The differences between being a private and public school teacher are minor compared to the similarities. I have taught in public and private schools on the middle school, high school and college levels and have found the primary difference to be one of class size and the absence of a teachers union in the private sector, although many private schools have faculty associations that function as quasi unions. Teaching on any level in any situation is as challenging a job as you are likely to find. It is challenging to stay on top of your field, whatever that may be. You will never stop learning. It is challenging to discover and develop methods to bring your subject to life for your students in the classroom. Learning to teach is a full time job. It is challenging to work with a multitude of different sorts of students in a situation where one size does not fit all. One must constantly innovate. The smaller classes of the private schools I have worked at allowed me to focus more attention on the students who needed additional time to grasp an idea or concept. The challenges of teaching are formidable. The rewards are beyond measure. To be able to watch students grow, to teach something one loves is a great privilege whether this is in a private or public school.
Teaching involves a number of different skills and qualities whether private/public/charter. I would say the most important are:
- People skills - being friendly and working well with others. You will need to be personable, caring, kind, friendly, compassionate, and understanding. These qualities make a great teacher. But you also need to be stern and firm in your directions, rules, and discipline
- Public speaking - every day in your class you will need to be able to speak and present information to your students, practice speech, and practice fluency of language and talking in front of others
- The subject you plan to teach - become a master of the subject you plan to teach, make sure you know as much as possible and learn as much as you can about the subject you plan to teach. Take as many classes as possible in this subject and learn everything you can about it.
- Psychology & Human Development - start reading books and research articles on human development and psych. It will be helpful for you to know how people learn at different stages and the best ways to teach them at these stages (depending on stage of development and schema).