Basics

Here youíll find valuable information on finding jobs within the private school sector. Get the basics on everything from job searches to salary and contract negotiations. Explore the dos and doníts of private school employment and learn your marketability quotient.
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Pulished |
3 Tips for an Effective Private School Job Search
Use these tips to tweak your job search strategies as you seek employment in a private school.
If you have not looked for a teaching job in a couple of years or perhaps are just beginning to think about future career moves, then these three job search tips are worth thinking about.
 
1. Have a Strong Marketability Quotient.
 
It is a very competitive job market generally. Employers want the best possible candidate for the job. Dozens, sometimes hundreds, of candidates apply for available positions. Private schools are no different. So, how do you stand out from the crowd? By offering 3 or more of the following skills or credentials, you will position yourself for greater success in the private school employment market.
 
 
Speak and teach a second language. Teachers who speak French, Spanish and Mandarin are much in demand in any school. Add a degree and certifications in those subjects to your credentials and you will be a 'hot'  property! 
 
Hold specialist certifications. An ESL certificate or a reading specialist certificate will virtually guarantee you employment for life at many schools. An ESL certified teacher is an integral part of the teaching strategy and an important element in a diverse community. A reading specialist can effectively remediate reading and comprehension skills allowing the language arts teachers to focus on coursework.
 
Be an AP exam reader. A little prestige never hurts. If you are or have been an AP reader in Art History, Chinese Language and Culture, Environmental Science, European History, Government and Politics,  Human Geography, Japanese Language and Culture, Music Theory, Spanish Language, Spanish Literature and World History, for...
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Pulished |
Are You Liable?
Is your DEL key about to get gaveled? It doesn't matter whether you teach in a public or private school setting. You expose yourself to legal risks every single day on the job.
These are tough times for teachers. It doesn't matter whether you teach in a public or private school setting. You expose yourself to legal risks every single day on the job. Your chances of getting sued are probably on a par with having an accident while driving. When you drive carefully, observe the rules of the road, stay alert and drive defensively, most of the time you will be OK. But, things happen for which you are not to blame. Like the time I came down one morning to get into my car to drive to work. Somebody had backed into the front end of my vehicle. Thank goodness I had insurance. Double thanks that the person who backed into my car left a note with her contact info and an apology together with a statement that her father would pay for the repairs.

So, let's look at liability from our point of view as teachers. (I am not an attorney, so read my general layperson's comments and observations then run questions by and seek advice from your attorney.) This mnemonic DIRE lays out some of the issues we need to watch for. Protecting yourself is so important. Nobody else will look out for your interests as well as you will.
 
Document
In the old days most of us professionals would keep a day book. You kept track of your appointments and schedule in it. But also used it to document what was said at interviews and meetings. Our recollection of events...
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Pulished |
Is Your Job Search So 2008?
If you have not looked for a job in the past several years, your job search probably needs a refresh. Here's how to do it.
It's late fall/early winter. Suddenly you begin to put the hints and signals together. That promotion is most likely going to one of your colleagues, not you. After you rehash what is probably going to happen and why, you decide that it's time to move on. A change of scenery and new challenges will do you a world of good, right? Absolutely. 
 
Then it dawns on you that your curriculum vitae is out of date. You haven't revised your resume in years. Sadly you realize that your resume and all your other job-searching skills are so, well, 2008. Not to worry. Here are some strategies for 2012's very competitive job market.

Get involved. Stay involved.
Hopefully when you arrived at St. Swithin's five years ago, you decided to get involved. I'm not talking about involvement at school. That's expected. I am endorsing your involvement in local community activities. Belonging to a service club or singing in the local choral society, for example, gets you out meeting people. Did you attend any workshops offered by your state independent school association? Better yet, did you help organize a workshop? What about those regional, state or national conferences in your subject area? Yes, it requires time and effort and no small expense to attend conventions. But you need to get your brand out where people can see it and experience it.
 
Getting involved unfortunately is not a quick fix to your immediate situation. But at the very least begin to take steps wherever and whenever you...
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What About Being an Intern?
Thinking of teaching in an independent school? Several schools have teaching internship programs. Here's what's involved.
Yes, many private schools have teacher intern programs. And, no, they are paid positions. Now that we have those two questions out of the way, let's explore what's involved with private school teacher intern programs.

Who is eligible?
Recent college graduates are what most independent schools are looking for. The appointments usually are for one year and are full-time positions. Schools look for young men and women who have a degree in a specific subject area and can make a meaningful contribution to the life of the school and who are passionate about their subject.

What's involved?
You get to teach under the watchful eye of a mentor assigned to you. If you are in a boarding school (most internships seem to be at boarding schools for whatever reasons) you will also be assigned a dorm in which to live where you will act as a residential advisor or counselor. A permanent member of staff will have overall responsibility for the dormitory in which you will be living. You will also be expected to coach a sport or perhaps supervise an extracurricular activity.

Why go this route?
The most compelling reason has to be the reality that you will get to teach the subject you love to young people who want to learn. Better yet, because of the strict codes of honor independent schools have in place you won't have to worry about dealing with a class full of unruly teens. They want to excel just like you did. Another advantage to interning in an
independent...
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Why Should We Renew Your Contract?
Here are some reasons and strategies for making sure that the school will renew your contract. Eagerly.
The reality of being a private school teacher is that you will have to face an annual deadline called the contract renewal. If you are doing a good job, this annual rite should not present any problems. You will be notified that your contract is being renewed and that will be that.
 
But what if things are not going well? You are unhappy. You sense that things are not going well. Perhaps you have even received a written communication or two indicating that things indeed are not going well. What to do? If indeed there is no resolution to whatever issues are at the root of your mutual unhappiness, the best solution for all concerned probably is the obvious one: finish out the year and part company on the best possible terms. After all you will need the school to give you as good a reference as you can get.
 
In any case let's look at the renewal process from the school's point of view. Why then should we renew your contract?
 
Give me lots of reasons why we should do so.
 
It may sound obvious, but we hired you in good faith. You interviewed well and seemed enthusiastic about teaching here at St. Swithins. Your transcripts and references were sound and everything checked out. Consequently we had great expectations.
 
For the most part you have not let us down. Your lesson plans are well thought out. You present the material in an engaging manner. You incorporate technology into your teaching effortlessly and effectively....
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Jobs in Private Schools

BASICS