So you’ve completed your education degree, and are ready for a real classroom. But first come the challenges every job hunter faces: preparing a résumé, networking, filling out applications, maybe getting your feet wet with volunteering. Plus deciding what type of school would best fit with your natural skills and personality. For example, would you rather teach in a public or a private school?
From the viewpoint of a private-school head, here are some reasons to consider the latter option. Note up front: if you aim for private-school teaching in the hope of higher pay, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Most private-school teachers earn no more than their public-school counterparts: if anything, public-school teachers have the financial advantage, partly because private schools invest less of their funding in salaries and more in whole-school resources (including more teachers so students can reap the benefits of smaller classes).
It’s that investment in the school itself that makes private-school teaching a rewarding experience.
The school’s mission is better defined. In many public schools, the (unspoken) mission stops at “getting everyone to the next grade with high scores on standardized tests.” Private schools, free of state-standardized-test burdens, can focus on setting clearer goals with greater relevance to helping students grow into all-around-effective adults.
Teachers have more say in curricula. Without a government in some faraway state capital judging a school by standardized-test scores, teachers are free to design and implement teaching methods that, with or without immediate academic “results,” instill lasting knowledge of problem-solving, teamwork, and other skills that build well-rounded members of society.
Parents, and often students, are more personally invested in getting the most from schooling. The majority of kids in public school go (and many parents send them) because they “have to,” which doesn’t bode particularly well for responsible behavior or interest in learning. With private education, personal effort goes into selecting a school suited to the children’s best interests, and everyone is motivated to help make education work because it feels like their education.
Not all of these apply to all private schools, of course: some are obsessed with achievement and competition and success at all cost, and you should run the other way if you sense such an atmosphere in any prospective employer. Use the above points to set criteria for choosing your school, and then rest assured that you, as well as your students, can learn and thrive.
Note to Parents
You also may be considering, “Is a private school right for my child?” Much depends on individual schools, of course, but the following questions may help.
Note that “expenses” aren’t on that list. Any private school worth attending will be glad to work with you on scholarships and a payment plan: what’s important is finding an environment where your child will learn effectively and enjoy it. Best wishes!
THE BEST PRIVATE PRIMARY SCHOOL TO WORK AT
Shady Oak is looking for teachers who respect children as individuals and have a passion for bringing out the best in everyone. Our teaching philosophy is built on the “6 Pillars” of connection, communication, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and problem solving. If that sounds like your perfect work environment, contact us to ask about current opportunities.
Blessings to parents and children of all ages!