A biology teacher is someone who has studied biology or life sciences at the college level and then pursued advanced studies by getting a teaching credential, master’s degree or doctorate. These instructors might teach in middle school or high school settings, and they could also teach at community colleges or universities. School setting may dictate type of job performed.
Distinction might be made between biology teacher and professor. The biology teacher in secondary school may or may not have spent significant time studying and majoring in biology in college. They may have a science major in a different field like microbiology, chemistry, zoology or elsewhere. Despite other emphasis, they’ll know how to teach beginning high school biology courses and to instruct in topics like life sciences. Many science teachers teach outside their area of expertise to meet the demands of a school, and might not be restricted to teaching classes in their major.
It’s important to understand that the scenario described above is not always accurate. In secondary schools some science teachers majored in biology prior to obtaining a teaching credential. In their work, they might teach only biology and life sciences courses and not be involved in teaching other scientific fields.
At the college level the biology teacher generally belongs to a life sciences or biology department, and they’re likely to teach courses only within their field. It would be unlikely that a chemistry professor would teach a biology class or vice versa, unless the professor had dual expertise in subjects like biochemistry. Given that biology has so many subspecialties, college biology teachers can be expected to have a wide range of course offerings they might teach. These could include instruction in more advanced biology of life sciences topics and far more participation in biology labs, but teaching still could encompass beginning classes for those students needing to fill life science prerequisites.
As the would-be biology teacher advances in his studies, he is likely to acquire highly specialized knowledge in the field. With these specializations, particularly at doctoral level, the teacher could get hired to a college to teach in new areas of discovery. This means teachers might participate in designing some or all of their own classes, particularly for upper class or graduate students. Teachers at the college level also may supervise students majoring in this subject, and design more extensive work for advanced students.
In contrast, class design is usually limited for the high school biology teacher, and he or she may have to follow regional or state standards when designing classes or choosing subject matter. Decision on what books to use may not even be available. Even with these limits, lots of secondary school biology teachers love their work and enjoy teaching the beginnings of this field, in hopes of inspiring students to pursue it in college.