Sometimes it is easier to get hired for education jobs in charter schools than in the regular school system. Although charter schools are public school, they operate with much less autonomy than the regular public school system. The reason is that you have less job security when you accept a teaching position in one of these schools. Charter schools do not offer tenure to the teachers and as a rule they only offer one-year contracts. However, getting hired here is one way you can gain some teaching experience to help you with getting a more secure position.
In charter schools, the personnel hired for the education jobs are not judged mainly on their educational credentials. You may not even need a teaching certificate to be able to get this type of teaching position. The main aim of the school is to have high success rates among the students and it is on this basis that you are rated as a teacher. For example, according to statistics available regarding teachers in charter schools, only about 60% hold valid teaching certificates.
Charter schools provide higher salaries than education jobs in the regular public school system. The pay you receive could be based on your credentials and on the number of years of teaching experience you have. As a rule, the salaries of charter school teachers are about 5% higher than those of their counterparts in the public system. You will be subject to evaluation every year when you have a one-year contract. If your teaching is not deemed to be up to standard, you can be dismissed at any point during the year.
Contracts for education jobs in charter schools do have performance incentives built into them. This is because even though you will only get a one-year contract when you are hired, the school does want to keep you if you are doing a good job. Your performance is rated on how well students do on the end of year tests and if your students do well, you will receive a bonus. Quite often your contract renewal is contingent upon receiving this bonus for student performance. In this type of setting, you may also get a chance to teach in areas that you wouldn’t ordinarily be able to teach in the public system.
If you don’t have a teaching license, most charter schools will help you attain certification for education jobs in the state. Like in the public system, you should try to engage in professional development activities and take additional courses to enhance your teaching skills. The class sizes are much smaller in charter schools, so you have more time to spend giving individual attention to the students. You also won’t spend as much time correcting work, as there will be less than you would have in a regular school. With small class sizes, you also have the opportunity to be more innovative and get the students engaged in projects that would be very difficult to manage in a large class. This experience will help prepare you for other teaching experiences and if you have good recommendations, you won’t have much difficulty getting hired for other positions.