Jobs in Private Schools

This section focuses on tools, tips and articles related to working in a private school. We’ll cover marketing yourself, resume tips and contract negotiations. Learn more about the availability of private school jobs, the difference between a cover letter and letter of interest, and what impact you can have as a teacher.
View the most popular articles in Jobs in Private Schools:
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...
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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. 
 
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.
 
Everyday risks
 
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.
 

 
On the other hand read Teacher In Hot Water For Taking Sick Student To Hospital, Footing The Bill  When it comes to students who are in our care and under our supervision...
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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...
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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 interests
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...
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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.

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...
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Jobs in Private Schools

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.

Applying and Interviewing

Learn more about applying and interviewing for jobs in a private school. Here we'll cover everything from cover letters to interview questions. Get tips on common application mistakes, how to ask good questions during your interview, and marketing yourself.

Teaching

A glimpse into some of the most important facing teachers today. Learn why it's important to be cautious on Facebook. Get tips on switching to a teaching career later in life. And learn how a teacher can influence students and their families.