What does a Geography Teacher do?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 06 March 2019
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A geography teacher prepares lesson plans, instructs students, and administers examinations, all toward the purpose of teaching the subject of geography. Though geography as a subject is found at every level of education, beginning even with preschool lessons, it is typically taught as a separate subject only at a secondary level such as at junior high and high schools. In primary education, geography is often taught by the same instructor as math, English, and science, but at higher levels of education it is typically taught by a person with an educational background in geography or a similar field of study.

Geography is, generally, the study and understanding of various physical locations all across the planet. Though its own distinct field of study, it can often involve similar studies and interdisciplinary knowledge of other subjects such as geology, cartography, history, and social studies. These other subjects may also sometimes be taught by a geography teacher, as he or she may have studied these other fields of interest.


A geography teacher, just like any other type of teacher, has duties that are primarily concerned with the proper education of his or her students. This often begins with a sufficient education, typically a four-year degree plus a teaching certificate appropriate to the state or country he or she wishes to teach in, that provides the necessary skills a teacher needs to instruct students. While a geography teacher typically needs to have some specialized understanding of geography, he or she also must be able to manage a classroom and actually teach the material.

This usually begins with the making of a lesson plan by a teacher. Though schools and districts may require certain skills and information to be taught, the geography teacher typically decides on the best method of instruction to ensure the students learn the material. A lesson plan is the information that is going to be taught, complete with the intended goals for students and how the teacher will teach it. These individual lesson plans make up a unit plan that completes an entire section. For example, a unit on the United States might be broken down into individual lessons on each state or general region of the country.

The geography teacher then has to actually teach the lesson to the students. This typically involves a combination of lecture, classroom discussion, readings, homework assignments, and any other types of activities aimed at teaching the students. After the lessons have been taught, examinations are typically administered by the teacher to ensure that students have learned what was taught and met the goals for the lesson or unit.


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Post 3

When I was in school the Geography teacher job was combined with another teaching position. In other words, there was no Geography teacher who taught only Geography. I think our Geography teacher was also a Physical Education teacher and assistant football coach.

Hopefully, more emphasis is placed on the subject in schools today.

Post 2

Through 16 years (17 years counting kindergarten) of school I didn't take an actual geography class. I remember a few lessons on geography in History and Social Studies classes, but that was all.

Never having a Geography teacher is something I regret. My knowledge of world geography is terribly limited.

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