It's kind of scary to realize that most openings for teaching positions regularly draw dozens of applications. Sometimes hundreds of applications. It never used to be like that. But these are tough times. Thousands of public school teachers lost their jobs in the downturn which began back in 2008. Thousands more new teachers are looking for their first job. In the meantime school budgets have been reduced, some drastically, by changing community demographics and changes in the local and regional economies. These are major factors which have changed the dynamics for teachers all over the nation. The realignments which follow these major changes take time to fall into place. For example, when a major employer shuts down a call center, an office or a plant, it will be years in most cases before that void is filled.
While many teachers might well prefer to remain in the public K-12 system or possibly teach at the tertiary level, the realities of the job market mean that those same teachers will also be competing for private school positions. In most cases the best a K-12 teacher can hope for as far as teaching college is concerned is some sort of adjunct instructor position. The reality is that those teachers will probably be applying for the same positions private school teachers are applying for as well.
Here are some tips to help you cope with the job search process in these tough times.
Be realistic in your expectations both of the position
If you about to graduate from college or have graduated recently, and are thinking about going into teaching, you will find it worthwhile to consider one of the intern programs which many private schools offer. The reason why private schools offer teaching internships is that they want to shape their future teachers to teach in the way they want them to teach. Each private school is a free-standing, independent school with its own approach to teaching and its own curriculum. While it is always beneficial to hire an experienced teacher, the school still has to adapt that teacher to the school's way of doing things.
Teaching in a private school also is not simply about teaching in the classroom. Teaching in a private school requires you to be involved in extracurricular activities and athletics as well. Teaching in a private school means that you are teaching the whole child. These intern teacher programs which you will explore offer the opportunity to do all that and to learn how teaching in a private school really works. An internship typically has a light teaching load and is mentored constantly. The possibilities for some serious learning about and understanding of teaching abound. This short video shows Exeter's choir and orchestra getting ready for a concert. Just think! If you are a musician, you could be involved with this kind of extracurricular activity.
Yes, many private schools have teacher intern programs. And, no, they are paid
If you are looking for a teaching job, then you probably understand how tough the employment situation is. Because of significant budget cuts in the public school sector, tens of thousands of qualified, experienced teachers are looking for employment. Add to that very sizable candidate pool all the newly-minted teachers graduating from our nation's 670 accredited schools of education, and you can readily see how very competitive the market is. Naturally some areas of the country are more severely impacted than others. Within those areas there will be a few school districts in a few communities which have been able to hold their own. The issue with public school funding has much to do with the fact that a substantial portion of a school district's budget comes from local property taxes. School districts in affluent communities usually will fare better than districts which have a decreasing tax base.
While this oversupply of experienced, qualified teachers is an advantage for private schools because it increases the applicant pool, this situation does make it much more competitive for those of you who want to secure a private school teaching job. Finding employment in a private school works a bit differently from finding employment in the public sector. I suggest that you review my Job Search Resources to understand the mechanics of finding private school employment. I have covered the subject from every angle I could think of. I also spent 17 years in the corporate environment