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:
Do You Need a Rebranding?
If you have been teaching for a few years, chances are that you will need to consider rebranding yourself.
Signs that you might need a rebranding include the reality that you are invisible to prospective employers and, almost as bad, your credentials have begun to look kind of 2000-ish. Rebranding. Makeover. Facelift. Call it whatever you wish. But it all amounts to the same thing. Or does it? Rebranding, you see, is intrinsically much more focused than a simple makeover or a facelift. Let's see what is involved.

What is rebranding?
Rebranding sounds like something Proctor and Gamble might do with a tired soap brand. The product does a great job but it has lost the appeal it once had in the marketplace. Are you beginning to see how this might have some relevance to a private school teacher? Rebranding yourself as a dynamic teacher with vision, expertise in her subject and the skills to create excitement in the classroom will push your candidacy for the position you want to the front of the pack.

Remember: it's a fiercely competitive job market in the second decade of the 21st century. Schools have hundreds of highly qualified and experienced candidates from which to choose. Why should they look at you? Because the rebranded you seems fresh, relevant and, well, perfect for position they have open.

Who is a candidate for rebranding?
Unless you have an iron-clad signed and sealed contract with your school until you retire, you are going to need rebranding at some point in your career. Gone are the Mr. Chips days when you stayed at one or two schools for your...
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What's the Difference Between a Letter of Interest and a Cover Letter?
Letters of interest and cover letters are frequently used interchangeably even though they have different purposes.
Depending on the instructions you read on a private school's employment page, you may be directed to send a letter of interest or a cover letter. Some people think that a letter of interest is the same as a cover letter. But they really are not the same. What then exactly is the difference between these two letters and how do you compose them?
 
What is a letter of interest?
 
Strictly speaking, you compose and send a letter of interest when a prospective employer requests that you do so. In the sense that a letter of interest is a letter written to accompany your resume and other required documentation it functions almost the same as a cover letter. But there is a major difference. The letter of interest is written to give a snapshot of you and what makes you worth interviewing.
 
Remember the mechanics involved here. A staff member is charged with reading all those applications which have been submitted for the advertised position. Depending on circumstances there could be dozens of applications to review. The school wants the best candidate for the vacant position after all. So, there sits the member of staff who has to open all the envelopes and review them. Is he going to have time to read each one in detail? Probably not. But he will scan that letter of interest which you have written looking for a couple of features which set you apart from the other applicants.
 
One of the goals of the letter of...
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Are You the Right Person for Our Job?
For starters we won't know unless you present your application in the format and in the manner we specify.
When we advertise a position, we expect to receive hundreds of applications and resumes. Some of these are from people we know. Most are from people we do not know. Why should I look at your resume? Here are some reasons why your application will go onto the "Review" pile.

1. It is presented in the format which we specified.
Following instructions is a trait most employers value. As a result, a simple thing like following the instructions for how to apply for the job opening at our school is going to speak volumes about you. We use a standardized application form at our school in order to comply with all sorts of legal requirements. So, if you use something other than the form we specify, your chances of making the first cut are fairly slim. Some schools will let you choose the application format. Others are very specific. Follow each school's instructions to the letter.

For example, this school wants you to apply via email in a format you choose. "Please send resume to hr@xxxxx.edu with “Journalism” in the subject line."

This school wants you to send a formal application via snail mail: "Candidates for all faculty positions should send a letter of interest, resume, a list of three references and academic transcripts"

Yet another school cautions applicants: "Please do not submit any documents in PDF format."

The important thing for you to remember is that each school is unique. It does things its way. That, after all, is the essence of being a...
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Your Teaching Contract Hasn't Been Renewed?
Private school teachers are not unionized. So, if the school decides not to renew your contract, you have little recourse. Here are five suggestions for safe-guarding your employment.
You thought that you were doing a good job. Your students seemed to like you. You interacted well with the parents. But there it is: the dreaded letter stating that the school will not be renewing your contract for the coming academic year. Unfortunately, since private school teachers are not unionized, there is very little recourse. Obviously you need to make sure that you leave with good references if at all possible. Certainly not with negative references.

Here are five things which you must do to prevent that non-renewal letter from being issued in the first place.

1. Show that you love teaching young people.
I mention this in the first slot because every now and then a school will hire a displaced college professor. What do I mean? Academia has been shedding jobs during this economic downturn. As a result hundreds of very well-degreed graduate students are looking at all their options. Teaching in a private school beats being unemployed. And the school is often only to happy to hire somebody who interviews well and looks terrific on paper. However, if you don't demonstrate your love for teaching young people, you could find yourself in a bad spot come contract renewal time.

The advantage which you have is that you probably have rock solid academic credentials, i.e., you went to a good university or two and graduated with top marks. That in itself makes you a good academic role model for your students. Schools like that. The other advantage is that your...
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Why Should I Hire You?
Let's think about the employment process from the point of view of your making me want to hire you. Here are some points to ponder.
Let's think about the employment process from the point of view of your making me want to hire you. Here are some points to ponder.

The premise
First of all, let's assume that I am the head of school at a private school in the suburbs of a major American city. We serve students from Prekindergarten through Post Graduate year. We offer a fairly traditional college preparatory program in our high school. There are esentially three schools within our community: a lower, a middle and an upper school. While the academic programs have their own distinctive components, we share facilities and staff across the curriculum as needed. We offer an extensive range of clubs and extracurricular activities which are guided by our faculty. Our sports program is professionally directed but faculty are expected to assist with sports they have played or coach a team where we do not have a professional coach.

Now why should I hire you?
For starters we have received well over 150 applications for the position of English teacher in the high school. Was your application submitted on time? Was it submitted using the format which we specified? Does it have the names of three professional references which we can contact after we interview you? My administrative assistant will look for those things as we receive applications. Any applications which are missing required information will be put in a secondary group of applications. Meaning, we will review applications which are complete and select the top five to come in...
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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.