Private school jobs, no experience?

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by starsallaround, Mar 7, 2014.

  1. starsallaround

    starsallaround Rookie

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    Mar 7, 2014

    Is it possible to get a job at a private school with no teaching experience (except student teaching)? My ultimate goal would be to teach at one of the fancier boarding schools but for now I think I have to be less picky.

    Also do you think I have enough subject matter preparation? My goal is to teach high school English. At the end of this year I will have a MA in English Education but unfortunately my BA is not in English, it is in Classics. I didn't do a thesis and I also don't have any journal publications except for 1 paper in Classics ... will this be a problem?
     
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  3. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Mar 7, 2014

    In my experience "fancy" private schools not only want their teachers to have lots of experience, but also have a PhD. Also, turnover rate for "fancy" private schools is very low. They want stability in their staff so openings don't happen often.

    Best wishes!
     
  4. Rhesus

    Rhesus Comrade

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    Mar 7, 2014

    On the other hand, many boarding schools are happy to hire younger beginners, who are cheaper to employ and are more amenable to living on campus, doing dorm duty, etc. because they are unencumbered by families and other responsibilities.

    Also, having degrees in Classics and English make you versatile, and many boarding schools like their faculty to be able to wear multiple hats, provided you are willing to teach Latin, Greek, etc. as well as English. My advice would be to play up the versatility angle of the Classics background in your cover letters.
     
  5. mcqxu

    mcqxu Comrade

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    Mar 8, 2014

    Some schools like that have associate teaching positions, where you would work alongside lead teachers - these likely pay less but allow you to gain experience, and the schools usually try to give you other duties to make more money and make it worth your while. Also, going off of what Rhesus said above here, many boarding schools would require additional duties such as dorm supervision, coaching, etc., so having some younger teachers w/o families on staff might be ideal for them. In my experience for lead teaching positions they all tend to look for at least a couple years of experience and a masters degree, and outstanding recommendations. I suggest you apply and see what happens - good luck!
     
  6. ayla

    ayla Companion

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    Mar 8, 2014

    My friend got a job at an elite boarding school right after graduating but it's like other posters said - she has dorm and coaching duties. She also went to an elite boarding school and taught there over the summers which helped. Use a placement service such as Carney Sandoe... If they won't accept you then it's a good sign you won't get that kind of job this year.
     
  7. Ellybean

    Ellybean Rookie

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    "My ultimate goal would be to teach at one of the fancier boarding schools but for now I think I have to be less picky."

    ^^ This is silly. If you have an ultimate goal, pursue it with every inch of your being. Why would you sell yourself short by going for a "lesser" job? Because you don't think you have enough experience? What matters is that you have confidence in yourself that you can get this job. Everything else will follow. :)

    Anyway...

    I am sure you know that lots of people have degrees in English. It's a very common major, as well as graduate program. So when English jobs get posted, these schools have hundreds of applicants to choose from.

    It's not impossible for you to get these jobs, but you REALLY need to set yourself apart from other candidates. In your cover letter, you need to directly state why they should hire you and how you would benefit their schools. What kinds of successes have you had with students? Why in particular are you applying to THIS school -- because something that schools care a lot about is mission and philosophy, and you'll need to make them feel that you deeply care about their mission.

    When you said "fancier boarding schools" my mind automatically thought about the schools in Massachusetts, but I see from your posts you are located in Arizona? If you plan on relocating, that will probably be another challenge to overcome, and you should state in your letter that you are relocating to Mass soon.

    Schools want somebody who is a triple threat: teaching, coaching, dorm duties. Have you ever played a sport? Everybody I know who works at a private school also coaches. I would revise your resume to fit in what sport you play, if any, and what awards, etc. you earned.
     
  8. starsallaround

    starsallaround Rookie

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    Ha, I was living in AZ but now I am GA :)

    Thanks, that is all very helpful advice. You seem to know a lot about private schools!!

    I played softball from like age 5 through middle school, and was actually pretty good ... but I didn't pursue it farther so I wouldn't have any awards to list. However I would be perfectly comfortable coaching it since I am familiar with the sport. Hope that is good enough for them, hmmm ...
     
  9. Ellybean

    Ellybean Rookie

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    Mar 9, 2014

    I would definitely put softball on there! :)
     
  10. tonysam

    tonysam Comrade

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    Mar 9, 2014

    Yes. I did it.
     

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