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Finding a Teaching Job

10 Tips for Finding a Teaching Job


The Classroom Photo by Milon Biswas

The Classroom

Photo by Milon Biswas
Finding a private school teaching job is not something which you do at the last minute.

1. Start the job search process early.

Most positions begin with the opening of the academic year. So you need to be available as of August 1 or thereabouts. That means you must begin your search no later than the previous November. Arrange to attend regional and national conferences where interviews are held. It will allow you to look much further afield without incurring the initial travel expense of actually visiting individual schools.

2. Think clearly about what you want.

After a few years of teaching you know pretty much what sort of a situation you want. Make sure that the new position meets your needs. Does it have the right balance of class room and prep time? Is there adequate time for administrative duties? Parent conferences and the like?

3. Think objectively about what you offer.

Find out what skills and experience your peers offer. How do you compare? Seek the advice of a trusted mentor or adviser to help you with this. Are you completing additional certifications or a post graduate degree? Continuing education speaks volumes about your ongoing willingness to keep up with your subject and current methodologies. Do you speak more than one language? Fluency in Spanish, Japanese, French and Italian is much in demand.

4. Observe deadlines.

Procrastination is fatal! Negative impressions are lasting impressions. Submit your application at least two weeks before the deadline. Then call to make sure that the school has received it.

5. Keep your resume current.

Make your resume short and job specific. Include only relevant details. Make it look professional by using a word processor to compose it and a laser printer to print it.

6. Network constantly.

Your network of colleagues, friends and family is one of the best means for finding a new job. E-mail makes it easy to keep in touch. Remember birthdays and other important dates. Remember people and and they will remember you!

7. Be flexible.

Will you get 100% of your requirements and expectations? Of course not! Decide what you can and cannot live without. Always be prepared to negotiate.

8. Set your salary expectations realistically.

Ask colleagues what salary scales are in the area and factor in your experience and certifications/skills. Remember that private school salaries can be a bit lower than public school salaries.

9. Be willing to undertake extra duties.

Don't assume that your prospective employer will know that. Spell it out in your cover letter and in your interview. Teachers who can produce a musical or coach the chess team, even though they teach physics or trigonometry, will be valuable members of any faculty.

10. Make a good impression.

Be on time. Dress professionally. Speak in a sincere, honest and warm manner. Look your interviewer in the eye. Ask questions. Engage the interviewer in a meaningful dialogue about his school and what you can offer it.

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