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:
The Private School Survival Guide for Teachers
There are several differences between teaching in a private school versus teaching in a public school.
Perhaps you are thinking about teaching in a private school in the future or maybe you have just started teaching in a private school for the current academic year. This article is written with you in mind. If you are coming from a public school, you will find several differences. If you have never taught at all, then the following are points and issues to consider.

No unions or bureaucracy
Public school teachers are unionized as a rule. This has its good points and its bad points depending on who you ask. Private school teachers are not unionized. As a result, you will need to be flexible and adaptable. Basically your job is whatever the school determines it to be depending on the exigencies of the moment and the day. One important consideration, however: if you are accustomed to telling an administrator "That's not my job." then perhaps you will need to look elsewhere for a teaching job. In a private school flexibility is critical. Everybody pitches in to get whatever needs to be done accomplished.

Another difference is that you won't have to deal with layers of bureaucracy to get simple things done. Private schools are generally small, close-knit communities where everybody knows everybody. Getting something fixed or some supplies replensihed is not ordinarily a big deal. Floating a new idea and bringing that idea to fruition is generally easier in a smaller school setting. Not so many people to convince.

Students who want to be there
Students attend private school because their...
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Conducting a Job Search Via the Web
The Web offers job seekers all sorts of efficiencies. The same is true with respect to private school job searching.
Conducting a job search for a private school position via the Web is efficient and practical. You can use the Web to find job listings, to gather information, to apply and to interview. Let's explore these options in more detail.

Find Job Listings
The advantage jobseekers in the 21st century have over previous generations is without doubt the Web. The Internet allows you to learn about job openings immediately they are posted online. This also applies to teachers and administrators looking for employment in private schools. Most schools will at the very least have an Employment link on their sites. There may not be much on it at certain times of the year when there are no vacancies. But at least it's a link to which you can return from time to time to see what openings a school has. Job boards and agencies provide online listings as well. Bear in mind that there are peak times to the private school job search process. Typically November through February is the
time when your colleagues are out there looking as well. Schools generally like to have contracts for the next academic year signed and sealed by the beginning of March. As a result you will probably find the most online listings beginning in the fall. Are there exceptions? Of course, but they are just that: exceptions. Schools will always have unexpected openings. Teachers and administrators will occasionally find themselves in the midst of unexpected and unplanned for life events and changes. However, as...
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Your Job Application: Making It Easy to Read
Making your job application easy to read will help your application make the first cut.
When you apply for a private school teaching or administrative position, you will be faced with many choices with respect to presentation of your personal data and information. If you are instructed to complete an online application or a downloadable application form, that resolves the issue of 'making your application easy to read'. The school will have removed all those decisions from you and the other applicants.

On the other hand, if you are faced with a free form situation with little or no guidance from the school as to what to present, then the tough choices are yours to make. The guiding principle in any free form employment application is to make the best possible impression. You can do that by making sure your employment application is clear, perfect and tailored to suit the specific position for which you are applying.

Clarity
Creating a clear, compelling resume sounds simple enough. Unfortunately most people do not craft a resume which presents them in the best possible light. The trick to writing a good resume is to write it knowing that somebody who has never met you and knows nothing about you is going to read it and make a judgement about whether to interview you or not. Second chances are unlikely. You need to get it right the first time.

Nowhere is clarity more important than in that small paragraph which most resumes caption as "Objective". This is where you state why you want the job for which you are applying.  This will...
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Asking Good Questions
Asking good questions at your job interview will improve your chances. Conversely asking bad questions will damage them.
Every interviewer appreciates being asked questions. Just remember that you will be judged, as indeed you are being judged constantly, on the quality of questions you ask. So, what would be considered good questions in a private school job interview situation?

First of all, let's get the bad questions out of the way. That will help you focus on the good questions.

Bad Questions

Never ask questions which impute anything negative about your present or former schools. The private school community is small. Everybody knows everybody. It just doesn't make sense to speak ill of colleagues, even though what you say may well be true. Any display of negative energy will be a potential red flag in your interview. Too many red flags will eliminate you from further consideration. A single red flag, no matter how minor or insignificant, could still be something your future employer might ask about when he checks your references. You certainly don't want to unleash a torrent of criticism from your old boss when he is asked why you disliked the faculty meal arrangements.

Do your homework carefully before asking any question which could even remotely be considered negative. That means you need to find that trusted friend or mentor who helped you with your interview attire and did some role-playing with you. Ask him those questions which you aren't sure about. See if they sound negative to him.

Avoid questions which are irrelevant to the position which you seek. Extraneous questions, unless they are part of small talk...
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Your Job Search Is Taking Forever
A search for a teaching job in the midst of a severe recession takes much longer than it does in good economic times. Here's how to handle this situation.
It can be very frustrating and demoralizing to search and search for a job and not find one. That's the reality, unfortunately, of this nasty recession which began in 2009. Common sense would tell you that well-qualified, credentialled, experienced teachers should be able to find a teaching job in fairly short order, say 90-120 days, right? Wrong. That's the sad truth about the current economic conditions. Here's why.

Many school districts have cut teaching positions.

It has been hard to avoid hearing reports in both national and local media about cutbacks in public school district teaching staffs. Public school districts depend on real estate taxes for most of their revenues. Their traditional sources of revenue are shrinking at an alarming rate because real estate prices are off 20-30% in most parts of the country. In some states like California and Florida the drop is even more severe. Even with the usual kind of accounting manoeuvres such as delaying expenditures for maintenance projects and upgrades of systems and infrastructure, school districts still find themselves in the uncomfortable and extremely unpopular position of having to cut teaching positions.

As a result thousands more teachers are actively looking for jobs. The competition has intensified for the limited number of jobs available in both the public and private school sectors.

Colleges and universities have reduced their teaching staffs.

If you are tenured faculty, you still have a job in most cases. But many colleges and universities have reduced their teaching staffs wherever they can. Simply put,...
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Part of the private school selection process is financial aid. We point out five issues about which you should be aware.
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.