation of the curriculum in the classroom, high school educators also have various administrative tasks to perform, such as recording of results, the issuing of progress reports to parents, keeping attendance records and participating in departmental and professional meetings and educational conferences. Educators may also be required to coach learners in various kinds of sports and cultural activities during the afternoons and/or be responsible for special activities or school societies.

The work of educators is challenging because each learner is different and often a learner will require individual support and encouragement. By the same token, educators are required to enforce discipline in the classroom in order to create an environment conducive to learning. They should also be able to respond to evidence of child abuse and neglect and be able to cope with emergencies. Increasingly, schools work with a range of external agencies such as employers, local partnership and anti-poverty networks, health boards, etc, to ensure that the school is responding to students’ needs and the needs of the local community.

The work can be very rewarding and educators are providing a valuable service to the community, which can be demanding and pressurised at times but equally rewarding at other times. It is possible for secondary school educators to branch into more specialised areas such as career guidance, remedial teaching, etc. Many secondary level schools provide adult education programmes for the local community.

Personal Requirements

  • have both a liking for and a keen interest in teenagers
  • have a sense of humour
  • have good subject knowledge
  • have a balanced and sober view of life
  • have tolerance and patience
  • set a good example for others to follow
  • have good health and stamina
  • be able to speak and write well


  • government schools
  • provincial schools
  • private schools
  • self-employment
Educators can work for themselves if they have the necessary resources to establish a private school and pay for services rendered by teachers that they employ. However, a private school must be registered with the government and has to follow the prescribed syllabus and conform to set standards. To earn an extra income a teacher can give extra or part-time classes, for example in Mathematics or Adult-education.

Getting Started

  • try to obtain vacation or part-time work as a senior school teacher’s assistant or do voluntary work at a children’s home, where there are teenagers try to obtain a position as camp leader or leader of a youth group for teenagers
  • arrange to speak to senior school teachers about this type of career



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