Advantages to Working in a Private School
A private school teacher does not have to teach to the test. Public school teachers must focus on preparing their students to do well on state mandated testing as opposed to really teaching them.
Smaller Class Size
Private school class sizes are generally smaller than similar public school classes. You can truly teach a small class of students. Discipline issues are minimal.
Increased Teacher Safety
Teachers feel safer in most private schools because private schools can enforce their discipline codes with impunity. In addition most private schools have a much smaller student population than public schools. It is easier to supervise a smaller group of students.
- Teacher. The teacher is responsible for educating students in her class to set expectations. Depending on the grade level, the teacher may be responsible for a multiple subjects or he may just focus on one subject. In addition to their teaching duties, teaches may have extra roles in study hall, the cafeteria, sports, and other after school activities. The National Educators Association shows an average starting salary for 2011-12 as $35,672 with the low salary of $26,734 and a high of $51,539. Teaching positions can specialize in special education, vocational training, and athletic training.
- Teacher’s Assistant. The teacher’s assistant helps the teacher maintain the educational milieu of the class, prepares class materials, and works with students. Salary range will be less than what a teacher makes.
Administrative & Support
- Office Staff
- Guidance Counselor
- School Social Worker
- School Nurse
- Food Service
Average Annual Salaries
Head of School
Faculty with 0-5 years experience
Faculty with 6-10 years experience
Faculty with 11-15 years experience
Faculty with 16-20 years experience
Faculty with 21+ years experience
|Teacher Safety||Teacher safety is a non-issue in most private schools. When an incident occurs, the consequences are swift and appropriate. Private school students are governed by contract law. The terms of their being at the school are very clearly spelled out in that contract signed by parents and the school.|
|Class Size||Class size is small in most prep schools. Typically 12:1 is the ratio of students to faculty you will find. Most parochial schools have larger class sizes, generally in the range of 25-30 students. It is much easier to teach a small group of students than to teach a large class.|
|Supplies||Supplies such as books and equipment tend to be newer than those in public schools. In a private school students buy their books at the beginning of the school year. Facilities and equipment is generally state of the art in private schools as they have more funding options.|
|Curriculum||In private school, teachers often feel they have more impact on the curriculum than they would in a public school setting. This is because most public schools (charter schools being an exception) must follow a state set curriculum from which they cannot deviate. About 30 private schools follow the IB or International Baccalaureate curriculum which is a rigorous course of study leading to a diploma granted by an external examinations body.|
|AP Courses||Private schools offer a wide variety of AP courses because they have the staff and resources to teach these college level courses effectively.|
|Administration||Private schools tend to keep their administration fairly streamlined. They don't have the layers of bureaucracy with which public schools have to contend. This makes it easier to address issues and effect change as necessary.|
|Unions||Most public school teachers belong to a teachers union. Private school teachers do not belong to a union.|
- Health insurance
- Disability benefits
- Leave programs (Sick, personal, holidays). Because most teaching positions are only for nine months, teachers may not receive annual vacation time (in either private or public settings).
- Retirement plans
- Life Insurance
- Savings plans (457 and 403b)
- Professional development plans
- Tuition reimbursement for continuing education
- Long term care benefits
- Employee assistance program (EAP) and mental health benefits
- Reduced or free tuition for children
- Housing (at boarding schools)
Career Paths to Private School Jobs
Teaching in a private school setting requires a bachelor’s degree at a minimum. A master's degree or doctorate is preferable. Degrees in a subject area are preferred over an education degree particularly at the high school level.
It's a common belief that private schools do not require certification. Actually, it depends on the individual school. The US Department of Education keeps an updated list of state requirements for private schools. You should also check with private schools that you are interested in to find out what certifications they require. Besides state certification, a private school may require additional regional certification such as the NAPCIS Teacher Certification Program for Catholic educators.
Teachers can begin teaching as soon as they have graduated from college. Many private schools offer intern programs so that they can train the fledgling teacher according to the school's teaching practices. Many young private school teachers can enjoy their first class right out of college.
Placement agencies know the market and have established clients looking for qualified staff.
- CalWest Educators Placement specializes in placement of private school teachers and administrators on the west coast.
- Carney, Sandoe & Associates specializes in placing faculty and administration in independent schools. The firm was established in 1977. Register online to become a CS&A candidate.
- The Education Group is another placement firm that focuses on placing teachers and administration into private school settings.
- Search Associates focuses on placing teachers and administrators in private schools worldwide.
School Web Sites
- Anthroposophy has an online listing of current job openings for Waldorf schools.
- K-12 Jobs has a job bank for teaching and administrative positions but you’ll need to create an account first before you can access the site.
- Montessori (AMI-USA) has a listing of job openings, both in the US and for International positions for the member schools of the Association Montessori Internationale.
- Montessori Schools (AMS) is the job bank site for the American Montessori Society which includes over 1,000 member schools. Their job bank will let you narrow your search down by state.
- National Association of Independent Schools has a nice job data bank with a sophisticated job search engine that lets you narrow your search by job level, category, and location. NAIS has over 1,100 member schools (about ? of the total number of independent schools in the US ).
- WaldorfWorld has an online job bank for international positions in Waldorf schools. You can also post ads to seek employment.
- The Independent School Educators' List (ISED-L) has job postings from time to time.
- The Klingenstein Center has a comprehensive job bank.
Employment in Religious Schools
|(ACSI) offers a job listing for job openings in Christian schools in North America . Job seekers can also post their qualifications and contact information online.|
|Friends Council on Education|
|FCE has an online job bank for member schools providing Quaker Education. Search results can be narrowed by state.|
|National Association of Private Catholic and Independent Schools|
|NAPCIS offers a job placement list of available positions in member schools online.|
|National Association of Episcopal Schools|
|NAES offers a listing of career opportunities at member schools. Their career announcements are categorized into administrative and teaching positions, further dividing teaching positions into early childhood, elementary and middle school, and secondary school teaching positions.|
|National Catholic Educational Association|
|NCEA's job bank is used by member schools. Non-member schools can use it for a fee so even if you’re not interested in working in a school with an religious affiliation, this site may be worth a visit.|
|National Christian School Association|
|NCSA has both job listings and lets you post your resume.|
|Seventh-day Adventist Schools|
|This site lists open positions at SDA schools.|