Finding a private high school teaching position is similar to finding any other job with specific requirements for experience and education. The difference lies in the fact that most private schools will expect you to be an active member of their school community. Put another way it is not enough simply to teach your subject and go home. You will be expected to be a leader in the school community. Your willingness to be involved in an extracurricular activity and an athletic activity is a job requirement for private school teachers.
It sounds simple enough, but one of the most important things you must do when looking for a teaching job is to make sure your qualifications match the requirements of the position being offered. If you don't make that crystal clear in your resume and cover letter, you might not even make the first cut when your application is opened and reviewed.
Let's look at a typical job posting and review how it should be handled. This is a real job posting. The name of the school has been changed to protect its identity.
|Upper School Mathematics Teacher beginning Fall 2016|
St Swithins seeks an energetic and committed Mathematics teacher for grades 9 - 12 to teach a range of courses in a comprehensive curriculum offering Algebra I through Calculus. This is a full-time, benefited faculty position.
Qualities of a successful candidate will include:
* Ability to inspire students' love of
- Apply Correctly by:
- Manage your Job Search Process by:
- Manage Job Interviews by:
- Protect Your Attitude & Morale if:
DO: Use your network.
Arguably the best way to find a job in a private school is by using your network. These are friends and colleagues who know you, indeed have known you for years, and can talk enthusiatically about you and your skills as a teacher or administrator. Networking is all about meeting people and staying in touch with them. How do you do that? Use all the social and professional networking tools out there. They cost little but reap huge rewards. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and blogs allow you to exchange ideas and comments as well as see what's going on. Professional sites like Independent School Educators Network and ISED-L give you an opportunity to become known in the private school community.
DON'T: Use weak references.
When you submit your job application, you will be asked to include 3-5 references. These people will be called if you make the short list. You must
Dress to the Level of the Job Environment
Teachers are exemplars to the young people they teach. The way you dress sets an example just as your speech patterns do. That being said, it makes a great deal of sense to dress conservatively when you interview for a teaching position.
The standard classic prep look is always acceptable in private school circles. A blue or white oxford cloth button-down shirt paired with an old school tie or rep pattern is understated and elegant. Add khaki or grey slacks to that together with black socks and a slip-on loafer style shoe and you are all set. If you wear bowties, then do so. Not the big floppy kind, but instead a conservative one in a rep pattern will make the right statement. A blue blazer is appropriate in cooler parts of the country. As a rule you should wear your jacket and only remove it if invited to do so. Your hair should be neat and trimmed.
Now, if at this point you are complaining that you will look like the headmaster, that's the point. You want
Are you a 21st century teacher? Are you adapting to new ways of doing things? Are you challenging your students to think critically? Are you preparing them to become global citizens? Yes, I know that you have taught for years. Your students have achieved excellent scores in their Advanced Placement exams. You are highly regarded both in your school community and within your profession. Again, I ask whether you can call yourself a 21st century teacher. Let's review some of the characteristics the 21st century teacher has and why these characteristics are so important.
It is a different world.
As the United States faces unprecedented challenges both at home and abroad, the need for schools to have teachers with a 21st century viewpoint and 21st century skill sets has never been more obvious. Dynamic, visionary teachers are needed to shape the minds of new generations of citizens who will have the abilities and creativity to lead and guide our country. If this sounds radical, it really isn't. It is the same principle and thinking which caused the Phillips family of Exeter and Andover fame to found those highly-rated schools back during the American Revolution. Those school founders knew that the infant nation needed well-schooled, well-trained people to lead it in the years ahead. They believed in this country and the concept of universal education so deeply that they put their money where their mouth was and created schools which still, to this day