Basics

Here you'll 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 don’ts of private school employment and learn your marketability quotient.
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Finding a job in a private school is a process which takes many months, sometimes much longer, to accomplish. The following timeline assumes that you will be flexible and open-minded. Finding your dream job is not always possible. It is much more realistic to try to find a position which has most of what you are looking for now as well as the potential to turn into that dream job you are seeking.
 

Winter
 
  • Make arrangements to meet employers and be interviewed at the NAIS Annual Conference which takes place in February/March. Check the NAIS site for time and venue.
  • Review openings listed on Klingenstein Job Bank.
  • Review openings posted on various state, regional and national association websites.
  • Attend interviews.
  • Negotiate job offers.
  • Request official copies of your transcripts, certifications and degrees.
  • Notify your network as soon as you accept a job.
  • Send hand written thank you notes.

Spring/Summer
 
  • If you are just beginning the process, now is the time to plan your job search.
  • Assemble your portfolio if you teach the art and other practical subjects.
  • Cast your net widely as you search for a job.
  • Be flexible if you can with regard to location and salary expectations.
  • Get unofficial copies of your transcripts, certifications and degrees.
  • If still looking for a job, keep an eye out for unexpected openings. Filling a position just before school opens is always a tough proposition, made easier if your name happens to be on a list of approved, pre-qualified applicants.
  • Scan the job openings.
  • Use summer conferences . . .read more
If you have 3 or more of the following skills or credentials, you will position yourself for greater success in the private school employment market. While there is a shortage of qualified teachers, it is still a highly competitive arena in the private school world. Consequently your chances at finding your dream job will improve if you can offer one or more of the following:


1. 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! Unlike public schools where language skills are necessary just to deal with a non-English speaking population, private schools offer academic courses in French, Spanish
and Mandarin language and literature. Many of these courses lead to AP level examinations. You will have the opportunity to use that honors degree work in foreign languages to your advantage.

2. Hold specialist certifications.
An ESL certificate or a reading specialist certificate will virtually guarantee you employment for life at many schools. Schools which enrol non-English speaking students frequently require those students to master English at a very high level in order to complete their academic course work with good grades. 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 . . .read more
Hundreds of private schools, and for that matter, public schools, outside the United States will be happy to have you as a teacher for a few years. It's a great opportunity for teachers of any age who want to experience the world. And, because they need trained teachers, the local authorities will take care of all the immigration matters for you as part of the contract.
 
At the end of this article you will find links which will help you find jobs overseas. But before you explore those, what's it really like teaching abroad?

1. You won't get rich.
You knew that anyway. But be prepared for the reality that teachers don't make a lot of money overseas. Depending on the job location, you may get housing included. Most likely you will have to find housing yourself. You definitely will not have a lot of money for luxuries. Just the bare necessities. If you are not frugal or don't want to learn how to be frugal, you need to confront that issue before you sign up. Otherwise you will be miserable.

2. Be open minded.
Bulgaria is not the United States. and that, frankly, is part of its charm. You won't find the foods which you are accustomed to. They do things differently over there. That's the point. Try new things. Experiment. It's an adventure.

3. Third world countries do not have first world amenities.
The electricity may not be reliable. Cellphone service is usually fairly good . . .read more
Private school teachers do not belong to a teachers' union. One of the great strengths of a union is that it connects like-minded workers, keeps them informed of trends within their industry and promotes solidarity. These are all laudable aims. How does a private school teacher achieve all that?
 

Keep your network current
Think of all the people you meet in person or electronically every day. Keep email addresses for those colleagues and others whom you consider valuable in some way. Perhaps you admire a colleague for her leadership in a particular area such as laptop computing  or Web 2.0. Leave a comment on her blog. Email her. You don't have to write an epistle. A few words of positive support and encouragement are all that is needed. Ask for help. It is impossible for anybody to have all the answers. Your colleagues are a wonderful resource. Keeping your network current allows you to utilize those resources fully.

Connect on ISED-L and ISEN
Interacting with your colleagues is something you need to do regularly. Join the discussions on ISED-L and ISEN. Express your opinions. Learn from what others are saying.

 

Blog
Blogging is one of the most effective ways for you to stay connected. Blogging is free. It's easy to do. Think of blogging as an electronic journal. Jot down your thoughts. No need to fuss about syntax or grammar. Blogging is free-form. Read other blogs. Leave comments for those bloggers. Create your own blog in a private school community . . .read more
This article is written for the benefit of the hundreds of foreign nationals who seek employment in American private schools each year. Be aware that most American private schools will hire a foreign national only if he or she has a Green Card. The Green Card or Permanent Resident Card (also known as Form I-551) gives its holder permission to work in the U.S. Without it or American citizenship you cannot work in the U.S. So the answer to the question "Can foreign nationals get teaching jobs in U.S. private schools?" is "No!" with only a few minor exceptions.
 
Why won't a school sponsor your application for a Green Card? Because it is too much of gamble. The school goes through all the hassle and expense of securing a Green Card for you only to have you decide a few years later that you want to work in another school. It's just not worth it.

A few private schools will go to the bother of securing a Permanent Resident Card for a key staff member such as a head of school. But those instances are few and far between. The situation is very much a 'catch 22' as the American Embassy in your home country will tell you that you need a job before you can apply for a work visa. On the other hand the school will tell you that it needs you to have a green card before it will consider you for employment.
 
The very few exceptions . . .read more
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BASICS