10 Reasons You Were Meant to Work at a Private School

Vol. 16 No. 1

PSN eletter vol15 no1 ten

Life as a private-independent school administrator is intensely rewarding, despite the emergencies or interdepartmental spats that arise every fifth moment of the day. When it starts to feel like your entire job is consumed by all the negative aspects, read this article and rediscover why you began your private school career.

Reason #10: You have the support you need to succeed.

And that doesn’t (necessarily) mean the resources like adequate supplies and up-to-date technology. “Support” also means having the guidance and mentorship you need to raise your game to the next level, the budget for professional development workshops and conferences, and faith in you to implement new planned strategies when others may doubt.

Reason #9: Parents have “skin in the game” through tuition and donations.

Parents seem to care more about their children’s education at private schools than they do at other schools. Now, that’s not to say that all public school parents don’t care about their children—of course they do!

But at private-independent schools, parents must pay for their sons and daughters to attend your institution. That represents a level of “skin in the game” that parents in public schools can rarely equal.

Reason #8: Every day is School Spirit Day.

Pride in your school, its work, and the community as a whole permeates your entire campus. Special rallies and activities give a nice boost to campus morale, of course, but there’s an energy and excitement that sizzle in your hallways every school day.


The SAT, ACT, and other college-entry exams are tests to be taken on a student’s own time—and have no bearing on your school’s evaluation or budget allotment.

Reason #6: Performance is rewarded.

Pay raises at private schools can be based on merit, not tenure alone. Year-to-year contracts guarantee that teachers and administrators keep their performance high, as opposed to relaxing standards after a certain number of years at the school.

Reason #5: Schools with involved communities encourage quality (instead of quantity) education.

Selective, mission-driven admission standards, combined with greater resources devoted to a smaller number of students, mean that education at your school can be of a higher caliber than other institutions. You’re part of a tradition of quality—not quantity—education, and that can make all the difference.

Reason #4: The ability to freely express your ideas and opinions in a community that welcomes them.

Academia is known for allowing free-speech to foster discussion and resolution between disparate communities, but working at a private school can be so much more liberating. As you work at a school that’s driven by its fundamental mission and values, you’re allowed—even encouraged!—to share your life’s story and beliefs. After all, your personal alignment to the school’s mission is part of what got you hired in the first place!

Reason #3: You think your students are the absolute best students ever in the history of the world.

You work your butt off every day at your private school because you think your students are worth every ounce of energy you put into your job. You know that your students are the most talented, amazing human beings in the world, and it’s an honor to serve them.

Reason #2: You truly believe in the mission of your school.

Out of all of the schools and jobs available, there’s a reason you picked this school to help with your unique skills and talents. You are part of something that’s bigger than just your career, picking up a paycheck and forgetting about work as soon as you clock out. No, you contribute to the next generation of young adults who will go on to change the world—and remember their school days with fondness.

Reason #1: You love your students, your families, and your colleagues.

… Because, at the end of the day, that’s why you’re in private-independent education: To do the best you can for the next generation by delivering your mission with love and integrity.

Additional ISM resources:
The Source for School Heads Vol. 15 No. 2 10 Reasons You Were Meant to Be a School Head
The Source for Business and Operations Vol. 15 No. 2 10 Reasons You Were Meant to Be a Business Manager
The Source for Academic Leadership Vol. 14 No. 2 10 Reasons You Were Meant to Teach
The Source for Advancement
Vol. 15 No. 2 10 Reasons You Were Meant to Be in Advancement

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