April 14, 2013
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.
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...read more
November 14, 2012
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Then it dawns on you that your curriculum vitae is out of date.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...read more
September 10, 2012
At some point in your job search process you created a resume. This article asks you to examine that resume with a dispassionate, clinical eye in order to present you and your qualifications in the best possible light.
Meaningless awards and affiliations
The badges you earned while you were a Boy Scout meant a great deal at the time. But they are not relevant in an employment application. On the other hand if you were a National Merit Scholar, that deserves a line. Put that right before the entry about your Fulbright Scholarship or Rhodes Scholarship. Ok, you get the point. Anything to do with academic achievement is something to be proud of. On a private school employment application academic achievement trumps just about everything else. At a minimum it should get you an interview. Remember: you will be teaching young people who want to learn. Your strong academic performance can and will inspire your students.
Outlandish hobbies and interestsread more
Everything in your job application should support the impression which you are trying to create in the reader's mind. "This is somebody we need to interview." You will be teaching young people. They will have enough off the wall influences of their own. The school would rather hire adults who can be exemplars and role models of steadiness and resolve. Their clientele, i.e., parents, expect that and much more. Mainstream hobbies and interests will not raise red flags. Include one or two on your application. Since you are being interviewed for a teaching...
February 12, 2012
Ever since the great recession of 2008, finding a job - any job - has become progressively more difficult for everybody, private school teachers and administrators included. One way to get your resume noticed, perhaps even read in detail, is by creating value. Here's how.read more
Why You Need to Project Value Private schools have historically valued staff who are well-credentialed, enthusiastic and flexible. The reason why stems from the reality that private schools have just as many staff as they need. No more. What that means is that when there are gaps in the team , for whatever reason, the school needs somebody to fill that gap competently and cheerfully. On the fly.
Indications of Value
Credentials Start with your credentials. Make certain that your academic qualifications align with the school's stated requirements as well as offering an additional specialty or two. For example, if you have a Masters in French language and literature and are applying for the school's French teacher position, it won't hurt to be proficient in Spanish or Portugese or Italian as well.
If it has been several years since you completed your formal graduate studies, be sure to offer some recent courses, workshops and seminars which you have attended. It is important to show your prospective employer that you have not stopped learning. Make sure that there is no expiration on your "Sell By" date.
Experience Experience can be an advantage. But be aware that in these very competitive times your experience could also be a disadvantage. Years ago...
December 14, 2011
It's kind of scary to realize that most openings for teaching positions regularly draw dozens of applications. Sometimes houndreds of applications. These are tough times. Thousands of public school teachers have lost their jobs since the downturn began back in 2008. Thousands more new teachers are looking for their first job. While many applicants might well prefer to teach in the public system or at the tertiary level, the realities of the job market mean that they will be competing for private school positions. Here are some tips to help you cope with the job search process in these tough times.read more
Be realistic in your expectations both of the position being applied for. More importantly you must understand that finding a teaching position in a private school takes some planning and effort. If you are not prepared or cannot invest the required
time and effort, then you need to consider other options.
Finding a teaching job is not like searching for a managerial or sales job. Those kinds of jobs in the business world are open throughout the year. Teaching positions on the other hand begin in the late summer or the begging of the academic year and end in the late spring or at the end of the academic year. In order to secure a teaching position for next fall you need to begin the process in November or December at the latest. Contracts are renewed in February and March in most schools. You want to be in a position...
April 15, 2013
Here are a dozen or so girls' schools' public thoughts about themselves and their missions.
Getting into Private School,
High School Issues,
Jobs in Private Schools,
Running a Private School
Information about working in private schools
Private School Jobs
Teaching in a private school is different from teaching in a public school. Find out more here including information on duties, compensation and where to find jobs.
How to Find a Private School Job
You can send in a resume and use an agency, but the very best way to find a private school job is to use your network. You do have a network, don't you?
Do I Need to be Certified?
Each state sets its own teacher certification requirements. While many private schools do not require you to be certified, it is in your best interests to obtain certification. This article includes contact information for state education offices so you can begin the process.
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Applying and Interviewing
How to apply and interview for a private school job
Information and thoughts on teaching in private schools
How Do You Become a Private School Teacher?
How do you become a private school teacher? We look at internships, licensing and more.
Several prep schools have pushed the envelope of diversity by allowing committed same sex couples to live on campus in school housing.
A Teacher's Influence
Never underestimate the influence you have on your students. You may not think that you are getting through, but you are! This little bit of fiction shows the influence teachers had on some famous people.
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Note: Data has been gathered from the Dept. of Education, schools, and commercial data sources.