What does a Physics Teacher do?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Physics tutors can be found at the high school, college or university level.
Physics tutors can be found at the high school, college or university level.

A physics teacher is a teacher who provides instruction in physics. To become a physics teacher, someone generally needs to be a physicist with a teaching credential. Physics teachers work all over the world, offering instruction at a variety of levels, and many belong to professional organizations which are designed to promote excellence and high standards in the teaching of physics, such as the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) in the United States.

High school physics teachers often offer an introduction to physics and teach basic formulas to students, as well as teach advanced classes.
High school physics teachers often offer an introduction to physics and teach basic formulas to students, as well as teach advanced classes.

A common site for a physics teacher to work in is a high school. High school physics can include introductions to very basic concepts which are designed to help students fulfill science requirements, along with advanced instruction to gifted and talented students who want to further their physics education as much as possible before going to college. High school physics teachers usually deal with third and fourth year students, because students in lower grades tend to lack the prerequisite courses needed to start taking physics classes.

Some physics teachers work in pre-high school classrooms, providing instruction on scientific concepts for younger students.
Some physics teachers work in pre-high school classrooms, providing instruction on scientific concepts for younger students.

Physics teachers can also work in lower schools, providing introductions to scientific concepts for younger students. This practice is more common in schools with aggressive academic programs which want to provide their students with as many opportunities as possible. Physics teachers who work with students before high school tend to work primarily with extremely gifted students who have shown an aptitude for the sciences.

Modern high school teachers should be well-versed in technology.
Modern high school teachers should be well-versed in technology.

A physics teacher may also work as a tutor, assisting individual students with topics in physics. Physics tutors can be found at the high school, college, and university level. Some tutors are advanced physics students who are currently attending university, using tutoring as a source of supplemental income. Students who are being homeschooled may also retain a tutor as their curricula advance.

Some physics teachers specialize in providing a generalized physics education.
Some physics teachers specialize in providing a generalized physics education.

Some physics teachers specialize in providing a generalized physics education which introduces students to key concepts, gets students familiar with the basic laws of physics, and provides a solid grounding which will help students later in life whether or not they choose to pursue a scientific education. Other physics teachers may offer instruction in advanced topics to their students; schools with a focus on the sciences may offer a range of physics electives so that students have an opportunity to explore specific topics of interest.

A physics teacher is responsible for grading papers and tests.
A physics teacher is responsible for grading papers and tests.

Physics programs can also be offered as part of a continuing education program in some workplaces. In this case, the physics teacher is working with adults who are interested in advancing their education so that they have more opportunities. Physics instruction in the workplace can also include physics-related safety topics, such as courses on how to work with lasers.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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    • Physics tutors can be found at the high school, college or university level.
      By: Monkey Business
      Physics tutors can be found at the high school, college or university level.
    • High school physics teachers often offer an introduction to physics and teach basic formulas to students, as well as teach advanced classes.
      By: Andres Rodriguez
      High school physics teachers often offer an introduction to physics and teach basic formulas to students, as well as teach advanced classes.
    • Some physics teachers work in pre-high school classrooms, providing instruction on scientific concepts for younger students.
      By: Sergey Nivens
      Some physics teachers work in pre-high school classrooms, providing instruction on scientific concepts for younger students.
    • Modern high school teachers should be well-versed in technology.
      By: Tyler Olson
      Modern high school teachers should be well-versed in technology.
    • Some physics teachers specialize in providing a generalized physics education.
      By: Lisa F. Young
      Some physics teachers specialize in providing a generalized physics education.
    • A physics teacher is responsible for grading papers and tests.
      By: Syda Productions
      A physics teacher is responsible for grading papers and tests.
    • Physics programs can be offered as part of a continuing education program in some workplaces.
      By: Andres Rodriguez
      Physics programs can be offered as part of a continuing education program in some workplaces.