Catholic schools

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Elena3, Mar 1, 2020.

  1. Elena3

    Elena3 Rookie

    Jul 3, 2017
    Likes Received:

    Mar 1, 2020

    Does anyone out there teach at a Catholic school? How is it compared to working at a public school? I know they don’t pay as much, but what about the work load and stress? If anyone could chime in I’d appreciate it. There’s an opening in my area and I’m considering applying. Thanks!
  3. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

    Feb 5, 2011
    Likes Received:

    Mar 1, 2020

    My dad is working at a Catholic school this year after retiring from public school. He LOVES it. It's significantly less work and stress. However, the pay is ridiculous. For him, it doesn't matter because this is on top of his public school pension. He needed some sort of job to pay for health insurance and was planning to be a para, but decided to try this out instead. For someone like me who needs a regular salary to live on it would never work.
    Elena3 likes this.
  4. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

    Aug 23, 2005
    Likes Received:

    Mar 1, 2020

    I taught in a Catholic school for 10 years. I am not Catholic. Overall, it was a wonderful experience.

    You do not make much money, and the benefits are bare bones. If you are a woman in child-bearing years, they have great maternity leave and such, but your insurance through them, of course, won't cover birth control.

    You have to sign a morality clause stating that you will live by the virtues of the Catholic church, so of course things like living with a boyfriend or girlfriend, having a child out-of-wedlock, or being gay will lead you straight out the door. At many schools, even if you aren't Catholic, you will be required to attend Mass weekly and on high holy days. I had no problem with any of that, but for some, it is a problem they may not have considered. If you are not Catholic, you cannot teach religion (obviously) so if it is elementary school, you will need to trade with another teacher who is Catholic -- they will teach your religion and you will teach some other subject for them. That isn't a big deal. Schools are very conservative, so you need to keep any political convictions you have to yourself.

    I found the staff, parents, and students to be warm and welcoming. The stress of testing that you find in public schools does not exist. You have more leeway to teach as you wish, so long as you cover the required curriculum. You might think science will be limited based on religious beliefs, but it isn't. Science is science, and religion is religion.

    However, if you are not Catholic you need to realize, you will never be fully accepted. They firmly believe they are the only ones going to heaven, and that your non-Catholic beliefs are wrong. They truly and completely believe you are not a true believer of Christ if you are not Catholic. You will get very good at not expressing any opinion about such things. No matter how friendly people are, you will always be an outsider.

    It is so much nicer than teaching in public school, with all of its mandatory "non-negotiables." and testing. Catholic schools are not required to honor IEPs or provide accommodations (although some still do.) While some boot misbehaving students out, others are desperate for the tuition money, so it can go either way in terms of behavior. Parents tend to be much more involved because they are paying tuition -- but sometimes that can lead to parents feeling very entitled. Again, it is a trade off.

    I only left because I moved. Otherwise, I'd still be there.
    Elena3 likes this.
  5. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

    Jul 3, 2010
    Likes Received:

    Mar 2, 2020

    Rainstorm, as always your response is thorough, kind, and honest. I always enjoy reading your posts. As a Catholic and one who attended Catholic school, what you stated should have changed and hopefully is not as much the case. With the passing of Vatican II around 1964, the way Catholics are to interact and see the other Christian religions has changed in doctrine. I don't doubt that the school you were at or some schools it hasn't changed enough.

    Catholics do believe that other Christians are true believers in Christ. Catholics do believe other Christians can go to heaven. We do believe the graces in the Catholic faith which are unique to the Catholic faith can be very helpful to the road to heaven, and yes we do believe they are correct. I hope that this helps to clarify a bit about the doctrine. Otherwise, thank you Rainstorm for an excellent post.
    Violetta and Tired Teacher like this.
  6. Secondary Teach

    Secondary Teach Companion

    Aug 21, 2016
    Likes Received:

    Mar 21, 2020

    Sometimes the parents at these schools are referred to as "helicopter parents". You may need to look into that. I teach at a Catholic high school, and while I wouldn't mind trade it for anything, we do have more of those than at the public schools I taught at. You may want to ask to observe or tour the school, when the prjncprin/interviewer asks you "if you have any questions". But, behavior-wise, ita much much better than many public/charter schools. The administration is usually nicer as well. I tend to find the principals are usually older or are nuns. Good luck!
    Tired Teacher likes this.
  7. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Comrade

    Oct 25, 2016
    Likes Received:

    Mar 21, 2020

    I've never been in one, but I've applied and would apply again. One of my dearest friends teaches HS biology in one. Everything is fine until they get to reproductive ed., at which point the diocese-approved OB/GYN comes in and stages a talk with the girls. Friend is Catholic, but a twice-a-year Catholic who regularly attends a Protestant church with his wife. Living in a different town than he works in is the saving grace.
    Do keep in mind that some dioceses will not hire you if you're not Catholic. That happened to me. I had a school that very much wanted me and the diocese said no. The job ended up unfilled. I found out later what happened.

    I do work for CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) athletics though, so I have some firsthand experience with the kids and parents. In my area, the problems are problems of privilege. Most of the kids are fine, and the parents are pleasant enough- if not pleasant to the point of hovering. They can be a competitive group. Be prepared to have hard evidence of misbehavior. On the other hand, I feel reasonably supported by the organization. I had a coach disrespect me during tournament, and he was pulled from the season and has to have a discussion with the priest before he's allowed back.

    You ought to tell that to the priest who told my classmates that everyone who wasn't a Catholic was going to hell. Of course, some of the kids repeated it at school, which went over about as well as you'd expect. This was decades after Vatican II. IME, it all depends on the priest and the community. I regularly got the "shun the non-believer" treatment around Lent. Heck, 50 years later, my mother & family are remembered as the only Protestants on the block in her childhood neighborhood. When my parents were engaged, they had two priests involved. The first one did NOT approve of the marriage and was rather rude to my Baptist mother. Then he got transferred, and the second priest was lovely and had zero problem performing the ceremony.

    OP, my advice is go for it, but read the morals clause well and be sure you can follow it before you accept a position. As long as you're ok being a bit of an outsider at community events, it's not a bad gig. The kids and parents are decent, if a bit spoiled, and discipline is tighter than most public schools.

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Kelster95,
  2. Upsadaisy,
  3. bananas1964
Total: 367 (members: 6, guests: 340, robots: 21)