Any private school prejudice?

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by jdrbug, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. jdrbug

    jdrbug New Member

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    Mar 21, 2012

    A decade ago, I moved to another state and took the first teaching job I was offered; it was at a private school. I found the freedom invigorating and the academic success addicting. However...the pay has never quite reached $30k, and my family is growing. So I have decided to try public school again where all the money is. (Bet you don't hear that often.)

    My question is this: 10 years ago, I was ostracized because I was a private school teacher in a public school world, but in the last few years I have not noticed much of a problem. Do you think going back to public will be an issue for other teachers? Will my private school experience bother the staff/administration much?
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Mar 21, 2012

    Last time I was looking, I turned down sevral jobs (including 2 at good public schools) with 20 years of Catholic school teaching experience.

    I can't speak to your experience, but it wasn't an issue for me.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Mar 21, 2012

    School jobs are highly competitive in my area...it's not about public or private, it's what you bring in terms of education, experience, philosophy..some private schools simply do not have the resources for ongoing professional development (let's face it, many public schools don't either) so a candidate who hasn't been continuing to stay current in terms of taking classes, using best practices isn't going to be as highly competitive as those who have had that experience...
     
  5. jdrbug

    jdrbug New Member

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    Mar 21, 2012

    I am currently enrolled in 9 credits to clear my credential, so I hope to be equal to other applicants in that sphere. Thanks for the idea.
     
  6. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Mar 21, 2012

    In my area it wouldn't be an issue. Your work once you had the job would be what people would look at. We did have a lts come from one of the local church schools (we don't have any private schools in my parish). She didn't last long, we are a high poverty, fully inclusive school. She was used to a setting where you got to choose the students in your school. She couldn't handle the different setting. To be honest, though, if she hadn't had the school experience I still think she would have struggled.
     
  7. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Mar 21, 2012

    I think it can be an issue, depending on the type of public school you're looking for. Whether it's true or not, the general perception is that people who have taught in private schools won't be prepared for the realities of teaching in public- high poverty, parents who don't care (you know in private school they have at least some value for education since they pay for it), students who don't care, IEPs/kids coming in to your class years behind where they should be, working with all kinds of specialists, etc. My mom taught in private school for 20 years and was an excellent teacher. She loved the academic freedom as well but her salary was also practically minimum wage. I made almost 10k more than her my first year teaching when she was on year 20. She's now subbing in public in a fairly decent district and she is just incredibly overwhelmed with all of the extras that come with the public school, even as a sub. She's really overwhelmed with all of the specialists coming in and out of the room, kids getting one thing modified and then not the next thing, various accommodations, deciding if kids going to interventions need to make up gen ed classwork, etc. Like I said, this is a pretty good district (my dad is a full time teacher there) but behaviors have been an issue too compared to what she was used to in private school, especially with lack of parent support in public. She was looking for another full time teaching job last year but has now decided she doesn't think she wants to do public school. She also pretty much just worked in her own classroom in private school and really doesn't like what she calls "forced collaboration" which is pretty much expected at the elementary level within public schools between grade level teammates.

    So yes, to give you the honest answer it might be harder to get into a public school. However, also think about that brand new teachers get hired every year- so experience isn't everything. I know in my area private school experience doesn't count on the salary scale for public school, so if they hired you they could get an experienced teacher for the price of a 1st year. That would definitely be a leg up for you, and although it is kind of unfair that the experience doesn't count, I'm sure a public school first year salary is probably still more than what you're making now.
     
  8. jdrbug

    jdrbug New Member

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    Mar 21, 2012

    You make some excellent points, things I should consider focusing on for my interviews. Thank you for the insight.
     
  9. sizzla_222

    sizzla_222 Companion

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    Mar 22, 2012

    I don't think it should be a problem going from private to public. I think it would be an adjustment personally... but i don't think the schools would think of you any lesser becuse you taught at private school. i teach at a private christian school now in Ohio.

    It is weird because in the UK where I am from, private school teachers are paid more than public. Kind of the opposite of here!
     
  10. melissa803

    melissa803 Comrade

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    Mar 22, 2012

    Last year I moved from Public to Private after 9 years. I would have thought the prejudice would go the other way. I was asked so often, "Have you ever taught in an independent school?"

    If I were you, I'd be prepared to bring up examples of diverse student populations you've worked with, learning differences you've encountered and be ready to answer "Why public?" without saying mo' money! :)

    The only time in my career I've ever thought something about a private school teacher was when one was hired at my public school who was a career switcher whose only experience was at a religious school. She was uncertified and didn't have a good philosophical background (But I guess was a god interviewee!). She was just an OK teacher because of a lack of training.

    I don't think it will matter much. Admins (public or private)just want to hire the best teachers they can find!

    Good luck!
     
  11. tonysam

    tonysam Comrade

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    Mar 23, 2012

    The short answer is "no." Private school experience wasn't devalued or anything like that in my experience. It is real teaching experience, unlike subbing. In fact, I recommend teachers with little experience to go the private route rather than substitute.

    In my old state, private school teaching counted as experience on the salary scale as long as the school was fully licensed/accredited.
     
  12. tonysam

    tonysam Comrade

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    Mar 23, 2012

    Baloney. I went directly from a private school into public like the following day after I was RIF'd from the private school. In my state private school pay counts toward experience. It is far better to work in private school than toil away for garbage pay as a sub year after year. In fact, given how terrible the working conditions are for teachers in public schools, I would never work as a teacher again in the public system. I would go the private route. I am interested in getting in the public system again but not in a teaching position. Too much risk, especially at my age of 57, to get forcibly retired (illegally fired) the way I was in Nevada four years ago.

    By the way, behaviors can be just as bad in private school as public. Kids are kids, and spoiled brats can be as big a challenge as at-risk kids, even more so in my experience. Plus the parents tend to be a lot more demanding in private schools than public.

    See, I have worked in both, so I know what I am talking about, not presenting something gleaned from second-hand "knowledge."
     

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