Let's think about the employment process from the employer's point of view. The person who will interview you has a list of reasons why she might want to hire you. Your task is to convince her that she can safely check all the boxes and report to her superior that you are ideal for the opening. To make that happen, here are some points to ponder.
First of all, assume that I am the head of school at a private school in the suburbs of a major American city. Our school serves students in grades Prekindergarten through Post Graduate year. There are essentially three schools within our community: a lower, a middle and an upper school. We offer a fairly traditional college preparatory program in our high school. We currently have 16 Advanced Placement courses. 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; however, we expect our faculty to assist with sports which they have played or to coach a team where we do not have a professional coach.
Note: You should be able to discover all of this information from the school's website. It is relatively easy to discern the main features of the various programs at that source. Do this as part of your preparation for the interview. You will be able to ask better
Conducting a job search for a private school position via the Web is efficient and practical compared to the way we used to have to do it years ago. These days you can find job listings on the Web, gather information, apply for jobs, and even interview. Let's explore these options in more detail.
Find Job Listings
Without a doubt, the advantage job seekers in the 21st century have over previous generations is the Web. The Internet allows you to learn about any job opening the minute it is posted online. The same applies to niche employment such as teaching and administrative positions in private schools. At the very least, most schools will have an employment link on their sites. There may not be many listings depending on the time of the year. However, bookmark the employment links for schools in which you have an interest. Job boards and agencies provide online listings as well. Bear in mind that there are peak times in the private school job search process. Typically, November through February is the time when your colleagues are out in force there looking for jobs as well. Most private schools 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 highest number of online listings beginning in the fall.
Many schools find it convenient to arrange interviews before and after national and regional conferences. Keep those dates in mind. It makes sense to allocate
This is another article in a series which focuses on how to apply for private school employment. You are probably reading this, and thinking that applying for a job at a private school is just like applying for any other job. In some respects you are right. The actual application process will be similar. However, the questions which you will have to answer will require in-depth responses. Also, you will have to supply three references which the school will call if you make it to the shortlist of candidates. Understand these differences and distinctions so that you can beat out the competition. Yes, private school teaching positions are very competitive in most areas of the country.
When you apply for a private school teaching or administrative position, you will encounter several ways of presenting 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. Here is an example of an online application used by a Chicago private school.
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, or where the school expects you to write short answers or essays, then the tough choices are yours to make. The guiding principle for any free form
First of all, let's get the bad questions out of the way. That will help you focus on the good 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.