Finding employment as a teacher in a pediatric hospital mirrors the process for becoming a public school teacher. Hospitals providing pediatric education typically collaborate with school districts to employ qualified teachers who hold the appropriate teaching credentials. Pediatric teachers must demonstrate competencies to work with children from preschool through high school levels in a hospital setting while coordinating educational services with medical personnel and staff from the child’s home school. Additionally, pediatric teachers demonstrate flexibility, understanding and compassion when working with children experiencing serious medical conditions or possessing special needs, according to the Great Ormand Street Hospital Charity.
Procedures for Employment
Whether hired directly through a pediatric hospital or in collaboration with local school districts, applicants must hold a valid, professional license for their teaching assignment. Employers will also request documentation about an applicant’s educational background and work history. If hospitals hire teachers directly, their human resource personnel will guide teachers through the employment process. For hospitals that collaborate with local school divisions, teaching applicants complete the school system’s hiring process and also interview with hospital personnel.
Types of Teaching Endorsements
Since the grade levels of the students in pediatric programs vary, potential candidates need corresponding teaching endorsements. Preschool and primary level students require teachers with early childhood and elementary endorsements, while middle school or secondary students require teachers with endorsements at those levels. Teachers with special education endorsements may also be needed to implement individual education plans with special needs students. Due to these endorsement requirements, pediatric hospitals generally hire multiple teachers to comply with state regulations.
Job Expectations for a Teacher in a Pediatric Hospital
The number of students enrolled in a pediatric hospital school program fluctuates according to the length of hospitalization. Children and adolescents generally qualify for enrollment when they reach long-term care status, which means continuous hospitalization for a certain time period as determined by hospital policy. Some hospitals also provide free tutoring for students with shorter stays. Depending on the number of students enrolled and their grade levels, some teachers may be hired full-time and others on a part-time basis. Successful pediatric teachers accept these frequent caseload changes and adapt to meet the learning needs of all students no matter how long or short their stay.
Flexible attitudes also contribute to teamwork experiences, which include collaborating with home school personnel, parents and hospital caregivers. A teacher in a pediatric hospital will spend time communicating with home school personnel about implementing lesson plans that assist students to maintain academic skills and keep up with current class assignments. This is especially important for high school age students who are working towards diploma requirements. Parents will be interested in feedback about their child’s progress or observations about how a hospitalization may be affecting the learning process. Teachers will also coordinate with hospital staff to work learning times into medical routines and services.
Related Resource: Education Jobs with the State Government
Teachers employed in pediatric settings express how much they get back from their jobs. They talk about the variety of tasks they get to perform to help children maintain their educational skills, the personal connections they make with students and families, and how rewarding it is to build up a child’s learning confidence during difficult times. For those with the right credentials, flexibility and desire to make a difference, becoming a teacher in a pediatric hospital is a worthy career choice.