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:
Updated March 21, 2017 |
Asking Good Questions
Asking good questions at your job interview will improve your chances. Conversely asking bad questions will damage them.

Most of us job seekers don't have very much experience with interviews. I know that from my many years of being one of those people who interviewed applicants for positions at the firm I worked for back then. It was always obvious to me which candidates had prepared for their interviews, and which had not. 

Personally, I remember being in the same boat myself. As I recall, I was unhappy with the position I held. Honestly, I cannot remember the reasons why I was unhappy, but I started looking for a new job. I emailed my resume replying to a couple of openings and managed to land an interview for one of them. I never prepared for the interview.  I simply turned up and winged it. I just assumed that my resume would show who I was and what I offered. How wrong I was! It was the worst interview experience I have ever had. I had no clue about what the job entailed or what questions to ask. Now, since I don't want you to have a similar experience, let's review some of the things which you can do to prepare for your successful job interview at a private school.

What kind of questions will be asked?

I know that the title of this article is Asking Good Questions. So, you are probably asking yourself why questions which the interviewer will ask are relevant. Good question! The interviewer's questions are relevant because you can use them as jumping-off points for your

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Updated June 23, 2016 |
Your Job Search Is Taking Forever
A search for a teaching job in the midst of a severe recession takes much longer than it does in good economic times. Here's how to handle this situation.

It can be very frustrating and demoralizing to search endlessly for a job and not find one. That's the reality, unfortunately, of this post-recession job market. Common sense would tell you that well-qualified, credentialled, experienced teachers should be able to find a teaching job in fairly short order, say 90-120 days, right? Wrong. That's the sad truth about the current economic conditions. Here's why.

Many school districts have cut teaching positions.

It has been hard to avoid hearing reports in both national and local media about cutbacks in public school district teaching staffs. Public school districts depend on real estate taxes for most of their revenues.  They also expect their state legislatures to contribute additional funding.  However, these traditional sources of revenue have been shrinking at an alarming rate. Even with the usual kind of accounting maneuvers, such as delaying expenditures for maintenance projects and upgrades of systems and infrastructure, school districts still find themselves in the uncomfortable and extremely unpopular position of having to cut teaching positions. Increasing class size is another outcome of these financially hard times.

As a result, thousands of teachers are actively looking for jobs. TMarket conditions have intensified the competition for the limited number of jobs available in both the public and private school sectors.

Colleges and universities have reduced their teaching staffs.

A quick scan of Inside Higher Ed will reveal the tough employment environment in higher education. If you are tenured faculty, hopefully, you still have a job. But many colleges and universities have

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Updated March 21, 2016 |
Answering the Expected Questions
Be prepared for questions which you know will be part of any interview for a private school position.
Part of any private school interview process is answering questions which you know will be asked. Having said that, you need to prepare for your interviews with the same care and attention as you might give your lesson plans. Think through the entire interview. Imagine the questions being asked. Imagine your answers. Remember: not only does the content have to be the best it possibly can be but also the style and delivery which you use must present you in the best possible light.

Some of the more obvious questions include:
  • Why do you want to work at St. Swithin's?
  • Why do you want to leave St. Hilda's?
  • What is the most enjoyable part of your teaching day?
  • What books have you read lately?
  • When do you plan to finish your master's degree?

Regardless of what the actual questions are or the precise wording is, you must try to figure out why the interviewer is asking the question in the first place. Let's use the questions listed above to give you an idea of the sort of thing an interviewer might be looking for.

Why do you want to work at St. Swithin's?

This question or some variation of it generally is used by interviewers to determine what you know about the school. In other words, you need to have done your research about St. Swithin's, its philosophy, its mission and its accomplishments. The school's website is the place to start. Just about everything you might need or want to know is

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Updated May 26, 2016 |
Staying Positive While Unemployed
Staying positive while being unemployed is never easy. But it is a critical part of the process.
If you are one of the thousands of teachers who have been let go because of budget cuts, you are probably looking for another teaching job. Teaching is what you know. Teaching is what you love. After all, you sacrificed greatly to earn your degree. You could have gone into another profession or into business and made much more money. But your idealism and sense of service to your nation's future got the better of you. You became a teacher.
 
Unfortunately finding a new teaching position can be a very unsettling experience. Nothing is the same as it used to be. Years ago you became a teacher, went through a probationary period of several years then were granted tenure, generous benefits and a pension.
 
Then the economic meltdown of 2009 hit. And hit hard. School districts came to grips with budgets slashed deeply because of declining tax revenues. Suddenly thousands of teaching jobs were eliminated. Your job was one of them. It is a phenomenon which has struck just about everywhere. What is even worse is that the teaching jobs which are available often don't come with the kind of generous benefits and tenure which we all had grown accustomed to. That's pretty much a thing of the past in most parts of the country.
 
Use the following video and ones like it to begin to refine your interviewing techniques. You have to have the competitive edge even when interviewing for a teaching job.

The irony is that
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Updated June 06, 2017 |
Making It Accurate and Truthful
You must not fudge the facts on your private school employment application. Tell the truth. Put a positive spin on any potentially negative areas. More here.
An employment application is no place for half-truths. You have to understand that private schools have a fiduciary responsibility to their clients. They cannot afford to hire somebody who might jeopardize the school's reputation or, worse yet, cause harm to students. That is why it is so important to answer all the questions on an employment application truthfully.
 
Background Checks
 
Most private schools will use a service to do background checks on any potential new hires. They will not run the background check until they have interviewed you because background checks are expensive. That's another reason why you need to be truthful about anything in your resume which will arouse probing questions and nix your chances of even being interviewed.
 
This video explains what is involved in a background check.
 

What the background check really examines is your criminal and credit history. If you were charged with a criminal offense or have bad credit, that will show on your background check. Take the offensive and point out that your credit was destroyed by huge medical bills as a result of your mother suffering from Alzheimer's. Don't be creative. Just tell the truth.
 
Expect a drug test at some point in the hiring process. Since views about pot and even alcohol vary widely from one part of the country to another, make sure those tests come out clean. If you have been prescribed a controlled substance which will show up in a drug test, mention it proactively and file a
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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

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