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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Private School Employment: Questions And Answers
In this fictional conversation, a job seeker and I chat about looking for employment in a private school.

In this fictional conversation, a job seeker and I chat about looking for employment in a private school.

 

Credentials

 

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

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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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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.
 
In this video, Don Straits shows you how to think outside the box.
 
 
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
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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 road, stay alert and drive defensively,

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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
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Jobs in Private Schools

BASICS