Private schools - advantages
- Students are often screened in some way before being admitted to private school. Generally,
they need reasonable marks and character to be admitted. This generally means the students in
classes you teach are generally motivated, well-behaved, and don't have serious disabilities.
(Note: this only applies to private schools who are purpose is to attract parents who want a similar type of
education to the public school system, only better. Private schools that exist predominantly for
other reasons (such as the preservation of religious beliefs or for the promotion of a special
educational program) sometimes accept everyone who applies as policy.)
- Private schools often have smaller classes (i.e. 20 instead of 30) as a selling point for
parents. This means you have less marking to do.
Lower expectations and easier situations to master
- Private schools renew contracts from year to year and can fire anyone anytime they like.
So, they don't need to judge new teachers as harshly as they can fire later if things don't work
out. Private schools are also very sensitive to how parents perceive the school. If a new
teacher were to fail miserably, parents would be angry with the quality of their children's
education, and less likely to sign up and pay tuition the following year. Typicially, the new
teacher steps into the shoes of a teacher leaving the school and gets that teacher's former
classes, office, and other resources. Private schools are usually careful about making sure
who they hire is a good fit with the school's philosophy and will take the time to ensure the
new teacher's success because the school's existance depends on it.
Smaller, less bureaucratic
- Private schools are typically smaller than public schools and thus have less bureaucracy. On one hand, this can be good (ie. less memos, meetings, etc.). On the other hand, if the school is quite small, you end up being a "jack of all trades" (i.e. multiple preps, and extra work on extracurricular activities and general school administration duties).
Keep more pay
- The good academic prep schools pay on scale with major school districts and often include the
same health and dental benefits. There's no union, so you never go on strike, there is a minimum
of manditory programs and deductions form your paycheck, and you don't have to pay out several
hundred dollars in union dues each year. Private schools also are more willing to reimburse out of pocket expenses (i.e. all those things you buy for your
classroom). However, there is no pension, so you have to be conscientious about saving your
salary. Generally, academic prep schools pay on par with public schools, but schools with a
strong religious focus often pay considerably less (but check - I've worked in a religious school
that paid on par).
- Parents who can afford to send their kids to private school tend to take a lot of holidays and
often book holidays to start or end outside of the public school holidays so they can get better
airfares. To accomodate this, academic prep schools tend to have longer Xmas or spring breaks
than usual. Also, in religious schools that don't follow North American religious holidays, you
get off both the North American statutory holidays and the religous holidays particular to the