Best Schools for Teachers in Alabama

According to U.S. News & World Report, to be eligible for a state ranking, individual high schools needed to have been awarded a national gold or silver medal by evaluators on the basis of their proven success and high standards. Alabama placed 20 schools into the nationwide rankings, 3 of them gold. The following five schools have been singled out because they are elite institutions that put a high value on their pupils’ education, and thus could be considered ideal employers for any teacher looking to teach in a supportive, progressive, student learning-oriented environment in Alabama.

Loveless Academic Magnet Program High School
Location: Montgomery
Type of School: Magnet
Student/Teacher Ratio: N/A

Loveless Academic Magnet Academy seems to be the very best high school in the state of Alabama. Their mission, as stated on their website, “is to provide an environment in which highly motivated, college bound students can continue to develop the knowledge, creativity, and skills necessary to be productive citizens, leaders and life-long learners.” Nationally ranked as the #32 best high school in the country (and the 8th best magnet), LAMP lives up to its reputation, producing students with a college readiness index of 95.8 (out of 100). Students are admitted to the school based on academic performance in middle school.

Mountain Brook High School
Location: Mountain Brook
Type of School: Public
Student/Teacher Ratio: 11:1

Mountain Brook serves only grades 10-12, and it’s low student to teacher ratio means that students and teachers develop quick rapports with each other. Ranked as the second best school in Alabama, students are able to take AP classes in a wide variety of subjects, with over half the student population participating in those advanced courses. Students use technology regularly in the classroom and at home to complete homework, and extracurricular activities include an art club, scholar bowl, Latin club, and debate team.

Homewood High School
Location: Homewood
Type of School: Public
Student/Teacher Ratio: 12:1

Despite being a school of more than 1000 students, Homewood boasts a low student to teacher ratio of only 12 to 1. Technology is so well integrated into the school that teachers are beginning to allow their students to bring portable electronic devices (like iPads and tablets) to class as learning devices. The school is also affiliated with a wide variety of honors societies, including the International Thespian Society, National Honors Society, and Mu Alpha Theta. In 2011, over 50% of Homewood’s students took AP exams, 518 total, that resulted in 73% getting a 3 or higher on their exams. According to the school’s website, 92% of the class of 2011 was college bound.

Shades Valley High School
Location: Irondale
Type of School: Public
Student/Teacher Ratio: 15:1

Shades Valley High School is ranked fourth by U.S. News & World Report, and enables student to access IB courses through the Jefferson County International Baccalaureate School. Student participation in those advanced courses is at 50%. The school also houses four academies of specialized studies: Art, Engineering, Finance, and Theater, demonstrating equal interest in fostering students gifted in the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences.

Oak Mountain High School
Location: Birmingham
Type of School: Public
Student/Teacher Ratio: 18:1

Oak Mountain’s website states that the school aims to “create an atmosphere of excellence where all students are encouraged to achieve their academic, creative, and physical potential through dynamic instructional methods (including 21st Century skills), extracurricular experiences, and relationships among students, staff, parents, and the community.” Oak Mountain seems to make good on that promise as the recipient of numerous national distinctions, including a National Blue Ribbon Award. Over 62% of students take AP courses, and a number of extracurricular activities exist, ranging from creative writing and peer mediators to Science Olympiad and sports medicine.