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High School Teacher

by Staff Reporter
If you enjoy working with young individuals, have a passion for education and can communicate well, a career as a High School Teacher could be for you.

Career Overview

As a High School Teacher, you will be exposed to a number of different learners with no set class.  You will also be expected to be highly competent in the subject that you teach.  In general, teaching at this level will involve some “free” periods in which you will be able to do lesson planning and marking.  This career also requires a lot of extra hours in the form of marking, setting tests/exams and planning lessons around the curriculum. 

Required School Subjects

Entrance into studying to become a Teacher will require proficiency in the following subjects:

  • English Home Language or First Additional Language (matric level)

However, your teaching will be enhanced by proficiency in a number of other subjects. A few are:

  • Xhosa
  • Afrikaans
  • Maths
  • History
  • Geography
  • Biology
  • Physical Science

Institution and APS

Almost all tertiary institutions in South Africa offer degrees that will qualify you to become a Teacher. However, we suggest the following:

  • University of Cape Town (UCT) – Faculty Point Score (FPS) of 360
  • UNISA – APS of 23

Required Qualification/s

If you would like to become a High School Teacher, you will have to work your way up a ladder of qualifications.  A qualification in Senior Phase and Further Education teaching will need to be acquired if you would like to teach senior phase or high school. If you are interested in teaching at this level, you will need to be very competent in the subject you would like to teach.  After having completed your studies, you will have both practical experience and theoretical training. Your qualification can either be a diploma or a degree.

The Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) is also a way to qualify as a teacher.  This route requires you to have another tertiary qualification where you have completed two years (at a tertiary level) of the subject that you would like to teach.  It is a one year qualification that will include both practical and theoretical training.  

Required Skills

To become a Teacher you will need the following skills:

  • patience
  • empathy
  • be able to listen to, guide and aid learners of all levels of academic achievement
  • be proficient in the field in which you teach

Where you can work

As a qualified Teacher, it will be your choice as to where you want to work. You can work either in the public or the private schooling field.  If you would like to teach abroad, this is also an option.  There is a high demand for English teachers in many foregin countries.

Working Hours

Working hours of Teachers will mostly follow the school hours of learners. In South Africa, schools mostly begin the day at 08:00 and end anywhere between 13:00 and 15:00. As a Teacher, you may stay longer for staff meetings, meetings with parents or to conduct extra-murals such as extra tuition and sports practices.

Expected Salary

Teachers in the private schooling field generally earn more than Teachers in public schooling. According to Payscale, the average annual income for each is:

Public Teacher: R200 000

Private Teacher: R250 000 +

What to expect

As a Teacher, you can expect to have many great encounters with your learners. You will play a pivotal role in guiding learners as they grow physically, mentally and emotionally.  This can be both a demanding and rewarding profession.

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