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NOC Code: NOC Code: 4141 Occupation: Secondary School Teachers
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
Secondary school teachers prepare and teach academic, technical, vocational or specialized subjects at public and private secondary schools. Secondary school teachers who are heads of departments and high school librarians are included in this group. Secondary school teachers prepare and teach academic, technical, vocational or specialized subjects at public and private secondary schools. Secondary school teachers who are heads of departments and high school librarians are included in this group.

  • Click on any of the Essential Skills to view sample workplace tasks for this occupation.
  • Skill levels are assigned to tasks: Level 1 tasks are the least complex and level 4 or 5 tasks (depending upon the specific skill) are the most complex. Skill levels are associated with workplace tasks and not the workers performing these tasks.
  • Scroll down the page to get information on career planning, education and training, and employment and volunteer opportunities.

Table will display the Skill Level for the Noc specified
Essential Skills Essential Skills Levels
Reading Text Reading Text 1 2 3 4 5
Writing Writing 1 2 3 4 5
Document Use Document Use 1 2 3 4 5
Computer Use Computer Use 1 2 3 4
Oral Communication Oral Communication 1 2 3 4
Money Math Money Math 1 2
Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting 1 2 3 4
Measurement and Calculation Measurement and Calculation 1 2 3 4 5
Data Analysis Data Analysis 1 2 3 4 5
Numerical Estimation Numerical Estimation 1 2
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2 3
Decision Making Decision Making 1 2 3
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2 3
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2
Critical Thinking Critical Thinking 1 2 3 4


  • The skill levels represented in the above chart illustrate the full range of sample tasks performed by experienced workers and not individuals preparing for or entering this occupation for the first time.
  • Note that some occupational profiles do not include all Numeracy and Thinking Essential Skills.

If you would like to print a copy of the chart and sample tasks, click on the "Print Occupational Profile" button at the top of the page.


Reading Text
  • Read email and short memos. Read email about students' assignments, students' achievements, curricular matters, school events and education resources from students, parents, colleagues, co-workers, suppliers and school administrators. Read memos about policy and procedure changes, notices of staff meetings, news of upcoming school events and details of students' progress from school board staff, school administrators and other teachers. (2)
  • Read comments, explanations, and instructions on forms. For example, read descriptions of responsibilities and liabilities that the school and teachers assume when they plan international student trips. (2)
  • Read articles in education journals on topics such as teaching assignments, classroom management techniques and professionalism. For example, teachers may read articles such as Including Exceptional Students: A Practical Guide for Classroom Teachers in Educational Forum. (3)
  • Read policy and procedure manuals, curriculum guides, performance standards and other documents which specify teaching procedures, curriculum content and assessment criteria. For example, teachers read curriculum guides which describe course objectives, teaching approaches, specific curriculum content, compulsory and optional activities and assessment standards. They read policy and procedure manuals which describe schools' missions, values and philosophies of education, academic requirements and academic policies on student evaluations, student records, course changes and course limitations. (3)
  • Read a variety of textbooks, literature and criticism to gain subject expertise and to select materials for classroom study. For example, a mathematics teacher reads sections of a calculus and analytic geometry textbook before teaching an introductory unit on calculus. An English teacher reads Northrop Frye's Anatomy of Criticism to find specific examples to illustrate a thematic unit exploring the concept of forgiveness in Canadian literature. (4)
  • Read, interpret and critique literary, historic and religious texts. For example, a social studies teacher teaching a unit on the Caribbean explores the themes of oppression and slavery using texts as diverse as the Book of Psalms and the lyrics of reggae hits such as By the Rivers of Babylon. An English teacher reads a Shakespearean sonnet and considers the complexity of language and imagery employed when preparing lessons to impart knowledge. (5)
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Writing
  • Write email to teachers, administrators and parents about students, field trips and administrative matters. (1)
  • Write longer email messages, memos and short reports to principals and school administrators about students' attendance, behaviours and achievements. For example, write a report to the principal to document bullying incidents and fights. (2)
  • Write brief comments about students' academic achievement and scholarly progress on a variety of documents. For example, write comments on students' assignments offering criticism and encouragement. Write comments on report cards comparing students' achievement to expected standards and class norms. (2)
  • Write letters to parents, school administrators and staff at other educational institutions. For example, a physics teacher may write a letter of recommendation to support a student's applications for university admission. A physical education teacher may write a letter to parents to inform them of basketball league activities and outline expectations such as playing all games in the schedule. (2)
  • Write short curriculum materials such as course descriptions, descriptions of supplementary resources, assignments and examinations. Write course descriptions which summarize course content, expectations and evaluation procedures for students. Present expectations within assignments and examinations clearly and succinctly if students are to respond as expected. (3)
  • Write lengthy curriculum reviews and proposals to create new courses. Include literature reviews, study findings, analyses of options, recommendations and persuasive arguments geared to specific audiences such as school administrators, school boards and ministries of education. (4)
  • Teach and model writing styles and genres specific to subject areas. English and language arts teachers may write model essays or demonstrate literary forms such as Haiku and blank verse. Chemistry and physics teachers model the structure, content and style of lab reports and research summaries. Social studies teachers model the structure, content and referencing techniques of essays and research reports. (5)
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Document Use
  • Mark attendance records and enter student data such as absences and marks into classroom registers, reporting forms and database entry forms. (1)
  • Locate times, dates and other data in class timetables, extra curricular activity schedules and examination schedules. (1)
  • Complete requisition forms for supplies and may read equipment catalogues when purchasing new equipment. (2)
  • Complete and review trip authorization and consent forms. Enter details of schedules, transportation arrangements, costs, relevance to learning outcomes, supervision arrangements, emergency procedures, risk assessments and legal responsibilities of parents, teachers and school administrators. (3)
  • Enter student identification numbers, marks, comments, teacher recommendations, course evaluation results and other data into progress reports, report cards, behaviour management forms and class management software such as Markbook 2003. (3)
  • Complete detailed planning documents established by school administrations to ensure quality teaching. For example, complete yearly course plans incorporating monthly timelines, topics, concepts, resources, instructional procedures and methods and evaluation techniques. Secondary school teachers in some contexts may prepare individualized program plans for gifted or special needs students identifying long terms goals, short-term objectives, students' assessments, students' strengths and needs, programming options, classroom accommodations, evaluation procedures, results and recommendations. (4)
  • Teach students to search, enter data and analyze a variety of complex documents central to your subject areas. Woodworking and industrial arts teachers teach students drafting and scale drawing fundamentals. Social studies and geography teachers may teach students about map projections, longitude and latitude coordinates and gazetteers. Math teachers display mathematical functions as graphs. (5)
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Computer Use
  • Enter students' attendance records and marks into databases, and search databases to find students records. (2)
  • Search the Internet to find content for lessons. (2)
  • Use computer and software applications. For example, use class management software with multiple capabilities such as maintaining class lists, creating report cards, trending individual versus class performance and adjusting test weighting. (2)
  • Use graphics software. For example, use programs such as Photoshop and Quark Express to create layouts for school yearbooks and to manipulate images for inclusion in instructional materials. Create slide presentations using presentation software such as Power Point. (2)
  • Use communications software. For example, exchange email messages and attachments with students, staff and parents. (2)
  • Use spreadsheet software. For example, create and modify spreadsheets to track textbook inventories, record, to summarize payments and to calculate students' marks. (3)
  • Use statistical software. For example, use software that displays test scores, calculates statistics such as means, medians, standard deviations and t-scores and generates statistical reports. (3)
  • Use word processing. For example, create lesson plans, tests, assignments, classroom materials, letters of recommendation and reports using programs such as Word. Enter, edit and format text, create tables, and insert graphs and pictures into word processing documents. For larger documents, use headers and footers, insert page and section numbers and generate tables of contents. (3)
  • Teach students software skills. For example, teach students how to use word processing software, graphics software, database software and spreadsheet software. (4)
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Oral Communication
  • Interact with other teachers to discuss students' performance and other mutual concerns. Discuss subjects such as curriculum, new programs, administrative matters, field trips and student progress at regularly scheduled staff meetings. (2)
  • Interact with school principals to discuss workload, receive direction, air concerns such as classroom overcrowding and request resources. (2)
  • Make presentations to large groups. For example, make presentations about graduation plans, school theatrical productions and student safety to school students during assemblies. Make presentations to large groups of parents during orientation sessions outlining program expectations, extracurricular activities and school calendars. (3)
  • Speak to teaching assistants and student teachers to demonstrate how tasks are to be performed in the classroom and to provide experiential instruction to student teachers about teaching topics like instructional methods and styles, how to prepare for lessons and tips for objective grading. (3)
  • Discuss students' ideas and aspirations, answer their questions and provide guidance, encouragement and assistance. Teachers adjust their approaches to suit the students and the topics being discussed. (3)
  • Discuss students' academic progress, social concerns and other school-related issues with parents. Parents may be disappointed, distressed and angry when their children fail to do well academically, exhibit behavioural problems and are expelled and suspended. Teachers must often use tact and compassion while interacting with parents. (3)
  • Teach academic subjects to high school students. Demonstrate extensive subject area knowledge and enthusiasm for your academic disciplines. Consider the capabilities and characteristics of students in order to select the most appropriate teaching methods. Organize the subject matter so that it is easily understood by students and adapt presentation styles as necessary to ensure students' interest and comprehension. (4)
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Money Math
  • Collect payments and fees for school trips, outings, books, school supplies and school activities. Count, document and verify the money being collected, reconcile cash and cheques to records and may make bank deposits. (2)
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Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting
  • Set timelines for courses indicating time periods for various curriculum sections or objectives, assignment due dates, test dates and dates for activities such as labs and field trips. Create monthly and weekly class schedules to show when specific activities are planned. Draw up work schedules for science fairs and other events such as theatrical productions. Determine the time required by considering the amount and type of content, the learning objectives and previous scheduling experience. (3)
  • Prepare annual budgets for textbooks and supplies, comparing prices in order to get the best prices. Industrial arts and physical education teachers at larger schools often have substantial budgets for consumable shop supplies, equipment and transportation. (4)
  • Teach scheduling and budgeting techniques specific to the subject areas you teach. For example, home economics teachers and school counsellors may teach personal finance management. Business teachers may teach small business accounting methods. Woodworking and industrial arts teachers may teach project planning, scheduling and budgeting skills. (4)
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Measurement and Calculation
  • Measure students' achievement. Design marking schemes, develop rating scales and create tests. Assign weighted values, add scores and calculate percentages. For example, a chemistry teacher may measure students' achievement by writing, administering and marking a multiple choice test. (2)
  • Calculate the areas of irregular shapes when instructing students. For example, math teachers instruct students how to calculate the areas of trapezoids, cubes and prisms. (3)
  • Teach advanced measurement and calculation techniques specific to the subject areas you teach. For example, science teachers may instruct students how to measure wavelengths, distances between planets, pendulum periods, pyramid volumes and solution strengths using formulae. Automotive teachers may teach students to use callipers to measure engine parts and clearances between gears. (5)
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Data Analysis
  • Develop statistical descriptions of classroom tests you have created. Calculate means and standard deviations. Analyze the reliability, validity and discrimination of test items and tests by conducting a Scantron analysis of multiple choice tests to see which questions are more difficult than others. Interpret students' test marks in relationship to other students, to whole classes and to other schools in the district. (4)
  • Teach correlation, causal relationship and other statistical methods specific to the subject areas you teach. For example, social studies teachers may teach students to generate demographic statistics to describe local populations using census data. Physical education and health teachers may teach students how to analyze Statistics Canada graphs and data to determine the health risks for selected age categories. (5)
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Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate times needed for students to write tests, read stimulus materials and complete in-class assignments. (1)
  • Estimate quantities of teaching materials and supplies required for particular classes. Consider numbers of students and anticipated usage. (1)
  • Estimate times needed to teach particular topics. Consider the amount of content to be covered, the numbers of students, the difficulty of the topics and previous experiences. Alter teaching schedules to handle disruptions and delays but must cover all prescribed curriculum within specified times. (2)
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Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • Secondary school teachers plan and organize their courses and lesson plans within ministerial curriculum standards and established school patterns and timetables. They develop course outlines and plan monthly, weekly and daily outlines. Although following lesson plans is a priority, they must be flexible enough to deal with disruptions and students' questions. Secondary school teachers may organize school events such as science fairs, theatrical and musical productions, student clubs and sporting events related to their specific subjects. Secondary school teachers prepare daily lesson plans for substitute teachers. Teachers who are department and committee chairs may plan the work of other teachers. (3)
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Decision Making
  • Choose to organize and lead extracurricular activities such as chess clubs, science clubs, football leagues and theatrical presentations. (2)
  • Select evaluation schemes for classes. For example, decide how many marks to award for course elements such as class discussions, tests, assignments and laboratory exercises. Assign weighted scores to course elements according to their importance. Try to provide a variety of opportunities for students to obtain formative assessment results. (2)
  • Choose reward and disciplinary systems and actions. For example, teachers may decide to initiate positive reinforcement systems to encourage positive student behaviours. They choose the types of disciplinary actions to take when students misbehave and decide when to involve school administrators and parents. They consider school policies, the seriousness of the students' actions and students' previous histories. (3)
  • Decide which learning methods to use. Choose methods that fit each lessons' learning objectives, students' learning styles and teaching resources available. For example, to teach in large group settings select lectures, student presentations, and group discussions. For individualized instruction select methods such as individual projects, directed reading, learning activity packets, and computer assisted learning. In laboratory settings select teaching methods such as demonstrations, experiments and individual and small group projects. (3)
  • Decide which texts and resource materials to use for courses. Consider curriculum guidelines set by school districts and education ministries, personal preferences, students' abilities and interests, costs, availability, format, and the usefulness of materials. For example, a math teacher may decide to use particular educational software and student workbooks to teach algebra. An English teacher may decide to assign articles and short stories for reading comprehension. An economics teacher may give students the choice between assigning textbook reading or website review to learn about economic trends. (3)
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Problem Solving
  • May teach in overcrowded classrooms and laboratories with too few resources. For example, a chemistry teacher has insufficient laboratory space and equipment for a large class of students. The teacher asks students to share equipment, spends more time with the students who require more help and lets the better students work more on their own. The chemistry teacher brings the overcrowding to the attention of administration and asks for the class size to be reduced. (2)
  • Deal with students who misbehave in class, break school rules, skip class, arrive late for class, disrupt the class, don't do their homework and plagiarize others' work. Inform students how to correct the inappropriate behaviours and assist students to come up with their own solutions. If students do not correct the behaviours and if the problems are serious and continuous, teachers may report inappropriate behaviours to administration or contact parents. (2)
  • May teach students with personal and family situations that negatively affect their school performance. For example, teachers encounter students experiencing unwanted pregnancies and family violence. They discuss these situations with students, provide emotional support and follow school policies for handling these difficult situations. Secondary school teachers may refer students to guidance counsellors for further assistance. (3)
  • There are students who cannot keep pace with their classmates because they struggle academically and lack the foundational skills required to succeed in their courses. For example, math teachers may have students who missed basic math concepts in previous grades. Teachers speak with students' parents and administration to identify the potential causes of the academic deficiencies and develop plans for improvement. They may spend additional time reviewing fundamentals to help students catch up with important subject matter. (3)
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Finding Information
  • Find information about students in school databases, cumulative records, test scores, assignments and creative writing projects. Obtain information about students from discussions with students, parents and other teachers. (2)
  • Obtain current information about social trends, science and world affairs by reading magazines and browsing the Internet. Find this information to ensure that the content of courses is up-to-date, relevant, and of interest to students. (2)
  • Offer instruction in information searching and research skills. For example, school librarians teach students how to use cataloguing systems, locate primary and secondary sources and search the Internet. (2)
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Critical Thinking
  • Evaluate students' academic performance using well-defined objective and subjective criteria. Evaluate students' assignments, tests, participation levels and attitudes against established criteria and compare students' tests results to class means and medians and to district or provincial standards. (2)
  • Evaluate the success of courses taught to identify good and bad features. Design and administer course evaluation forms and analyze the data. Talk to students individually and in groups. Review statistics such as class marks and drop out rates. (3)
  • Assess the suitability and relevance of curriculum goals and curriculum content. Teachers may lead curriculum reviews to ensure curriculum is current, relevant and age-appropriate. They consider research in their subject areas, data from other jurisdictions, input from other educators, parents and students. They review content analyses conducted by subject matter experts. They may need to support controversial curriculum reviews. For example, they may have to support sex education programs that are unpopular with some parents. (4)
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