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:
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.

Be realistic.
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 . . .read more
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 . . .read more
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. . . .read more
If you are looking for a teaching job in 2011, then you understand how tough the situation is. Because of budget cuts in the public school sector, there are tens of thousands of qualified teachers looking for employment. While that is an advantage for private schools because it increases the applicant pool, it makes it much more competitive for those of you who want to secure a private school teaching job. Use my Job Search Resources to understand the mechanics of finding private school employment. If  you haven't interviewed in a few years, make sure you do a couple of dry runs. Same thing with your resume. Polish it off. Lean on a trusted mentor for help and advice.

There was a little piece on NPR which caught my attention. While they were discussing employment in the corporate world, I believe that some of the same concerns and advice also apply to teachers. Simply put, if you have a job, stay put unless you are being forced to move for non-job related reasons. Let's look at the pros and cons of looking for a job while you are employed versus not being employed.

Advantages to being Employed
Unless the school you are working at is in financial trouble, stay put. Don't let minor disagreements or annoyances mushroom into a deal-breaking situation where the school will not renew your contract. Don't let it come to that. Swallow your pride but stick by your principles. . . .read more
As part of my research for this article I googled "teacher fired for posting in Facebook" and got 702,000 results. Well, not all are relevant, but you get my point.

My warning is simple and very clear: if you are employed by a school (or would like to be) do not post anything on Facebook which could be misinterpreted by your present or future employer.

The issue is not freedom of speech. The issue is electronic media. It is everlasting.

Facebook posts can be shared. They can turn up on Google searches. They can be used against  you by people who don't like you. Even when you supposedly didn't give them permission to do so.

So against this sobering backdrop, let's explore what's involved with Facebook.

1. "But my privacy settings were ultra-strict."
That's understandable. You only want to share your information with your friends and family. But remember: once you post something on Facebook, it's out there. It's no longer private. If one of your 'friends' decides to forward that photo of you hoisting a glass of champagne on your 30th birthday, that simple act of 'sharing' could cost you your job. It has done that for several teachers according to news reports which I found.

It's not just photos which can get you in trouble. It's your comments about your work or your students. If you want to self-destruct, then by all means post something like "My parents are arrogant snobs". . . .read more
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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.