How Do You Become a Private School Teacher?

Published March 21, 2008
Years ago if you wanted to be a private school teacher, you went to college, got a degree, took a few education courses and began teaching. It's not that easy these days. Most private schools want you to be a trained teacher as well as degreed in your subject. But most private schools also want you to be trained to teach the way they want you to teach. After all the teaching is what a private school is all about. The better the teaching, the better the students learn.
 
 
Internships

A few schools offer faculty internships. So you will run across enlightened opportunities such as the Kenan-Lewis Internship at Woodberry Forest School in Virginia. Two Kenan-Lewis interns are appointed annually.
 
Andover offers The Andover Teaching Fellowship Program. "At Andover on a teaching fellowship, the recent college graduate is introduced to teaching in a program of guided work in the classroom, a professional seminar, and exposure to theories and methods of experienced faculty. Obviously, the school seeks applicants who are new to the vocation of teaching."
 
The Berkeley Carroll School in Brooklyn also has an established associate teachers program in their Lower School (PK-4).
 
Choate-Rosemary Hall has a similar program. It is a signal opportunity for a college graduate wanting to be a teacher. Even better, it fits in with the plans of people who did a degree in their subject as opposed to an education degree. The young graduate then learns her craft under the careful tutelage and watchful eyes of an experienced mentor. What better way to learn is there than this?
 
Collegiate School in Richmond has an EE Ford Teaching Fellowship.
 
Hotchkiss School hires three or four interns a year. "Interns are introduced to the craft of teaching through close work with mentors in their academic disciplines throughout the year, weekly seminars on various aspects of teaching through professional development programs, both on and off campus."
 
Norwood School in Bethesda offers an internship in conjunction with a degree program at George Washington University.
Phillips Exeter Academy offers six to eight one year internships.
 
Rye Country Day School has several apprentice teaching positions in the Lower School. These are apprenticeship positions providing 1-2 years of classroom experience. The lead teacher serves as a mentor to the assistant, Tte assistant is expected to pursue a master's degree in conjunction with the classroom experience. There are also a few apprentice teacher positions in the Upper School.
 
Licensing

At some point in your journey towards becoming a teacher you will encounter licensing requirements. These are intertwined in most states with the Praxis tests written and administered by the Educational Testing Service. Even if your school does not require you to be licensed by the state, get your license while you are young. It looks good on your resume. It is also cheap insurance for those inevitable moves which come with any career nowadays.

If you are a private school graduate, you will occupy a special place on the faculty. Alumni who come back as teachers truly know their school and are a strong endorsement for its accomplishments and traditions.

Good teachers are attracted to private schools because quality teaching is appreciated. Teachers want to teach, not push paper and be mired in a swamp of arcane bureaucratic rules and procedures. They can focus on teaching in a private school. They want the freedom to be creative and effective teachers.
 
Resources


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