Tips for a Successful Private School Job Search: Part II

What to Remember When You’re Visiting Campus & Teaching A Demo Lesson

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Earlier this month, we relayed some helpful tips on how to succeed during the early stages of your search for private school jobs. After acing the initial interview, the school has now asked you to visit campus to conduct a demo lesson – way to go! Here are a few things to keep in mind as you move forward in the interview process and have the opportunity to showcase your skills as a teacher to potential employers.

  • Tailor your demo lesson. While preparing your demo lesson, the first thing to remember is to be thoughtful about the classroom you are visiting. Think about both practical things such as necessary materials, the number of students you will be working with, and SmartBoard access as well as how you will adapt your lesson based on the varying abilities of students in the classroom. Ask your contact ahead of your lesson if there are any materials you will need to bring or if any students have particular needs. Asking these insightful questions ahead of time will show that you are a thoughtful and well-prepared teacher.
  • Be interactive. Be sure to get the students involved in your lesson – just because you’re demonstrating your teaching doesn’t mean you should do all the talking. Being able to engage the students you are teaching is a positive in any school, especially in independent schools where many classes focus on lively discussions and inquiry-based learning.
  • Have a backup plan. As a teacher, you know that lessons don’t always go according to plan. Be flexible and ready to cut a lesson short or extend it if necessary to show strong time management. 
 Just as importantly, have a backup plan in case your original lesson does not work out.
  • Follow up with a thank you email after your interview. Always make sure to follow up with a personal email thanking the school administrator(s) you met with for their time, and reiterating your interest in the position and the school. Not following up will knock you out of a search. Keep your contact at Educator’s Ally informed of your progress and be in touch with any follow-up questions.
  • Be yourself! You’ve gotten this far; now all you have to do is prove you can do the work. Take a deep breath, have fun, and be yourself. And always feel free to reach out to your Placement Manager with any questions.

Educator’s Ally, a teacher recruitment agency, provides a highly personalized service for candidates looking for teaching and administration positions in independent schools. If you’d like advice throughout your job search, starting with how to get your resume to stand out, to teaching the best demo lesson, to finally negotiating job offers, contact EA today.

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Tips for a Successful Private School Job Search Part I

Helpful Hints to Keep in Mind in the Early Stages of Your Job Search & How to Impress During an Interview

 

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In the work we do at Educator’s Ally to recruit the best teachers and administrators for private school jobs throughout the country, including major metro areas such as New York City, Boston and Denver, we’ve learned a lot about what makes a job search successful and, on the contrary, how to really mess one up. Here are a few tips on what to do in the initial stages of a search for private school teaching jobs in order to best position yourself for success:

  • Be responsive. Check your email and voicemail frequently and respond to schools within 24 hours of a request for an interview or phone call. Make sure the voicemail on your phone is set-up and that your greeting sounds professional.
  • Proofread, proofread, proofread! We can’t emphasize this enough. Failing to check your emails, resume or writing samples for typos and/or grammatical errors is the fastest way to derail your job search.
  • Dress for success. Congratulations – you landed an interview! Whether it’s a Skype or in-person meeting, always remember to dress neatly and professionally for your interviews. No sneakers! And never arrive with a coffee cup or water bottle in your hand. If you’re having a Skype call, make sure you are sitting in a clean, professional-looking setting (i.e.: don’t Skype from your bed/couch and be sure you won’t be interrupted).
  • Be punctual. Make every effort to arrive a few minutes early for an interview. 
If you’re Skyping, make sure your computer is set up and Skype is open and ready several minutes prior to the call.
  • Bring copies of your resume. 
Have several printed copies of your resume on hand for any in person interviews. A pad of paper and pen are also useful to bring along so you can take notes during the interview.
  • Strike the right tone. Remember that as warm and collegial as most school administrators are, the interview process is a professional one. Being overly familiar and/or unprofessional in your interview or email correspondence can turn a school off. Be upbeat, enthusiastic and curious, but always err on the side of being businesslike. 
Asking about salary or benefits before a formal offer is made is premature and off-putting. Don’t do it.
  • Do your homework. Be prepared to talk about the school and the position. Researching a school’s mission on their website and understanding what they’re looking for demonstrates that you are excited about the opportunity and the school.
  • Be prepared to ask questions. Arrive with several questions in your back pocket and be ready to ask them at the end of your interview. When formulating your questions, focus on those that highlight your desire to contribute to the school, and be sure to tailor them to the specific school. 
For help in coming up with ideas, check out Education Week’s thoughts on Five Questions New Teachers Should Ask.
  • Be prepared to talk, but also to listen. Be ready to share an anecdote or two that displays that you’re highly qualified and excited about the position. Vague explanations will raise suspicion that you’re holding something back. In your interviews, be sure to listen carefully so you can learn as much as possible about the school. 
This includes listening carefully to the questions you are asked and responding accordingly.
  • Be enthusiastic and positive. Independent schools are proud of the work they do so it is important to focus on how you can contribute to their programs right now rather than talk in excess about your long-term professional goals. 
Also, always speak positively about your past experiences and career – never dwell on the aspects of your current role that are dissatisfying to you or bash your current school.

Lastly, please know that we are here to help! Why work with an agency on your private school job search? Educator’s Ally is a teacher placement agency that will work with you to create an effective resume package and connect you with positions that are the best fit for your background and professional goals. With our close-knit relationships with independent school administrators, we can connect you with confidential openings for independent school jobs that you won’t see elsewhere. As one of the leading teacher placement agencies in the country, our representation secures you the introduction that will get you noticed. To learn more about what we do and to apply, please contact us! 

Educator’s Ally’s next blog will focus on acing Step 2 of the job search process – stay tuned!

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Educator’s Ally at the NAIS 2017 Annual Conference

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EA’s very own Lisa Lovering and Abby Glover will be presenting at the 2017 NAIS Annual Conference this year (Thursday, March 2nd at 11:15AM). Together with Jennifer Zaccara (Nightingale-Bamford School), Jim Reynolds (Browning School) and Roberto D’Erizans (The American School of Sao Paulo), they’ll discuss the importance of a well-crafted hiring strategy in ensuring that schools end up with the best possible faculties. Check out all the 2017 Annual Conference workshops on the event website. Hope to see you there!

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Race, Equity and Leadership in Schools

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A little over a year ago, Cate Gardner, Associate Director of PreK-12 Programs at Harvard Graduate School of Education, had an idea for “a professional learning institute for school leaders and educators based on a growing need in the field.” This week, the idea became a reality as Harvard’s Graduate School of Education launched the application to their new program instituteRace, Equity and Leadership in Schools.” 

Well done, Cate, and congratulations on creating a program that will most certainly have a lasting impact on the way educators teach and how students learn on these important topics. 

At Educator’s Ally, we are dedicated to helping our schools build diverse faculties that mirror their student bodies.  As proud sponsors of NAIS’s People of Color Conference, we value the work being done to increase awareness on these topics. Will you be at PoCC this December in Atlanta? If so, we’d love to connect!

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The Independent School Job Search: When Should I Start?

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As the school year is underway, you may find yourself thinking about the next step in your career. Are you currently teaching in a private school and looking for a new community or do you want to make the move into Administration, Admissions, or Development? Are you a college senior wondering about what to do after you graduate? Believe it or not, the fall is not too early to start thinking about your job search in private schools. While the height of the independent school hiring season generally runs from February through May, the fall is a great time to start thinking about what you are looking for in your next position and editing your resume and other materials. Whether you’re looking for entry level teaching jobs or are an experienced educator, Educator’s Ally can help with every step of your job search from writing cover letters to resume help to general career guidance. Apply now to get the conversation started with one of our Placement Managers.

For more information on the timeline of the independent school hiring process throughout the year, check out our previous blog on the subject.

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Creativity in the Classroom: Battleship Reinvented

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Whether you’re trying to sink your opponent’s battleship, destroyer, cruiser or submarine, Battleship is making a comeback… in the classroom! Check out these crafty ideas for an updated version of Battleship that focuses on Chemistry (by using the Periodic Table), Foreign Languages or even currency. With Battleship versions now available for Smart Boards, students will be taking this WW1 classic into the 21st century.  What educational Battleship games have you tried with your class?

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Back to School: Surviving Your First Year At A New School

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Now that Labor Day has passed, it’s officially time to go back to school. Are you starting your first year as a teacher? Or are you starting a new job at a different school? Even for experienced teachers, joining a new school community can evoke first-day-of -school jitters. There are new colleagues to meet, new students to welcome, new traditions and school cultures to learn. Many independent schools conduct orientation programs for new faculty members and pair first year teachers with a mentor, which hopefully makes the transition a little bit easier. Trevor Day School even created a “Trevor For Dummies” handbook for new community members.

Still need a few more ideas to calm your nerves? Here is an article that gives a few tips for acing your first year as a teacher (and experienced teachers can use these reminders too).

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The Importance of Assistant Teacher Programs

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In Friday’s New York Times, esteemed Bank Street educators Shael Polakow-Suransky, Josh Thomas, and Karen Demoss discussed the importance of teacher training programs. In our work here at EA connecting teachers and private schools, we know how important strong teachers are, and becoming a great educator starts with a solid foundation, often learning from experienced colleagues. As mentioned in the article, many independent schools across the country have excellent teacher training residency programs for aspiring teachers at all grade levels- Convent of the Sacred Heart, New Canaan Country School, and the Penn Residency Masters in Teaching program- to name a few.

Are you looking to start your career in teaching and interested in enrolling in an Assistant Teacher training program at a private school in the New York City metro area? Or are you about to complete an Assistant Teaching program and curious about your next career move? Whether you’ve just graduated from college, or considering a career change, contact EA today to see how to get started!

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Preventing Summer Slide

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Now that summer vacation is in full swing, parents and teachers alike may be concerned with preventing the “summer slide” with their students. This recent article from Education Week provides a few tips for helping your students’ skills stay sharp long after the last bell rings. In addition to staples like summer reading, many schools (King and Choate for example) run summer programs for students that offer a variety of options from enrichment classes to the opportunity to brush up on some areas of improvement. Some schools even offer classes for credit!

Are you preventing your own summer slide by pursuing professional development opportunities in anticipation of a job search? Reach out to EA today and see how we can help!

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Should students check their laptops at the classroom door?

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Should students check their laptops at the classroom door? Jessica Flaxman, a former Masters student at Klingenstein and current Director of Studies at Charlotte Country Day School  in NC summarizes Robert Lee Hotz’s new article “Can Handwriting Make You Smarter?” quite well and makes the EA Team wonder if we should be working on our penmanship this summer!

In “Can Handwriting Make You Smarter?” Robert Lee Hotz argues what many teachers already believe: that students who hand write their notes learn better than those who type. According to Hotz, faster note-taking does not correlate with deeper understanding of the material. Researchers have found that “the very feature that makes laptop note-taking so appealing – the ability to take notes more quickly – was what undermined learning.” Interestingly, digital note-taking does appear to result in short-term gains for note-takers. But after 24 hours, those who type notes start to forget the material they transcribed. To arrive at these conclusions, researchers at Princeton and UCLA compared the work product of students who took longhand notes and found that they not only retained knowledge for longer, but also more readily understood new concepts. Adds Michael Friedman of Harvard, when we take notes, we actually “transform” what we hear, making information acquisition both dynamic and personal. Based on this research, the sharpest edge appears to still belongs to the student who can distill and synthesize information as he/she hears it and commit it to memory through writing notes by hand.

 

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