I have been a high school teacher for coming on 14 years, in 8 schools, in 2 countries. While teaching still is enjoyable, I feel with the near completion of my PhD (in physics), that I am ready for a new challenge in academia.

I have no illusions though, it will be challenging to even get into academia. I know I also have to be published (have 3 peer reviewed papers published).

How should the skills developed in high school teaching be touted to be relevant for academic postions?

  • 3
    Are you wanting to focus on teaching, research, or a combination of the two?
    – earthling
    Commented May 30, 2013 at 12:34
  • Ideally, research, but I'd be happy with a combination
    – user7130
    Commented May 30, 2013 at 18:47

1 Answer 1


If you are near completing your PhD, then I assume you also have some papers coming out soon. If not, then your dissertation will probably be worth 3 papers, so I wouldn't worry too much about that part.

Conveying information to an audience with varied skills and backgrounds is always a valuable thing in academia. Whether in written manuscripts or conference presentations, this is usually the problem to be solved. My advisor was fond of constructing lectures, no matter the audience, as if they were to be given to college freshmen. I'd say a lot of freshmen are not too different from high school students.

A successful PhD defense signifies that you have the ability to do novel work in your field, but your teaching skills will enable you to tell others about it.

  • Indeed, that is what I was thinking, but was dissuaded from applying for a position recently, despite the qualifications needed being an Honours or a Masters (have both), because of their view of the distinction between high school and freshman. I am very fortunate that I have aleady got 3 peer reviewed papers published.
    – user7130
    Commented May 30, 2013 at 20:57
  • 1
    +1 for a lot of freshmen are not too different from high school students
    – earthling
    Commented May 30, 2013 at 23:23

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