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You won't find gay teachers in most religious schools where homosexuality is not tolerated. But you will find gay teachers and gay couples on staff at many top prep schools.

What's going on here? Aren't those schools sending the wrong message to their students? Not if the school takes the view that sexual preferences and one's life style are a strictly personal matter. As long as a teacher or staff member is qualified and competent, what does his sexuality matter.

We live in a far different world than was the case a generation or two ago. The old customs and mores have forever changed. To be sure being gay generates controversy and division in communities. Look at the serious schism which has occurred in the Anglican Church as a result of the ordination of an openly gay bishop.

Nonetheless, it takes courage for a board of trustees to employ openly gay staff. That's exactly what Phillips Andover did in 2000. The only catch is that the staff must sign an affidavit confirming that their relationship is a committed one. The lesson and example being taught here is profound: that a committed relationship deserves respect and should be upheld. Students who are seeking answers about their own sexuality will feel more inclined to discuss such serious matters without fear of retribution or derision. If a school is to truly champion diversity, then allowing faculty to live on campus in committed relationships is just one more aspect in teaching...
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Children learn not only the lessons which we try to teach them, but also lessons which by their very nature are perhaps more subtle. These are the lessons which children learn by osmosis or example. The following is pure fiction, but it makes one wonder if things might have been a bit different if some of these teachers had tried a different approach.
 
40 a.d.

Setting: High on one of the seven hills of Rome


Aurelius Flagellus Horribilis looked up from his table. The three discipuli in his charge were supposed to be working on their times tables. "What is taking them so long?" Flagellus muttered to himself, and got up to inspect their work more closely. As he came up behind Lucius Domitius Nero, a skinny thirteen year old with greasy hair in a retro Caesar cut and pocked skin,  he was horrified to see that Nero was not writing at all. Rather he had broken his stylus and was trying to use his index finger to mark out the answer for  IX times V. Sighing aloud, Flagellus handed Nero a new stylus and smacked him across the side of the head as he did . The boy winced and hurried to complete the assigned work.  In a mocking voice Flagellus admonished the teenager, "Stop fiddling around so much!"

1700

Setting: The Thuringian town of Luneberg, Germany


Fifteen year old Johann Sebastian  Bach loved his new school. He and his friend Georg Erdmann...
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Many people enjoy successful careers only to come to the realization that something is missing. That 'something' is often supplied by a desire to teach. Can you become a teacher later in life? The answer is a qualified 'Yes!'  What is involved? You need to make sure that  your credentials are in order. A master's degree in your subject will always get your resume noticed. A teaching certificate and/or education courses will strongly support your application.

Questions You Need To Ask Yourself
  

Are you a digital dinosaur?
If you have not interwoven technology into your life, then look at some profession other than teaching. Private schools have been in the vanguard of technology use in the classroom since the mid 1990's. Being a digital dinosaur will simply not cut it these days.

Have you stopped learning?
If you have, then find something else to do. Teaching is all about being a life-long learner. After all, that is what you are encouraging your young charges to be, isn't it? Your intellectual curiosity must never die. It is the hallmark of a good teacher.

Do you bristle at change?
You need to look elsewhere if you cannot stand change. Teaching is not a static profession. True, some things stay the same. A teacher will always stimulate, inspire, guide and direct. But what you teach and the way you teach is dynamic. The methodologies and presentation are changing constantly to adapt to new circumstances.

Is your network up to...
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Years ago if you wanted to be a private school teacher, you went to college, got a degree, took a few education courses and began teaching. It's not that easy these days. Most private schools want you to be a trained teacher as well as degreed in your subject. But most private schools also want you to be trained to teach the way they want you to teach. After all the teaching is what a private school is all about. The better the teaching, the better the students learn.
 
Internships
A few schools offer faculty internships. So you will run across enlightened opportunities such as the Kenan-Lewis Internship at Woodberry Forest School in Virginia. Two Kenan-Lewis interns are appointed annually.
 
Andover offers The Andover Teaching Fellowship Program. "At Andover on a teaching fellowship, the recent college graduate is introduced to teaching in a program of guided work in the classroom, a professional seminar, and exposure to theories and methods of experienced faculty. Obviously, the school seeks applicants who are new to the vocation of teaching."
 
The Berkeley Carroll School in Brooklyn also has an established associate teachers program in their Lower School (PK-4).
 
Choate-Rosemary Hall has a similar program. It is a signal opportunity for a college graduate wanting to be a teacher. Even better, it fits in with the plans of people who did a degree in their subject as opposed to an education degree. The young graduate...
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Keeping current with anything is a tough assignment these days. Information comes at us like a blizzard. What's a busy person to do?
 
An RSS aggregator helps. Bloglines is one of many. It does the job and is easy to configure. Here are some education blogs, podcasts and sites worth looking at regularly. Most offer a rich Web 2.0 experience.

 

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