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.
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Updated May 26, 2016 |
Be Careful What You Post in Facebook!
Teachers need to learn how to be Facebook savvy. Otherwise Facebook will cause them lots of problems.
As part of my research for this article I googled "teacher fired for posting in Facebook" and got 702,000 results. Well, not all are relevant, but you get my point.

My warning is simple and very clear: if you are employed by a school (or would like to be) do not post anything on Facebook which could be misinterpreted by your present or future employer.

The issue is not freedom of speech. The issue is electronic media. It is everlasting.

Facebook posts can be shared. They can turn up on Google searches. They can be used against  you by people who don't like you. Even when you supposedly didn't give them permission to do so.

So against this sobering backdrop, let's explore what's involved with Facebook.

1. "But my privacy settings were ultra-strict."
That's understandable. You only want to share your information with your friends and family. But remember: once you post something on Facebook, it's out there. It's no longer private. If one of your 'friends' decides to forward that photo of you hoisting a glass of champagne on your 30th birthday, that simple act of 'sharing' could cost you your job. It has done that for several teachers according to news reports which I found.

It's not just photos which can get you in trouble. It's your comments about your work or your students. If you want to self-destruct, then by all means post something like "My parents are arrogant snobs".
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Updated May 26, 2016 |
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 just started teaching in a private school during 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 between teaching in public school and teaching in a private school. The differences are even more pronounced if you take a teaching position in a boarding school. If you have never taught at all, then the following article wil raise points and issues  for you to consider.
Students who want to be there
Teachers want to teach. We love our subject. We want to share it with our students. Unfortunately it can be difficult to teach when you are more concerned about maintaining order in your classroom than you are with actually teaching. When you have a large class of, say, 30 or 40 students, maintaining order is an ever-present issue. On the other hand teaching a small class of, say 12-15 students, allows you to engage your students more or less constantly. It is very difficult for students not to be engaged when the size of the class is small. 

Students attend private school because their parents want them to get a first rate education. The admissions process can be quite rigorous involving as it does testing and interviews to determine if the student is a good fit for the school and vice-versa. As a result, you
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Updated May 26, 2016 |
Are You a 21st Century Teacher?
21st century schools need 21st century teachers. Are you a 21st century teacher?

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

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Updated June 25, 2014 |
Don't Leave Any Evidence!
Future and current employers can find out all sorts of things about you these days. Make sure that you don't leave behind any damning electronic evidence.
Many teachers don't realize that conversations, activities and photographs which they considered personal and private are out there for anybody to see. If you have a Facebook page and Twitter, you have to understand that you are leaving all kinds of electronic evidence for potential employers, or anybody, for that matter, to see. Why does this matter? It matters because you never know how a future or current employer might interpret some of the things he sees on your Facebook page. Those candid photos of you and your friends enjoying a post-exam beer bash might be difficult to explain when you apply to St. Andrew's Methodist School. If you already have a position in a private school, you can be virtually guaranteed that your students will be searching the internet with a fine toothed comb looking for something - anything - about you. Make sure that whatever they find is squeaky clean and beyond reproach. If it isn't, the headmaster and trustees will learn about it faster than you can say "You're fired!"

Twitter is the hottest instant communications tool we have seen in a long time. It's great for zapping comments back and forth with your friends. But what if you make some frank comment about what a pain your dean is or how fat the athletic director is? How do you know that your comments aren't being retweeted to somebody else who knows your dean or that rotund AD? Next thing you know you are
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Updated May 25, 2016 |
What Is Praxis?
Praxis is part of the teacher licensing process many states require.
What is Praxis?
Most states require public school teachers to be licensed. Part of the licensing process is taking and passing Praxis I and/or Praxis II. Praxis I tests your competence in Reading, Writing and Mathematics. Many education programs will accept Paxis I scores in place of SAT or ACT scores. They basically test the same kind of readiness for tertiary level academic work.
Praxis II consists of subject or content tests. These are offered in standard subject areas such as Spanish, physics, language arts and so on. If you seek to be licensed as a physics teacher, for example, you would pass the Praxis II exam in physics as part of that requirement.
Where Do You Take the Tests?
Most people take the computer-delivered tests. These are held at testing centers in your local area. The Praxis site has a convenient test center locator. You register for the test at a time of your choosing online. You pay the fees online. The fee scale ranges from $50 to $139 depending on how you bundle the various tests.
Praxis and Private School Teacher Certifications
While private schools are not required to employ licensed teachers, they do value those credentials. Licensing establishes a teacher's adherence to a standard of teaching practice, just as a degree in your subject establishes your knowledge and understanding of that subject. Put another way, a teaching license on its own proves that you have met certain minimum standards in the art and skill of teaching. You wouldn't have an angioplasty done
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