If you have 3 or more of the following skills or credentials, you will position yourself for greater success in the private school employment market. While there is a shortage of qualified teachers, it is still a highly competitive arena in the private school world. Consequently your chances at finding your dream job will improve if you can offer one or more of the following:
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.
This video shows a Spanish class at The Orme School.
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 coursework.
3. 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 World History, for example, you will be in demand.
This video offers AP English Lang Readers’ Advice to Students 2018.
4. Be willing to relocate.
Not always easy to do, but if you can accept an appointment which requires relocation, your marketability will improve significantly. To sweeten the pot and depending on how urgent their need is, schools will often sweeten the pot with a moving allowance and/or on campus housing. It never hurts to ask.
5. Offer subjects which are in demand.
Subjects in demand will vary from region to region. But it stands to reason that math and physics teachers will probably be in shorter supply compared with physical education teachers. Do you have experience teaching STEM subjects? Are you proficient in teaching robotics? Can you teach how to write a blog or how to create an app? If you can teach at the AP level or have IB teaching experience and certification, that will increase your marketability quotient too. Private schools need paraprofessionals too, depending on the size of the school. If you can offer experience as an athletic trainer, or are a specialist in exercise and sports injuries, your skills and experience will be in demand at a school with an extensive sports program.
This video explains how to earn Ib teacher certification.
6. Hold an advanced degree.
First or bachelor's degree requirements and coursework vary widely from one institution to another. Lay a solid foundation for your advanced degree by majoring in a specific subject area. For example, earning a bachelor's degree with honors in Spanish language and literature demonstrates your ability to do serious academic work. Complete your masters degree in your subject area, and your marketability quotient will skyrocket. A doctorate is a prerequisite for many head of school positions. It also will cement your eligibility when you apply for a head of department appointment.
Be shrewd. Find a niche. Then work it for all you are worth.
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