Are Extracurricular Activities Important?
Extracurricular activities in schools, particularly independent schools, are considered valuable experiences and commitments for both students and teachers. It's widely believed that both pupils and teachers can learn and develop positive, tangible skills by interacting with one another in organised extracurricular activities.
If you are interested in becoming a private school teacher, it's worth bearing in mind how highly a school values their extracurricular program. While you may not be actively forced to commit to teaching extracurricular courses that you cannot do, you may be expected to play a part in some way or another. Private school jobs often require NQTs (newly qualified teachers) to commit to what can often be a busy and loaded after-school and co-curricular program.
Private school teaching jobs may, in light of this 'expectation', incur additional hours that you'd be required to commit to. But the personal and professional rewards you can reap from this commitment should not be overlooked. For many independent school teachers, the extent of what some schools can offer outside the classroom is what makes the private school sector an attractive prospect.
Extracurricular Activities Examples
If you are looking for independent school jobs, here are some activities that many schools in this sector offer:
- Drama (school plays being notable examples)
- Duke of Edinburgh scheme
- Debating society
- Public speaking
The above list shows just a few examples of extracurricular activities that many teachers in the independent sector can expect. While you may not be required to commit to all of them, think about how they all collectively support student development. Schools which value academic progress while encouraging students to pursue outside interests need to rely on teachers whom they can trust to uphold their values.
Extracurricular Activities for Teachers
Teachers have a pivotal role to play in supporting pupils in and outside the classroom. Participating in these activities as a teacher can bring you some incredible personal rewards, as much as it can for pupils.
Below are some reasons for aspiring teachers to participate.
- Take a break from the classroom – it's no secret that ECAs offer a welcome break from studying for pupils. Teachers can also benefit hugely by committing to activities that are both interesting and fulfilling. Becoming an independent school teacher may require commitment and balance of both classroom and extracurricular duties, but many prep school teachers find this to be a positive thing.
- Developing other skills – teaching an extracurricular subject which involves learning skills, can ultimately help students to improve their skills in other areas. Not just academically either. For example, if you are a private school teacher and you take part in the school debating society, some students may find their confidence in giving class presentations improve. This kind of progress and development is a testament to you as much as it is to them, and they will value their growth, and who helped them.
- ECAs improve your CV – with any teaching job application, demonstrating the skills and abilities of some ECAs could be a massive boost in your job hunt. If you can offer something beyond teaching work experience and your time working as a supply teacher, your next full-time teaching role might be closer than you realise.
- Social opportunities – ECAs provide excellent opportunities for you and pupils to interact with others, either in the same school or outside of it. If your school competes alongside other local private schools in a particular sport or activity, these activities make great opportunities to develop connections and potentially make friends.
- Help in other areas – learning how to teach and coach your activity in different ways, can be a valuable asset to you in the classroom as well. You may find that your time running an extracurricular activity can give you a greater sense of control and discipline while you are teaching private school students in the classroom. Or vice versa. Students you teach outside the classroom can experience a different side of yourself, and letting your guard down slightly (when teaching a class) allows you to translate to them more effectively
Independent Prep School Jobs
Showing experience running and getting involved with ECAs will not necessarily guarantee you a full-time teaching job. No hire will be made on that basis alone. But independent school job postings will be ripe for your pickings if you still demonstrate a willingness to get involved.
Always Flourishing can help any independent school looking for staff as well as those looking for teaching jobs in private schools. We recruit candidates who are looking for permanent teaching vacancies as well as leadership and supply teaching roles.
We have an extensive network of local independent schools who rely on our services and approach to recruiting teachers for them. Across the Thames Valley and Home Counties, we have successfully hired for independent school teaching jobs, where our candidates have gone on to have successful and rewarding teaching careers.
Should you have any questions, please contact us to see how we can help.