Jobs in Private Schools

This section focuses on tools, tips and articles related to working in a private school. We’ll cover marketing yourself, resume tips and contract negotiations. Learn more about the availability of private school jobs, the difference between a cover letter and letter of interest, and what impact you can have as a teacher.
View the most popular articles in Jobs in Private Schools:
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Job Interviews: Illegal Questions
It is illegal for an interviewer to ask certain questions at your job interview. Be aware of what they can and cannot ask you.

The questions which you will encounter in your job interview for a private school teaching job depend on the experience and skill of your interviewer.  Most of the time the interviewer will be well-trained and experienced. She will ask questions which are legal. However, you should be aware that even the most experienced interviews can and do slip up occasionally and ask questions which are illegal according to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The Civil Rights Act of l964 “prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin.” Put another way, you have rights and it is very important that you know and understand them.

Read Daniel Bortz' article on Monster.com, Illegal interview questions that employers shouldn't ask you. That will give you an overview of how things work in the corporate world as well as in small business like private schools. The problem with small organizations is that they don't always have the human resources professionals on staff to remind them of legalities such as what you can and cannot ask at a job interview.

Here are some of the things which are considered illegal for the interviewer to ask about. Incidentally, both federal and state laws consider questions about these issues illegal.

  • Race, Color, or National Origin
  • Religion
  • Sex, Gender Identity, or Sexual Orientation
  • Pregnancy status
  • Disability
  • Age or Genetic Information
  • Citizenship
  • Marital Status or Number of Children

So, what do you do when an interviewer asks about any of these things? Don't answer. Depending on the situation, you could

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Private School Job Searching 101
Here is a guide for teachers and administrators seeking employment in private schools. Think of it as a roadmap for the job search process.

Here is a guide for teachers and administrators seeking employment in private schools. Think of it as a roadmap for the job search process. I wrote this for teachers, as well as admissions and business office professionals and those seeking positions as dean of students and head of school. I have drawn most of the advice from my own experience in the field. Some of it is plain, old-fashioned common sense.  I have also included some tips and strategies for dealing with today's job markets. You will find plenty of practical advice about applying, networking, using job boards and much more.  I know that your goal is to get that all important first interview. So, with that in mind, let's get started.

Apply correctly.

You must follow each individual school's specific application instructions to the letter.  If you don't follow their instructions, the staff member charged with screening applications will probably not file your application in the "To Be Interviewed" folder.  Your application will end up in a folder with all the other applications which don't appear to meet their requirements at first glance.  Back in the days before email and Monster.com, I had to open the mail from teachers looking for employment with the Anglican Education Association in The Bahamas. I could tell at a glance whether we would interview the applicant. Cover letters hand-written on a page torn from an exercise book never made the cut.

This video offers tips for completing emplyment applications.

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Is Your Skill-set Still on Release 1.0?
It is easy to fall into the trap of not keeping your skill-set current. There's no time and no need anyway. We look at why you need to keep things current and offer some suggestions as to how to proceed.

This is a tough question for many of us teachers to deal with. Why? Because many of us are convinced that we don't need to update our skill-set now that we have found our dream teaching position in a wonderful school. We are set, right? Not exactly. As we all know things can change in a flash. Against this backdrop let's you and I explore your skill-set and offer some suggestions as to how to do some necessary upgrades.

Why do you need to upgrade your skill-set?

As I pointed out in the opening paragraph, your circumstances can change in a flash. The most common reason for suddenly needing a new teaching position is a major change your family circumstances. A member of your family who lives in another state has an accident or becomes seriously ill requiring your presence in the area. While you could take Family Medical Leave, it has become obvious to you that the best solution is for you to move closer to your family member so that you can supervise his care and generally be there for him. That means you will need to look for a new teaching job.

In the following TEDx Talk, Jean-Michel Gauthier explains why your job applications are getting ignored.

The important thing to understand is that life can deal some unexpected cards. You thought you were set. Suddenly you are not. That is the reason why you must upgrade your skill-set.

Does your skill-set need updating?

Assess your skill-set

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3 Tips for an Effective Private School Job Search
Use these tips to tweak your job search strategies as you seek employment in a private school.
If you have not looked for a teaching job in a couple of years or perhaps are just beginning to think about future career moves, then these three job search tips are worth thinking about.
 
1. Have a Strong Marketability Quotient.
 
It is a very competitive job market generally. Employers want the best possible candidate for the job. Dozens, sometimes hundreds, of candidates apply for available positions. Private schools are no different. So, how do you stand out from the crowd? By offering 3 or more of the following skills or credentials, you will position yourself for greater success in the private school employment market.
Speak and teach a second language. Teachers who speak French, Spanish and Mandarin are much in demand in any school. Add a degree and certifications in those subjects to your credentials and you will be a 'hot'  property!
 
Hold specialist certifications. An ESL certificate or a reading specialist certificate will virtually guarantee you employment for life at many schools. An ESL certified teacher is an integral part of the teaching strategy and an important element in a diverse community. A reading specialist can effectively remediate reading and comprehension skills allowing the language arts teachers to focus on coursework.
 
Be an AP exam reader. A little prestige never hurts. If you are or have been an AP reader in Art History, Chinese Language and Culture, Environmental Science, European History, Government and Politics, Human Geography, Japanese Language and Culture, Music Theory, Spanish Language, Spanish Literature and
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Are You Liable?
Is your DEL key about to get gaveled? It doesn't matter whether you teach in a public or private school setting. You expose yourself to legal risks every single day on the job.

These are tough times for teachers. It doesn't matter whether you teach in a public or private school setting. You expose yourself to legal risks every single day on the job.  Some people think that teachers have a soft job. Public school teachers only have to work ten months of the year. Most private school teachers have it even better as they usually work a nine-month year. Of course, that's a distorted view of the profession. Many teachers teach summer sessions or run summer camps. They might have a month of vacation if they are lucky. Lurking on the sidelines is the question of liability. Yes, teachers can be held liable for all sorts of things which make no sense. The problem is that American society is very litigious. Folks will sue in a nanosecond. Lawsuits, as you well know, are time-consuming, expensive, and, in the worst cases can be career-limiting events.

So, let's look at liability from our point of view as teachers. Disclaimer: I am not an attorney, so read my layperson's comments and observations, then run questions by and seek advice from your attorney. The mnemonic DIRE lays out some of the issues we need to watch for. Protecting yourself is very important. Nobody else will look out for your interests as well as you will.

Everyday risks

Your chances of getting sued are probably on a par with having an accident while driving. When you drive carefully, observe the rules of the road, stay alert and drive defensively,

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Jobs in Private Schools

Basics

Here you'll find valuable information on finding jobs within the private school sector. Get the basics on everything from job searches to salary and contract negotiations. Explore the dos and don’ts of private school employment and learn your marketability quotient.

Applying and Interviewing

Learn more about applying and interviewing for jobs in a private school. Here we'll cover everything from cover letters to interview questions. Get tips on common application mistakes, how to ask good questions during your interview, and marketing yourself.

Teacher

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.