Does teaching at a charter school = a ruined career?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by travelbug, Jun 10, 2014.

  1. travelbug

    travelbug New Member

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    Hi all, I'm a teacher who recently returned back to central Ohio and I've been hearing some rumors about teaching at charter schools. Recently, I've been told by several teachers that by taking a charter school position, I'll have a very, very difficult chance of getting a public school job later. It was stated that good teachers don't teach at charter schools; charter schools are seen as the place for mediocre teachers. Basically, it boils down to teaching at a charter school, at least here in Ohio = career suicide. Has anyone else heard something to this effect or is this just rumor mongering at its sensational best? Thank you!
     
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  3. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Virtuoso

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    The deal in Ohio is that it is SUPER difficult to find any teaching work in several parts of the state, either in public, private, or charter schools. The ODE job bank has openings, but they are mostly for charter schools serving grade 4-9 students. I'm in a charter school now, and I know public school might look critically at it if I decided to go elsewhere, but I'm working full time working with kids. That is the important part to me.
     
  4. travelbug

    travelbug New Member

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    Right, I've been on ODE's website and the vast majority of jobs are charter and not public. Am I better off trying to sub for the public school system or should I take a charter school position? I've been offered a charter school job, but I don't want to if it will damage my career. So, do the public schools look negatively at you if you are a charter school teacher? I'm just so confused.
     
  5. ms.irene

    ms.irene Habitué

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    I don't know how it is in Ohio specifically, but I can tell you that I worked at an online public charter school for three years and then had no problem getting a job at a traditional public school. It definitely came up in interviews -- everyone asks about it and is curious to know what the experience was like. I always say it was a good learning experience but that I was ready to go back to a more traditional setting. So I don't think teaching at a charter school is necessarily career suicide, at least in my experience!
     
  6. HeartDrama

    HeartDrama Connoisseur

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    I suppose it's possible that the culture in OH would include a bias against charter schools. That's quite different in California. Here, if you lack experience and need a job, charter is the way to go. I get really frustrated with those in education who have a myopic view of what they believe it should be. All children should be educated in a public school and parents should not consider any other options. I hear it on these forums; nothing but slander about charter schools. I can't imagine how teaching at a charter school means that someone is a subpar teacher. Sounds like elitist nonsense to me.
     
  7. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Virtuoso

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    I cannot really tell how the post-charter search is in Ohio because I've been pretty happy for the past several years. However, several of my friends who have left my school have been able to find work in public districts. They usually had something a little extra to offer, such as coaching abilities, but they are doing well.
     
  8. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Aficionado

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    Experience in a charter school is better than no experience.
     
  9. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Fanatic

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    Do be aware that MANY districts in ohio don't post openings on ODE.
     
  10. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    I use to hear that in Michigan too. Recently I know of several teachers who have left a charter school and gone to a traditional public school.
     
  11. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Enthusiast

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    Jun 10, 2014

    :clap::clap::clap:

    THANK YOU for voicing what I have thought SO OFTEN on these forums!!

    I have learned that the educational landscape is VERY different in CA than other parts of the country. Charters are much more widely accepted here, are held more accountable, have a longer history of success (NO, not all succeed, but many REALLY do), and are extremely numerous and can be found nearly anywhere in our huge state. I think everyone's view of charters is tainted by whatever state/region of the country they live in. Charters are run very differently and abide by different laws in various parts of the country.

    I got hired at a charter in 2012 because it was the only job I could get in a terrible market. To say I was pleasantly surprised would be an understatement. I am so impressed by my school, its track record, and the amazing educators I work with. Now it's 2014 and I actually CHOSE a charter this time around.

    When I was first job hunting I actually had the same fears as you. (I'm not sure why, but I know it was partially from reading anti charter sentiments on this forum). Would charter experience "look bad"? Now I don't care. If I ever do switch to public (which, at this point, seems unlikely) I don't think I would want to work for a district that sees my experience as "invalid" anyway.

    Personally, I can't imagine choosing subbing rather than teaching at a charter. I would have a hard time working in a state where subbing in public was actually viewed as more valid experience than actual full time classroom teaching in a charter, private, or any other type of school.

    BUT...to answer your question, OP, this is regional. The Ohio answer must be a lot different from my California answer, or you wouldn't be asking this question.

    ETA: I realize that many on these boards and out there in the great beyond have had terrible experiences in charter schools. I've also heard of people having terrible experiences in public schools. So...it's not always so black and white. :2cents:
     
  12. waterfall

    waterfall Phenom

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    That was definitely the sentiment in both the area I went to college in and the area I grew up in (both in OH, about two hours away from each other). When I was first looking, I would say I wanted to apply to charters because I knew the market was horrible and I needed to start somewhere. The way people reacted, you would have though I suggested I start stripping to make temporary money. EVERY person I talked to about the job search, teacher or non-teacher, reacted the same way. Numerous people told me I'd be better off at McDonald's. Even when I met new people and would say I had just graduated and was looking for a teaching job, the first thing they would say is, "Don't apply to charters!" My friend who went to a different college than me said that her student teaching adviser had told her class that if they got a job in a charter, they had better not come whining to her for help the next year because she'd warned them to stay away. I think it is unique to the area, so others might not understand but it is definitely present.

    In my current state, with political views aside charters are generally seen as good schools. Many people still dislike them because they feel that they will only accept high-achieving, well behaved students, but regardless they still see them as "good" schools. When I try to explain this to the people back home it's simply unfathomable to them that a charter would be considered a good school, or that it would be filled with high-achieving well-behaved students. Charters out here are almost more like private schools were back in OH, while a lot of charters in OH are more like the "alternative" schools out here. That's the best way that I can think to explain it.

    PS- I also agree with the poster that said most jobs are not posted on the ODE site. Definitely don't use that as your only source for postings.
     
  13. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Enthusiast

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    I think this proves that it's totally regional, since you have worked in two states. It's so foreign to me to think of charters having THAT bad of a reputation, OR of them only taking the "best" students (although I know those rumors fly everywhere!) My charter is a conversion and we have to take all the kids within our boundaries first. We certainly aren't skimming in any way.

    I also wonder if it has anything to do with how the public districts in the area are viewed. My charter is in LAUSD. That alone might be saying enough. The district has a MUCH WORSE reputation than most of the charters.
     
  14. 4815162342

    4815162342 Companion

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    I recently accepted a teaching position at a charter school in Texas (my first year of teaching). I didn't even think about if I'd ever be able to get hired at a public school down the line, but I've been applying to public schools for about 6 months and never even got an interview. So, I'm taking what I can get. It might be a great place to work, or at least it will be experience. The pay difference wasn't too huge, so it seemed like the best idea to me. I say take the charter school job and be a classroom teacher, as opposed to just subbing. I'm sure it won't be a career killer.
     
  15. ScienceEd

    ScienceEd Companion

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    Jun 10, 2014

    If the choice was work at a charter school or sub at a public, I would choose the charter school. Having experience as a full time teacher far outweighs subbing. I used to sub and having your own classroom teaches you a lot about classroom management, working with parents, lesson planning, etc.

    I think the whole "charter school = job death" is just a rumor spread by people who want to feel better about themselves since they work for a public school.

    Seems childish and immature to me. There will be good and bad teachers in both public and charter schools. Sometimes its not all about the money.

    Personally I work at a public school and have thought about applying to charter schools later on because of the teaching environment and the parent involvement of the charter schools in my area. It never occurred to me to think that "public school teachers are better than charter school teachers".

    They are both teachers. It would be as bad as saying "Female teachers are better than male teachers"

    But you have snobs every where.
     
  16. Reality Check

    Reality Check Habitué

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    Charter schools are viewed that way here, also: That people take jobs in them only because they can't get a job anywhere else.

    That's also similar to the sentiment I came across here when I worked in the city. Colleagues told me, "Don't stay too many years in the city because the mentality of the suburban school districts is that only inferior teachers teach in the city."

    :huh:
     
  17. HeartDrama

    HeartDrama Connoisseur

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    EXACTLY!!!! My charter is an LAUSD public charter as well. I used to complain about some things until I connected with teachers who work at the high schools my kids come from. One of them described working at my school as going to the spa!
     
  18. aprilshowers

    aprilshowers Rookie

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    I don't see how a potential employer could view experience at a charter less than experience at any other public school. Unless you work at a for-profit corporate monster, it is all basically the same. I would rather work for a charter full-time than work for any other school part-time or sub.

    I am applying for jobs and have never had any issue getting an interview with mostly charter school experience. However, I have not had a good experience working at a charter school. There are no teacher rights and there are usually less resources for helping those new to the profession. My first year, I taught in a public school and had a great experience. My last 3 years were in a charter school and I had a very mixed experience. However, I am considering going to another charter school next year because I recognize that not all charters are the same.
     
  19. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Enthusiast

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    Lol that's pretty sad!

    I don't know much about our area district elementary schools other than what the parents tell me. A lot of kids come to our school because they're not thrilled with what's going on in the other schools.

    I'm sure there are tons of great teachers in LAUSD, but it is such a bureaucratic monster...:eek: (Sidenote - did you do BTSA through LAUSD? I just finished it through them.)
     
  20. HeartDrama

    HeartDrama Connoisseur

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    My charter had a BTSA program, but my support provider was horrible, didn't help me at all. Everything is due by June 27 and I barely have anything done. Since I plan on moving out of state, and the state I'm going to doesn't require my credential to be clear, I'm not going to do BTSA.
     
  21. teacherguy111

    teacherguy111 Cohort

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    Jun 11, 2014

    Hello,
    I am also in central Ohio. Since the job market here is very hard to get into I don't think that teaching in a charter school is career suicide. There are some good ones here in central Ohio, and some not so good ones.
     

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