Teaching in a Boarding School

Updated May 24, 2016 |
Teaching in a Boarding School
Teaching or working in a boarding school is quite unlike any job in a day school.
Teaching or working in a boarding school is quite unlike any job in a day school. Why? Because in most schools you will live above the store as it were. Most faculty, deans and heads of school as well as some key support staff such as the admissions and development directors are housed in school accommodations as part of their conditions of employment.
 
Home and School
Boarding schools are self-contained communities. Students and faculty eat together. They share relaxing times watching TV and playing games together. That is because teachers and staff in a boarding school function in loco parentis. They take the place of parents literally and figuratively. They play a powerful role in shaping and guiding their young charges while they are at school. Because the students cannot escape at the end of classes, they cannot avoid the strong influence teachers have on them. This is a major reason many parents send their sons and daughters off to boarding school.

Finding a Job 
How do you find a job in a private school? The best way is to use your network. Alums, colleagues past and present, friends and family constitute the most important group of people who know you and can attest to your suitability, skills and experience for employment better than anybody. They will often be your references simply because they are fans of your work and know you intimately. As far as credentials are concerned, possessing a teaching license is a good thing. If you are a foreign national, you will have some hurdles to jump over. They are not insurmountable but they are very real.
 
There are a few tricks to applying for a private school job. The main one is to make sure that you get across your love of teaching. If you are seeking employment at a boarding school for any other reason, beware. You must love teaching AND you must love being around young people 24/7. If you don't, you will not be happy and you will not last long.
 
If you are invited to the school for an interview, expect a serious vetting process. Schools are extremely particular about hiring new faculty. They will most likely send you around to several people which might include a dean, a head of school, her assistant and your future department chair person. Be prepared for a thorough grilling if the powers that be decide that you are a serious contender for the position. Are you gay? Be honest about your life-style. In many schools, it will not be an issue.
 
If luck is on your side, you will receive the happy news you have been waiting for. Welcome to St. Swithin's! 

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