Jobs in Private Schools
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.
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.
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
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.
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,