Teacher

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What A Teacher Does

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What A Teacher Does
A teacher wears many hats. Here's a look at her duties and responsibilities.

In all the years I have written about private schools, I have never written anything about what a teacher does. This year after the pandemic, I feel that it is even more critical than ever to encourage and attract people to the profession. Let me preface my remarks by noting that teaching in a private school is somewhat different from teaching in a public school. The only exception to that statement that I can think of would be teaching in rural schools or other places where the school district is very small. Private schools are free-standing entities. There's no such thing as a district of private schools. As a result, a small PK-6 private school could have twelve teachers or less and a correspondingly tiny administrative staff. So, if small-sized schools appeal to you and prefer being in a situation where your voice can be heard, I recommend that you explore teaching in a small school. Of course, there are large PK-13 private schools with 1,000 or more students. Explore working in one of those if that's your thing.

Something which may appeal to those of you thinking about becoming a teacher later in life is that most private schools will accept your credentials without a teaching certificate. They will generally insist that you earn your teaching certification within a fixed period of a year or so. Most private schools focus on the quality of your tertiary education. So, if you did a bachelor of science

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The Private School Survival Guide for Teachers

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The Private School Survival Guide for Teachers
There are several differences between teaching in a private school versus teaching in a public school.
Perhaps you are thinking about teaching in a private school in the future or maybe you just started teaching in a private school during the current academic year. This article is written with you in mind. If you are coming from a public school, you will find several differences between teaching in public school and teaching in a private school. The differences are even more pronounced if you take a teaching position in a boarding school. If you have never taught at all, then the following article wil raise points and issues  for you to consider.
 
Students who want to be there
 
Teachers want to teach. We love our subject. We want to share it with our students. Unfortunately it can be difficult to teach when you are more concerned about maintaining order in your classroom than you are with actually teaching. When you have a large class of, say, 30 or 40 students, maintaining order is an ever-present issue. On the other hand teaching a small class of, say 12-15 students, allows you to engage your students more or less constantly. It is very difficult for students not to be engaged when the size of the class is small. 
 
This video illustrates teaching using Harkness tables.

Students attend private school because their parents want them to get a first rate education. The admissions process can be quite rigorous involving as it does testing and interviews to determine if the student is a good fit for the school
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Are You a 21st Century Teacher?

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Are You a 21st Century Teacher?
21st century schools need 21st century teachers. Are you a 21st century teacher?

Are you a 21st century teacher? Are you adapting to new ways of doing things? Are you challenging your students to think critically? Are you preparing them to become global citizens? Yes, I know that you have taught for years. Your students have achieved excellent scores in their Advanced Placement exams. You are highly regarded both in your school community and within your profession. Again, I ask whether you can call yourself a 21st century teacher. Let's review some of the characteristics the 21st century teacher has and why these characteristics are so important.

It is a different world.

As the United States faces unprecedented challenges both at home and abroad, the need for schools to have teachers with a 21st century viewpoint and 21st century skill sets has never been more obvious. Dynamic, visionary teachers are needed to shape the minds of new generations of citizens who will have the abilities and creativity to lead and guide our country. If this sounds radical, it really isn't. It is the same principle and thinking which caused the Phillips family of Exeter and Andover fame to found those highly-rated schools back during the American Revolution. Those school founders knew that the infant nation needed well-schooled, well-trained people to lead it in the years ahead. They believed in this country and the concept of universal education so deeply that they put their money where their mouth was and created schools which still, to this day

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What Is Praxis?

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What Is Praxis?
Praxis is part of the teacher licensing process many states require.
What is Praxis?
 
ETS offers this explanation of the Praxis®  tests: "The Praxis® tests measure the academic skills and subject-specific content knowledge needed for teaching. The Praxis tests are taken by individuals entering the teaching profession as part of the certification process required by many states and professional licensing organizations."
 
Who requires Praxis®?
 
Most states require public school teachers to be licensed. Part of the licensing process is taking and passing Praxis I and/or Praxis II. Praxis I tests your competence in Reading, Writing, and Mathematics. Many education programs will accept Paxis I scores in place of SAT or ACT scores. They basically test the same kind of readiness for tertiary-level academic work. From ETS: "These tests measure academic skills in reading, writing, and mathematics. They were designed to provide comprehensive assessments that measure the skills and content knowledge of candidates entering teacher preparation programs.
 
Praxis II consists of subject or content tests. These are offered in standard subject areas such as Spanish, physics, language arts and so on. If you seek to be licensed as a physics teacher, for example, you would pass the Praxis II exam in physics as part of that requirement. From ETS: "These tests measure subject-specific content knowledge, as well as general and subject-specific teaching skills, that you need for beginning teaching." 
 
How do you prepare for the tests?
 
There are several Praxis test prep resources available, both for purchase and at no cost. Khan Academy offers free test prep on its Official Praxis® Core Prep section.
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Gay Teachers

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Gay Teachers
Several prep schools have pushed the envelope of diversity by allowing committed same sex couples to live on campus in school housing.

The 21st-century has seen some major changes in the way gay and lesbian people's rights are treated. Before 2015, there was a patchwork of state laws dealing with the issue. Indeed, Amanda Machado writes in The Plight of Being a Gay Teacher in The Atlantic that gay teachers were frequently fired when state education departments purged their rolls of LGBT teachers. As the Supreme Court noted in its decision which made same-sex marriage legal, "Well into the 20th century, many States condemned same-sex intimacy as immoral, and homosexuality was treated as an illness. Later in the century, cultural and political developments allowed same-sex couples to lead more open and public lives. Extensive public and private dialogue followed, along with shifts in public attitudes." The Supreme Court decision of June 26, 2015, legalizing same-sex marriages has had a major impact on how gay and lesbian citizens are treated legally. Unfortunately, as you and I know only too well, just because something is legal doesn't mean that all sectors of society will accept it.

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