Saturday 20 December 2014

The Best Teaching Jobs Are When You’re a Big Fish in a Small Pond

Time after time again I hear teachers wanting to get a job at XYZ school because it’s well-known and will look good on their CV. While I understand this point of view, there are lots of downsides to working at well-known schools.
  • They often pay less due to supply and demand 
  • There’s lots of competition 
  • There may be few perks and benefits 
  • You may have to teach a lot of hours 
  • There are often caps on renewal so you’ll have to leave after 2, 4, or 5 years
  • They require a lot more work (committees, publications, create materials) and you're not compensated for it. 
Of course, some prestigious schools pay well, but it’s hard to stand out. More likely than not you’ll be a small fish in a big pond. While that’s still better than being a small fish in a small pond, there are better options out there. It would be great to be a big fish in a big pond, but not many of us will ever achieve that status.

Look for well-kept secrets and undiscovered gems. You don’t have to work at the creme de la cream school to have a good job. In fact, some of the best jobs are at schools that no one has heard of. They have low turnover, happy teachers, hands-off management, and a great salary package.

People are more likely to talk about schools that they are unhappy with and have a bad reputation than good schools. If someone mentions a school you’ve never heard of, don’t automatically presume it’s a not a good place to work at, on the contrary, it’s likely to be a good school.

Many of the small, less-known schools often have less competition and due to that have to offer teachers more to work there. They may do this by offering a higher salary, less teaching hours, and longer vacations.


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