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.
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Updated June 07, 2017 |
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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Updated May 26, 2016 |
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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Updated June 01, 2016 |
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
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Updated May 25, 2016 |
Is Your Job Search So 2008?
If you have not looked for a job in the past several years, your job search probably needs a refresh. Here's how to do it.
It's late fall/early winter. Suddenly you begin to put all the hints and signals together. That promotion which you were counting on is most likely going to one of your colleagues, not you. After you rehash what is probably going to happen and why, then you decide that it's time to move on. A change of scenery and new challenges will do you a world of good, right? Absolutely. Now how to make it happen?
 
First of all it dawns on you that your curriculum vitae is out of date. You haven't revised your resume in years. Sadly you realize that your resume and all your other job-searching skills are so, well, 2010. What are you going to do? Not to worry. Here are some strategies for the very competitive job market of today.
 
Get involved. Stay involved.
 
Hopefully when you arrived at St. Swithin's five years ago, you decided to get involved. I'm not talking about involvement at school. That's expected.  Indeed it is probably a contractual obligation. What I have in mind is your involvement in local community activities. Belonging to a service club or singing in the local choral society, for example, gets you out meeting people. Did you attend any workshops offered by your state independent school association? Better yet, did you help organize a workshop? What about those regional, state or national conferences in your subject area? Yes, it requires time and effort and no small expense to attend these kinds of professional gatherings. But you need
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Updated February 08, 2017 |
What About Being an Intern?
Thinking of teaching in an independent school? Several schools have teaching internship programs. Here's what's involved.

If you about to graduate from college or have graduated recently, and are thinking about going into teaching, you will find it worthwhile to consider one of the intern programs which many private schools offer. The reason why private schools offer teaching internships is that they want to shape their future teachers to teach in the way they want them to teach. Each private school is a free-standing, independent school with its own approach to teaching and its own curriculum. While it is always beneficial to hire an experienced teacher, the school still has to adapt that teacher to the school's way of doing things.

Teaching in a private school also is not simply about teaching in the classroom. Teaching in a private school requires you to be involved in extracurricular activities and athletics as well. Teaching in a private school means that you are teaching the whole child. These intern teacher programs which you will explore offer the opportunity to do all that and to learn how teaching in a private school really works. An internship typically has a light teaching load and is mentored constantly. The possibilities for some serious learning about and understanding of teaching abound. This short video shows Exeter's choir and orchestra getting ready for a concert. Just think! If you are a musician, you could be involved with this kind of extracurricular activity.

Yes, many private schools have teacher intern programs. And, no, they are paid

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BASICS