In this fictional conversation, a job seeker and I chat about looking for employment in a private school.
Q. Do I need to have a teaching certificate to teach in a private school?
A. Not necessarily. It depends on the school. Some schools will employ you without a teaching certificate with the requirement that you obtain one within a stated time frame, typically a year.
Q. Do I need an education degree to teach in a private school?
A. Most private schools value degrees in a subject. For example, if you are presenting yourself as an English teacher, they will look for a bachelor's degree with a major in American or English Language and Literature. The teaching skills and methodology which you could learn if you did an education degree will be useful; however, most private schools will require
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.
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,