Jobs in Private Schools
Applying for a job at a private school is a little different from posting your resume on Monster.com, which is what you would do if you were seeking a position in the business world. In the K-12 private school employment market, you present your application materials in the format and manner set forth on each individual school's website. In other words, you customize every application you submit. One size does not fit all. Each application requires an original cover letter, not one which you have used on another application. In case you think that this detail doesn't matter, remember that dozens of other applicants, i.e., your competitors for the position, will have followed specific application instructions to the letter. And that is as it should be. Don't question a school's application instructions. Do as it asks. Of course, when you have questions, do not hesitate to call the school and ask for clarification. Most of the time schools will be happy to help.
Let's take a look behind the scenes. I screened applications and interviewed candidates for almost two decades. My company did not specify a format for applying. It used Monster.com to find candidates who seemed to have the qualifications and experience which we were seeking. But I was always amazed, and sometimes shocked, by the resumes and the occasional cover letters which we received. Can you imagine submitting a cover letter or completing an application online with typos and spelling mistakes? I saw hundreds of those.
1. 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! Unlike public schools where language skills are necessary just to deal with a non-English speaking population, private schools offer academic courses in French, Spanish
and Mandarin language and literature. Many of these courses lead to AP level examinations. You will have the opportunity to use that honors degree work in foreign languages to your advantage.
2. Hold specialist certifications.
An ESL certificate or a reading specialist certificate will virtually guarantee you employment for life at many schools. Schools which enrol non-English speaking students frequently require those students to master English at a very high level in order to complete their academic course work with good grades. 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
I have interviewed hundreds of job applicants over the years. I can assure you that a job interview will contain all kinds of traps. Sometimes the interviewer sets the traps. She will build questions into her interview script so she can see how you handle unexpected situations. Other times you will unknowingly set a trap for yourself by making a statement which the interviewer determines is worth exploring in greater detail. Against that backdrop, let's review how to handle some of those traps which might occur when you interview for that job as the math teacher at St. Agatha's Academy.
1. Do some role playing.
Preparing for a job interview is an essential part of the process if you truly want the job. That's because the competition is a lot tougher these days. Public schools and colleges and universities have been down-sizing their teaching staffs. There are many reasons for this, but the bottom line is that more qualified education professionals are applying for teaching jobs than ever before.
How should you prepare for your interview? A few weeks before your interview do some role playing, enlist the aid of a trusted friend or family member to play the part of the interviewer. Dress up in your interview outfit. Do the role playing in a setting similar to what you might expect for the interview, such as an office or a table in Starbucks. The 16th-century adage that 'practice makes perfect' applies to your job interview. You will be amazed at the