Private School Teacher: Education Requirements, Salary and Career Info
Private school teachers work in a variety of unique school settings and teach K-12 curricula according to the specific philosophical, religious or academic standards of a particular school. Private schools tend to have smaller class sizes and lower rates of disciplinary problems than public schools.
Private School Teacher Education Requirements
Private school teachers design and teach K-12 curricula according to specific school requirements. Private school educators can teach K-12 classes in a variety of settings, including faith-based schools, college prep academies or boarding schools. They may also work in schools with a specific teaching philosophy, such as Montessori or Waldorf schools.
A bachelor's degree is the minimum educational requirement for a private school teacher. Private schools typically prefer to hire graduates with either a 4-year subject degree or expertise in a specialized field, such as history or mathematics. Many private schools offer fellowships or internships to qualified applicants after they graduate from college. Fellows and interns complete on-the-job training, learn the specific teaching theory of their private school and are supervised by fellow teachers.
Some private schools may require a state teacher license or other specialized certification. For example, certain private Catholic schools require a 2-year course of study focused on principles of Catholic education, completion of a teaching internship and practice of the Catholic faith before one can earn a certification to teach in Catholic schools. Schools with specific philosophies, such as Waldorf or Montessori schools, also require additional Waldorf or Montessori teacher education and training. It is important to research the private school of interest to determine whether a particular degree, certification or training will be required.
Private School Teacher Salary and Career Info
According the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), K-12 public school teachers earned a median salary in May 2008 that ranged from $47,100 to $51,180. Additionally, the highest 10% of public school teachers earned $75,190 to $80,970 (www.bls.gov). Comparatively, the median salary in 2009-2010 for private school teachers according to the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), was $49,350 and the highest median NAIS teacher salary was reported as $72,250 (nais.org).
Private school teachers tend to earn slightly lower salaries than their public-school counterparts. However, the BLS reports that they also tend to have fewer students in their classes and more autonomy in setting educational and behavioral standards for their students.
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