What About Being an Intern?

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What About Being an Intern?
Thinking of teaching in an independent school? Several schools have teaching internship programs. Here's what's involved.
Yes, many private schools have teacher intern programs. And, no, they are paid positions. Now that we have those two questions out of the way, let's explore what's involved with private school teacher intern programs.

Who is eligible?
Recent college graduates are what most independent schools are looking for. The appointments usually are for one year and are full-time positions. Schools look for young men and women who have a degree in a specific subject area and can make a meaningful contribution to the life of the school and who are passionate about their subject.

What's involved?
You get to teach under the watchful eye of a mentor assigned to you. If you are in a boarding school (most internships seem to be at boarding schools for whatever reasons) you will also be assigned a dorm in which to live where you will act as a residential advisor or counselor. A permanent member of staff will have overall responsibility for the dormitory in which you will be living. You will also be expected to coach a sport or perhaps supervise an extracurricular activity.

Why go this route?
The most compelling reason has to be the reality that you will get to teach the subject you love to young people who want to learn. Better yet, because of the strict codes of honor independent schools have in place you won't have to worry about dealing with a class full of unruly teens. They want to excel just like you did. Another advantage to interning in an
independent school is that the classes are small. 12-15 students is the norm. That means you can cover a lot of ground. Indeed that will be expected. All the while you are receiving feedback from your mentor.

How do you apply?
Most intern openings are highly competitive. The application process varies from school to school. Don't leave anything to chance if you are serious about applying for an internship. Work with a trusted advisor to hone your interview skills. The more you can offer in the way of sports, especially sports other than the mainstream ones, or activities such as chess,
drama, forensics, etc., the better.

The actual mechanics of applying usually entail a cover letter, a resume, letters of recommendation (usually three) and your academic transcripts. Have a trusted advisor review your cover letter and resume. They must be flawless and presented professionally.

When do you apply?
Again, the applications procedure varies from school to school. Typically the deadlines will be at the end of the calendar year. Decisions are made and announced within a few months. Be sure to check the employment section of school web sites for full details about any intern or teaching fellowship programs offered.

Where will an internship lead?
Hopefully the internship will lead to graduate work or an at another independent school. A successful internship enhances your resume and helps strengthen your network.

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