Teaching History in Independent Schools: A Career for PhDs in History

AHA Session 58
Friday, January 5, 2018: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
Marriott Ballroom, Salon 2 (Marriott Wardman Park, Lobby Level)
Tyler Miller, Poly Prep Country Day School
Athan Biss, The Baldwin School
Katharina Matro, Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart
Samuel L. Schaffer, St. Albans School
Joel D. Seltzer, Holton-Arms School
Steve Steinbach, Sidwell Friends School

Session Abstract

This roundtable will look in-depth at an alt-ac career option, for which history graduate students have already received training and accumulated some experience: teaching in independent schools. Independent schools offer PhDs in the humanities the possibility to work with small groups of motivated and dedicated students and the chance to join a team of enthusiastic and committed colleagues (without having to add extra schooling to obtain state teaching licenses). Independent schools, in turn, gain from hiring PhDs who are grounded in their disciplines and can share their love for research and writing with teenagers. Still, graduate programs generally do not prepare their students for teaching careers in secondary education; and graduate students are not necessarily aware of the real differences that exist between teaching at the high school and teaching at the college level. This roundtable brings together PhDs who recently started their careers in independent schools; senior teachers and heads of independent school history departments who have had to make hiring decisions; and professionals who assist graduate students in making career transitions. Members of this roundtable will address the job search and hiring process for teaching careers in independent schools; discuss the similarities and differences between the high school and college classroom; and share the stories of their own transition from academia to a profession outside of it.
See more of: AHA Sessions