How to Teach High School Psychology


Most secondary schools offer a psychology class as an elective for students to take. This class tends to be enjoyable because of the opportunities that psychology offers for student participation. If you're interested in teaching and you have a background in psychology, teaching at the high school level could be the right career for you.

Things You'll Need

  • Bachelor's degree
  • Textbook(s)
  • Lesson plans
  • Syllabus
  • Obtain a bachelor's degree. Most states prefer high school teachers to have a degree in the subject area they teach, but some states allow prospective teachers to pass a proficiency test instead. Check your state's requirements.

  • Earn your teaching certification. You'll have to apply for it through your state's department of education and take an exam. You may have to take additional college credits in teaching methods. This also varies by state.

  • Find a psychology textbook to use in your classroom. Consider finding the latest edition of the book you read in your general psychology class in college since that information is basic. You could also just use the same book the previous psychology teacher was using, or check with the school system to see if it requires you to use a specific book.

  • Consider what types of activities you could do in class. You can make your high school psychology class more interesting by including hands-on activities, like personality assessments, skits, movies, presentations and group projects. These will help your students master the material. If possible, talk to the previous psychology teacher to see what activities worked well for him or her.

  • Write up your lesson plans and start designing your tests. You can also make a syllabus to give to the students on the first day of class as this will help them know what to expect.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the school you're interested in does not have a psychology class, you may want to consider teaching another course for a year or two while working to set up a psychology class.

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