Private School Vs Public School Teachers

by | Oct 26, 2023

Private and public schools have a number of key differences. You may already know that private schools are generally smaller than public schools. This may make you wonder the differences between private school teachers vs. public school teachers. I’ll break down some of key differences between the two and ultimately which one is best for students!

1. Certification

In public school, teachers are required to be certified by the state in which they are teaching in. This certification varies from state to state but generally requires a 4 year degree and a chosen, certification area. defines these areas as:

Elementary, Secondary, Special Education, Bilingual Education, and Accelerated Secondary

Candidates must have a conferred Bachelor’s degree earned from an accredited institution of higher education that is recognized by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB).

Once certified in one of the chosen areas, teachers are then asked to show their content area proficiency. This is where the teacher can demonstrate that they understand the material and can effectively teach it.

Private schools on the other hand are more lenient for the most part. They are able to set their own requirements for teachers which can be as easy or hard as they want to be. In general, private schools attract highly qualified teachers with bachelors or even doctorate degrees in the fields they teach. Many teachers prefer the smaller environment of private schools as well with more control over the curriculum.

2. Instruction Style

Public schools are strict with the lesson and content taught in a curriculum. Often times the curriculum itself is created by the state and benchmarked with teachers to evaluate performance and teaching effectiveness. This can frustrate teachers and students alike due to the strictness of the curriculum and can leave little room for classroom individualization. It’s also important to note that many public school teachers are pressured with this curriculum due to the class size being bigger than a private school.

Private schools are not required to follow state guidelines on curriculum so the teachers have more freedom on the lesson planning and how it’s taught. The school still needs to be accredited though which is done through an accrediting agency. This freedom allows for a more individualized learning environment. This generally means that private school classrooms are smaller than public schools. On top of this teachers are more inclined to accommodate students. Students who have learning differences have a better time learning in a smaller environment, especially at a private school.

3. Specialized Schools

I discussed previously that private schools have more freedom in developing a curriculum, but I wanted to take time to discuss how this affects specialized schools. Because the state only mandates the curriculum for public schools, private schools can be more specialized. Private schools can be focused on college preparation, learning differences, special education, religion, and more. This specialization is important to consider because the teachers and curriculum will all change and revolve around what specialization the school focuses on (if any).

For a college prep school, teachers will build out their curriculum to help students with getting ready for college. All schools want their students to pursue a higher education, but college prep schools will better prepare their students with a higher workload and more student autonomy. Learning difference schools have a focus on accommodating students with different learning differences.

Learning differences include:

  • ADHD
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Dyslexia
  • Dysgraphia
  • Dyscalculia
  • Etc.

Special education focused schools provide accommodations and specialties for a number of different special needs. Sometimes these schools will only focus on one disability while others will accommodate multiple. Finally, religious focused schools build their curriculum around religious obligations. This means a school may have required and dedicated classes to worship or other related activities.

The teachers in each private school are focused and hired based on how they serve their discipline. Each student learns differently so it’s important to consider all of the options when looking around. Most private schools even offer shadow days where students can experience the curriculum first hand. This is a great opportunity for students to experience how the teachers and curriculum differs before committing to attending the school!

A World of Choice

I hope this article was helpful in outlining public school vs. private school teachers. I implore you to check out our one-to-one private school: The Tenney School if you are looking for an individualized learning environment. Also feel free to reach out to us at [email protected] if you are interested in tutoring or have questions about the private school experience!


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