There are more than 80,000 professionals teaching at independent schools today. Independent schools are home to high quality and committed teachers—people who have traveled many paths to become educators. Many have come to independent school teaching directly from college or graduate school, but others are individuals teaching in fields where they previously worked. Some teachers have more than 20 years of teaching experience; others are in their first year. This range of backgrounds brings a healthy balance of new perspectives and classroom-tested experience.
Here are several of the reasons individuals choose to teach at an independent school:
- Students come to school prepared to learn.
- Close-knit school communities actively support achievement.
- Teachers have the flexibility and autonomy they need.
- Teachers are supported and respected by colleagues and school heads.
- Parents are actively engaged.
- Independent school teachers make a difference. The intimate learning environments at independent schools allow teachers to communicate consistent goals to their students and collaborate more effectively with their colleagues on raising student achievement.
- Independent school teachers have autonomy and flexibility in their classrooms. Sixty-eight percent of independent school teachers say they have a lot of influence on establishing curriculum and setting student performance standards in their classrooms. Teachers identify each student’s learning style and design creative learning experiences—making it possible to customize teaching approaches to support student growth and performance.
- Independent school teachers impact the development of their students. Independent school teachers are idealistic and passionate about teaching, have expertise in one or more fields of study, and are eager to motivate students to be enthusiastic about learning. Independent school teachers know their students well and play a critical role in helping them develop not only intellectually, but also as responsible, independent, community-oriented individuals.