"If I can only find a job in a private school..."

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Aliceacc, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Dec 10, 2011

    Just a quick public service announcement.

    I read, time after time, comments about what people will do if they have to stoop so low as to teach in a private school. I just read another.

    I just wanted to remind you: some of us CHOOSE to teach in non-public schools. I've turned down jobs in public school so I could return to the Catholic High School I taught in prior to being home with my kids.

    If you could avoid assuming that all private schools exist on one of Dante's nine rings, it would be greatly appreciated.
     
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  3. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I would actually love to teach at a private school (currently homeschool two boys who attend a private hybrid school. I was actually offered a job at that school, but it was two hours a week and would have interfered with my homeschooling job and sadly had to decline once I found out the hours....) But I also think it's funny how some people view that it's a last resort type situation.
     
  4. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    I totally agree with Alice. I am certified in math and science and receive calls every year from public schools offering the world but I have chosen to teach in private Christian and Catholic schools for my entire career. It has been harder for me to remain in a private school that pays a competitive salary than it would be to find a public school job. I am hired as a teacher and I teach--I do not deal with discipline problems in my classroom because the students know that the school does not have to keep them as a student if they want to be a discipline problem. My dd graduated last May with a degree in elementary education. Within a week of graduation she had a job teaching 5th grade math and science. She went directly to the private school market and many who graduated before her are still looking for jobs.
     
  5. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    In my opinion, private schools offer a better teaching experience as well. Smaller class sizes, little tolerance for discipline problems, and more freedom in teaching.
     
  6. greendream

    greendream Cohort

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    I think it's pretty simply a matter of money. In most places, private schools pay a fraction of what public schools do.

    I think, all things being equal, most would prefer the private school atmosphere.
     
  7. teach'ntx

    teach'ntx Comrade

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    I looked at the private schools around me and the ones I wanted to work in did not have any openings. My DH and I discuss me moving to a private school in a few years, but for us the salary is a large issue. We are trying to save up now so I can make the move once I get more experience.
    I believe both private and public have their pro's and con's. Each person needs to find the school that fits their personality!!!!
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I don't want to make this into one vs. the other. With all the wonderful-- and not so wonderful-- schools in the world, there's a right fit for each of us.

    But it is kind of insulting to read a lot of the posts here that imply that working in a private school is half a step above washing toilets for a living.
     
  9. yarnwoman

    yarnwoman Cohort

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    :yeahthat::agreed:

    I work at a charter school and feel the same!
     
  10. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Exactly! The way charter schools are discussed here tends to bunch my britches. Yes, there are some that are a mess, but lumping all of them into schools to be avoided is insulting. I love where and how I teach because my charter provides a service that traditional schools do not. I chose to research and apply to online charter schools specifically for that reason.

    Thanks, Aliceacc and yarnwoman.
     
  11. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I think that private schools are like public schools in that you're going to find good and bad in both.

    My husband loved the private school he attended. He struggled a lot in public schools. MIL wouldn't agree to have him tested for special education. Instead they pulled him out to a private Christian school. Most of his teachers were certified in their area, and the school was accredited. He did well with the small class sizes.

    I live near a big city that has some really excellent private schools. Some pay less than public schools, and some pay more. In my city, there aren't any . . . at all. Years ago we had one, but they could never gain accreditation. The few kids they did have in the school were students who came from ultra conservative Christian families, so the curriculum was very censored. We're in a high-poverty area, so most people could not pay tuition. The school could not afford to hire certified teachers because they could not afford to pay much over minimum wage.
     
  12. GoldenPoppy

    GoldenPoppy Habitué

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    I've taught at a private school for 23 years. The salary is somewhat lower than public school, but the day-to-day makes it worth it. I have over 7 hours of prep time built into my schedule each week. I have 9 students in my class. I can decide exactly how I want to approach my curriculum.

    On the other hand, there are a great deal of pressure put on us. We are very accountable to the parents and the administration for producing/instructing at a very high level. Parents vote with their tuition dollars and they will walk if the school isn't meeting their expectations. It is a balancing act and some teachers have just not been comfortable in our situation. It isn't for everyone, just like public school isn't for everyone.
     
  13. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I applied at both public and Catholic schools as I actually attended both for high school! I got a job in a Catholic school and I could not be happier. I have very few discipline problems and I have complete freedom over the curriculum as long as they meet the standards. The pay is lower but it's livable. The staff is wonderful and I've made some extremely great friends while working there. I have no plans to move for now though it will depend on where my boyfriend gets a job when he graduates.
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I've taught in and love both.:love:
     
  15. Joy

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    I student taught in a private school and know that it is sometimes disliked when I interview in a public school. I speak of it very positively and if my cooperating teacher retired tomorrow, I would LOVE to have her job!!!

    The pay is less but people need to realize that the majority of teachers in christian education are not in it for the money. They know they are getting paid less and could teach somewhere else but it is worth it to them.
     
  16. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    My daughter has been in private school since kindergarten (now a junior), and she's had some stellar teachers and others that were... not--just like we see in public schools. Good teaching is all about finding the fit for you. I could never see myself working in an elementary school in any setting!:lol: I hope to never go back to a traditional high school. These are my choices. Teachers get beat up so much by the general public that the last thing we need to do is attack each other.
     
  17. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    This is true for me too. I wouldn't at all mind working in a private school- in many cases, it is a much better work environment and a lot less to deal with than the public schools (of course everywhere is different). However, the large majority of private schools don't pay anywhere near what public schools do, and it's not like public schools are paying a lot. If you're married and your spouse has a stable income, this might be an option for you. My mom worked at a private school for years and absolutely adored it even though she didn't make much money at all. She could afford to do this because my dad works at a public school and makes a decent salary. Her salary was so small that they ended up basically using it as money to give to charity, and whatever was left over was "vacation/play" money while my dad's salary was the one that paid all the bills/living expenses and put money into savings. Many of the unmarried teachers at my mom's school were literally on foodstamps. Last year, my mom made less than a third of what my dad did, with the exact same experience and education.

    I think people view it as a "last resort" because of the money- for many of us, especially those of us who aren't married and are living on one income, private school salary is just not something we can afford to live on. I know your school pays well, Alice, but that is very rare. The private schools both around here and around where I grew up practically pay minimum wage, which I think IS insulting for someone who took the time to get at least a 4 year degree and is putting so much effort into thier job. There was a chain of private schools in my hometown that literally paid 10-12 dollars an hour! The private schools around here pay about 15,000 less than the public schools do, and I can barely afford to live here on my public school salary.
     
  18. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Besides those worried about taking a cut in pay, I don't feel there is an overwhelming negative attitude about private schools.

    I know there are good and bad and in between and perks and struggles in both, but I tend to think I would enjoy the right private school. One thing I am envious of regarding private schools is that it seems to be easier to dismiss a student. We have students who bring weapons to school, who write and illustrate plans to kill their teachers, and who sell drugs in the classroom who sometimes don't even face suspension, much less something more serious.

    But, as I said, I realize there is a give and take anywhere you teach.
     
  19. kimberlyalice

    kimberlyalice Rookie

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    Check out the private schools accredited by NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools) at www.nais.org ...

    These schools are very competitive with public schools as far as teacher pay and benefits; several teachers at my school have PhDs, most have Masters, and state teaching certificates in their area. Others are professionals that fell into teaching after another career and they bring their awesome real-world experiences to the classroom. If a teacher decides to leave, s/he is hired immediately by public schools in our local district. We don't have tenure, each year you are offered a new 1 year contract if you are performing to their high standards. Openings rarely happen and when they do, it's filled immediately because of the high interest in teaching at a private school in the southeast U.S.A.

    I don't let the comment about private schools bother me; I have taught at both and I have made the best decision for me and my family. My children are very lucky to be able to attend the private school that I am so lucky to be employed at for the last 5 years.
     
  20. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    Very well said Alice!!
     
  21. knitter63

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    I really don't get the feeling that posters on A to Z think of private schools as a last resort. However, I do feel that it would not be their first choice due to the salaries involved. I taught in a Catholic school for the first three years of my teaching career. I could barely pay my bills. The Catholic school I taught at was an inner city school-and I did not see the advantages that have been mentioned above. I had large classes and no supplies to use, such as construction paper. For me, I needed to get into a public school.
    Now, if I could teach in a private school now-in some of the situations posters have described, I would-provided I still made the same salary.
     
  22. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    Exactly. In this area, most private schools will pay around 20-25K. The healthcare benefits are nearly non existent and the public schools don't view it as experience (which is strange) and you will start at the bottom of the pay scale if you move to public school.

    When I was applying to private schools years ago I was crossing my fingers for one that paid at least 25k!
     
  23. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    There is nothing wrong with teaching at a public school. I understand that for most it comes down to money. I know that I am very lucky and money is not a concern. In a private school, pay scales are not always as equal. In my past school, I was paid for 10 years more experience than I actually had because I had a chemistry degree and was the only person in my department actually certified to teach. Honestly, I would have never considered sending my children to that school due to lack of certification. The private school that my children attended was very expensive because the teachers were paid the public school average of the area. I taught there for five years and know that I made more than some of my friends because it is hard to find math and science teachers who are certified in my area. This is for both public and private schools. I did teach one year in a public school and thought it was strange that 90% of the teachers that I taught with had their children in private schools.
    I do not think that Alice meant this as a public vs private school debate but I understand what she is saying. In reading posts made on this board, it seems that there is often the non-intentional thought that I have an interview at a private school and it will keep me going until I can find a public school to teach at. There are some great private schools and not all private school teachers are waiting until they can get into public schools.
     
  24. Giggles1100

    Giggles1100 Comrade

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    I am a Special ed teacher and I took a small pay cut last year to work in a private school for Children's with Special Needs. to me the pay cut was well worth it. I do not have to do all the paperwork that was involved in public school, my school looks out for the kids and we are not babysitters to the special needs kids here and I can teach and not have to worry about ARDS, paperwork or testing. I got a nice raise this year, and I am lucky the pay cut did not hurt my family, but I will say, I finally feel the way I thought I would when I graduated from college and I finally love teaching and I don't think I will ever go back to public school. Glad I had the public school experience, it helps me relate to where these kids are coming from or where they might be going. But I finally feel at home in my private school.
     
  25. Anonymousteach

    Anonymousteach Companion

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    As someone who attended public schools, and is currently employed in a public school system, I'm not as familiar with private schools. From what I hear though, while the pay and benefits aren't as good as public schools, there is more respect, and teachers are actually allowed to be teachers. I would definitely consider teaching in a private school once I complete my certification! If it is more rewarding, and there is more respect, it would be worth the pay cut for me! After all, we aren't in the education profession for the money, right?
     
  26. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I taught private and loved it. I made the move to public primarily for money, (i increased my pay two and a half times when I switched...that makes a HUGE difference even for someone who is passionate about education and was content making a lot less) but I do know that my opportunities for professional development are also greater in my current, public school setting...that's important to me. Also my public school setting, because it is public, has more resources for helping students with learning and physical disabilities than the two private setting in which I worked. I am fortunate to teach in a school where teachers ARE respected and treated as professionals. I've loved both types of settings..I'm the kind of educator who is passionate about this profession and I've found happiness and fulfillment in most of the schools in which I've taught. There are many teachers, however, in both public AND private schools who are not as fortunate.:(
     
  27. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Well if you think that's bad (people looking down on teaching in a private school,) think how us Preschool teachers feel when we are looked down on for working in a "daycare!" We would appreciate the same respect given to the so-called "real teachers" in "real schools." Why in the world would anyone think they are smarter or better just because they have a ton of college degrees? That's what makes me sad.
     
  28. Giggles1100

    Giggles1100 Comrade

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    Grammy, i taught preschool fro 4 years before I went back to teaching what my friends called "real School!" I taught at a church for 3 years then a daycare care. I will say a daycare teacher has the hardest teaching job around and this is coming from a special Ed teacher. A preschool teacher is who lays the foundation for that child's whole school career. They teach them the basics numbers and letters, these things are so important, that that child uses them for the rest of their life and these teachers do it with love and certainly not for pay! Preschool teachers ROCK and are so important and are REAL teachers.
     
  29. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Thanks Giggles! These days the trend is for PreK to have college degrees and many times the teachers you see in a PreK class have the same teaching certs as the REAL teachers. I am so happy that someone values us!

    I have my own children in a variety of different programs. One is in full day public, one is in public half day and supported homeschool half day, one is in enrolled in private Catholic Middle School. I run my own program....which I guess would be considered private. When I am done with my own program (I tire of the long hours) I will roll into public PreK....but I must say.....when I sub there I miss the respect and the freedom to teach already!
     
  30. Cerek

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    I guess I must be reading the wrong threads (or not reading the right ones), because I've not seen the comments criticizing charter schools that others have. :unsure:
     
  31. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Giggles and Wa, thanks for the support...as I see it, all the college in the world doesn't make a great teacher...it increases the pay though, and that is wonderful for those who deserve to be paid better....I'm half asleep so am rambling, please excuse....
     
  32. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Grammy, your post deserves its own thread. Would you do that? I feel strongly about this topic. Years ago, I worked at a child care resource & referral. Target donated $250,000 to our agency to run a local campaign calling for quality early childhood education. Inherent in that public information was the key component, that early child care is education and the providers are professionals. (I ran the campaign, by the way.)
     
  33. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I never worked in public school. Spent 11 years in private school. There are plenty of differences between the two, but we had many dedicated and professional teachers. Yes, the pay was atrocious.
     
  34. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    I can't imagine a more difficult teaching job than preschool and/or kindergarten! I would probably be reduced to a blob of jelly and tears by the end of the day!
     
  35. Anonymousteach

    Anonymousteach Companion

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    When I first started subbing, my first job was doing a half day for Kindergarten. Let's just say once was enough of that.
     
  36. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Subbing for kinder and having your own class is so very different though. I subbed for a month out of college before getting my first teaching job. I subbed in a kinder class for one day and went home very stressed out and in tears. It was a miserable day. A few weeks later, I was hired to teach kinder. Best year ever.
     
  37. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    I think the goal that Uspsadaisy is hoping we will find is that regardless of our position or our type of school......when one reads in print "if I have to, I could work in......(insert your position here) it is hurtful and a bit belittling.
     
  38. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    I would have quit the first day and never gone back if I had to teach any elementary grade. All elementary teachers have my deepest respect.
     
  39. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    That is not true for all private and public schools. The public schools in my area have pretty much discontinued any professional development due to budget cuts. I am able to go to any professional development that I want to and they pay registration, food, airfare, etc.
     
  40. Myrisophilist

    Myrisophilist Habitué

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    I was always under the impression that private schools were the "elite." In fact, I'm psyched that I will be student teaching at a semi-private school. I went out of my way to arrange it.
     
  41. Mrs.DLC

    Mrs.DLC Comrade

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    I have taught in both and agree-it depends on the school/teacher. Different isn't wrong....(as I tell students).I also have cleaned toilets and think any job done well and with dignity is not to be looked down on. I don't think I am any more important than our custodians, etc. We have different job descriptions, but should all take pride in our work.
     

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