What's going on here? Aren't those schools sending the wrong message to their students? Not if the school takes the view that sexual preferences and one's life style are a strictly personal matter. As long as a teacher or staff member is qualified and competent, what does his sexuality matter.
We live in a far different world than was the case a generation or two ago. The old customs and mores have forever changed. To be sure being gay generates controversy and division in communities. Look at the serious schism which has occurred in the Anglican Church as a result of the ordination of an openly gay bishop.
Nonetheless, it takes courage for a board of trustees to employ openly gay staff. That's exactly what Phillips Andover did in 2000. The only catch is that the staff must sign an affidavit confirming that their relationship is a committed one. The lesson and example being taught here is profound: that a committed relationship deserves respect and should be upheld. Students who are seeking answers about their own sexuality will feel more inclined to discuss such serious matters without fear of retribution or derision. If a school is to truly champion diversity, then allowing faculty to live on campus in committed relationships is just one more aspect in teaching
If there is one thing which I have learned over many years of teaching, it is that our students learn by example. They learn not only the lessons which we try to teach them, but also lessons which by their very nature are perhaps more subtle and implied. These are the lessons which children often learn by osmosis or example.
I also know that the lessons learned and the impressions made when a child is young last a life-time. This is one of the biggest responsibilities which we teachers and parents have as adults. Young minds process information quite differently than adult minds do. We have to constantly be aware of that. That doesn't mean that we have to dumb down information and concepts. It just means that we can assume nothing when it comes to how a child's mind will process the information it receives.
The following is pure fiction, of course, but it makes one wonder how things might have turned out if some of these teachers had tried a different approach. Perhaps if they had framed their arguments differently or taken the time to ensure that their students understood what was been taught, there might have been different results.
Setting: High on one of the seven hills of Rome
Aurelius Flagellus Horribilis looked up from his table. The three discipuli in his charge were supposed to be working on their times tables. "What is taking them so long?" Flagellus muttered to himself, and got
Questions You Need To Ask Yourself
If you have not interwoven technology into your life, then look at some profession other than teaching. Private schools have been in the vanguard of technology use in the classroom since the mid 1990's. Being a digital dinosaur will simply not cut it these days.
Have you stopped learning?
If you have, then find something else to do. Teaching is all about being a life-long learner. After all, that is what you are encouraging your young charges to be, isn't it? Your intellectual curiosity must never die. It is the hallmark of a good teacher.
Do you bristle at change?
You need to look elsewhere if you cannot stand change. Teaching is not a static profession. True, some things stay the same. A teacher will always stimulate, inspire, guide and direct. But what you teach and the way you teach is dynamic. The methodologies and presentation are changing constantly to adapt to new circumstances.
Is your network up to date?
Years ago if you wanted to be a private school teacher, you went to college, got a degree in your subject, took a few education courses and began teaching. It's not that easy these days. Most private schools want you to be a trained teacher as well as to have a degree in your subject. But most private schools also want you to be trained to teach the way they want you to teach. After all the teaching is what a private school is all about. The better the teaching, the better the students learn.
The bottom line is that parents send their children to private school for the most part to receive the very best education their money can buy. As a result, employing well-qualified, credentialed faculty is a top priority. This short video clip is one of several clips explaining how to become a private school teacher.
Duties of a private school teacher
Miss Porter's School's description of the duties of a teacher are fairly typical.
"Classroom responsibilities involve four or five courses per academic year and faculty members are expected to contribute to the extra-curricular life of the school and share some dormitory and residential school responsibilities. Qualifications for all teaching positions, therefore, include a demonstrated interest in coaching or coordinating extra-curricular activities and a willingness to fulfill evening and weekend duties.Bachelor's degree required for all faculty positions; Master's preferred."
The important point to note here is that you will do more than simply