Private Christian School... But I'm no saint

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by Mrs_Goatess, Jun 24, 2006.

  1. Mrs_Goatess

    Mrs_Goatess Comrade

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2006
    Messages:
    393
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 24, 2006

    I'm considering applying at a local Christian School, to teach secondary students (6-12). It is a Babtist school.

    The problem is this: I'm a very poor Christian.

    I was a member of a Babtist church... fifteen years ago, which is more than half my lifetime. I haven't gone to church since, although I still consider myself a Christian. I was saved, but I'm not immune to doubt, I am fairly liberal, and I'm not a Bible-literalist. I'm married (going on two years) with no children.

    I know being a good Christian as well as a good educator would probably be their top priorities in a teacher, but how evenly (or unevenly) are those two aspects valued? When teaching, I think it's appropriate to play the "devil's advocate" sometimes: is that acceptable? Are there some topics that would be entirely off limits? (I just spent the last quarter reading "It Happened to Nancy" [A true diary of a girl who was date-raped and infected with AIDs] with my 8th graders. I enjoyed the lessons, but could such things be read and discussed at a Christian school?)

    My question is for anyone who has experience with a Christian school. What could I expect at an interview? What might they ask of me? Would someone like me bleong there at all, or would they be seeking someone who looks more like this -> :angel: ?
     
  2.  
  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Jun 24, 2006

    Hi.

    I've taught in Catholic High Schools for 20 years, my husband has 24 years in one.

    Let's assume that you're not teaching Religion.

    The schools I've taught in don't really look much into the religious background of the teachers of other subjects. The outgoing socials studies chairman is Jewish. I applied at a Lutheran school and one run by the Society of Friends; neither had a problem with a Catholic math teacher and both offered me a job. (I'm returning to teaching after 6 years home with the kids. I eventually was offered, and accepted, a job back where I taught for 13 years.)

    That said, they will ask that you respect their beliefs and enforce the church and school policy. So, for example, if you disagree with the church teaching on an issue, they'll expect you to keep that to yourself... the devil's advocate thing will NOT fly!!

    As to any material you're not sure of, it would be agood idea to check with your chairman ahead of time. I think that would be true in any school.

    How else can I help?
     
  4. Mrs_Goatess

    Mrs_Goatess Comrade

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2006
    Messages:
    393
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 24, 2006

    Thanks so much for your answers!

    I really want a position with good support and involved parents, and I'll willing to not make as much as in public school. English is my subject area. I was just worried I would be considered "unfit". I do have opinions that are not inline with the church and I don't advertise my religious beliefs. I respect all beliefs (my friends range from born-again Christians to neo-pagans) and lifestyles (I've married friends, gay friends, and a transgendered friend).

    I am tired of working in a classroom where I knew most of my students wanted to talk about their religious feels (I assigned lots of open-subject creative writing and journaling), but most expressed knowledge that public school was an inappropriate place to do so and felt uncomfortable. I tried to create a classroom that was open to all religions, but I know I'd feel personally more comfortable talking about a Juedo-Christian centered belief than others.

    I had to say that I was intimated by an application I asked for from a different non-denominational school, which had three pages on professing religious beliefs ("Describe your experience as being saved." "Explain your personal relationship with Jesus Christ", "Describe how you converted someone to the word of God." etc.) and a single page on professional credentials and experience.

    I was hoping other schools were not like this. I wanted to work for a Christian School that was education centered and Godly influenced. Is this a hard find?
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Jun 24, 2006

    WOW!!!

    Sorry, I've never seen anything remotely close to that... maybe because I'm in NY?? The schools I applied to wanted to know about classroom management, the change in NY's math syllabus, and so on. Both times I mentioned that I'm Catholic and asked whether that would be a problem; the Society of Friends school laughed and said that very few members of their faculty shared the school beliefs.

    Have you tried the local Catholic schools? Maybe they're a little less concerned? Try finding some here:
    http://forums.atozteacherstuff.com/showthread.php?t=20845

    Good luck!
     
  6. cmmottau

    cmmottau Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2005
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 24, 2006

    Mrs. Goatess,

    I have worked in a Catholic school for 7 years and although I am Catholic many of our teachers are not. What our school looks for is teachers who are willing and capable of following the mission of the school, to follow the employee guidelines, and complete their duties to the best of their abilities.

    A good christian school should be welcoming, inviting, and loving. It should be a place where all feel like they belong. I can't say our school is perfect but for the most part it is a great place to work. You are right to believe that you will get parent support, we have so much help it is great.

    Good luck
    Cathy
     
  7. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,937
    Likes Received:
    680

    Jun 24, 2006

    Baptist schools will be very different from Catholic schools (hey, the word catholic means universal). They require even parents of the students to pledge not to indulge in certain behaviors and to profess their faith and substantiate that they are active members of a church, so I would imagine they do the same to teachers. Many controversial books would not be allowed, themes such as you mentioned most likely would be a big no-no.

    You would want to know how much religion is woven into the regular curriculum. There may be much more of that in a Baptist school than in other religious schools. Also, do they subscribe to Southern Baptist practices? I think they are even more limiting of many behaviors.
     
  8. emccoy

    emccoy Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2001
    Messages:
    133
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 3, 2006

    You will have to be careful!!

    You have some investigating to do. I worked in a private Baptist School for the last 8 years. How you may be received will be dependent on what type of Baptist school you're going to be teaching. I will tell you, be prepared to head back to church.

    The school I was in was a fundamental independent Baptist church. They took the Bible and the concepts contained therein very seriously. When I was hired, I was expected to be a member a Christian church and to be an active member of it. I had to have my pastor's recommendation. At this point in time, that requirement has changed to you must be a member of the Baptist church that sponsors the school. I was forced to choose between joining a new church or face not having a contract for the next year.

    Fundamental independent Baptist churches are staunchly conservative, and very little in the way of liberalism will be tolerated. Most of these types of schools will either use Bob Jones or A Beka curriculums. These curriculums will be blunt in describing the sinfulness of neo-pagan beliefs and homosexual lifestyles. I mention these specifically because you alluded to them in your original post.

    Southern Baptist schools on the whole will not be as stringent as the independents. They will actually widely vary from state to state. In the Bible belt, they will be more conservative. Texas and west will be less conservative. You are not likely to find many Baptist schools in the northeast.

    If the school did not ask in the application, they will ask about your salvation experience at the interview. No one is immune to doubt at some point in life, but if you don't take the Bible as literal truth, you may want to re-evaluate whether a Christian school is for you.

    Those things aside - I enjoyed my time at my school. I believe closely with many of the things that they did. I was miffed that I had to change churches last year, but I was able to deal with that. It was weird at first being the only University of Maryland graduate at a school full of faculty from Christian colleges, but I never really lost my conservative values despite many years of not applying them.

    I hope that things go well for you. God bless.
    Ed
     
  9. srh

    srh Devotee

    Joined:
    May 4, 2005
    Messages:
    1,199
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 3, 2006

    I have to agree with emccoy. One reason Christian schools exist is to offer Christian families the opportunity to educate their children within their particular values and convictions. While some schools may be more "open" than others, a denominational school will be closely tied to its roots. I graduated from a very small Baptist college in the 1970s; I could talk for hours about the limitations! But I attended the school by choice for its Bible-based, Christ-centered focus, and I got it.

    Just be yourself in the interview--it will serve no good purpose not to do so. You may decide on your own (after hearing their questions/emphases, etc.) that you would prefer a public school or other private setting. Good luck to you...and I applaud your serious consideration, both pro and con, of this opportunity!
     
  10. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Messages:
    7,946
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jul 3, 2006

    I have only worked in public schools but have family members who attended a Christian school and acquaintances who have been administrators and teachers at that same school. Apparently it varies from school to school and region to region, but I’m pretty positive that the local Christian school I speak of would not be interested in someone outside the religion. Personally, if I was a parent of a student attending this Christian school I would want the teachers to share and practice the same belief system. But that's just me. :)
     
  11. AZKinderTchr

    AZKinderTchr Comrade

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2005
    Messages:
    309
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 3, 2006

    I haven't taught in a Christian school but I attended a Lutheran elementary school. First of all this was in the early 80s so things may have changed but the school was very conservative. All of the teachers were members of the church. We were expected to go to church and there was a chart on the wall to track the number of Sundays we went (I was the heathen who seldom made it). It was a lovely school with a wonderful staff, but they did all teach religion and were expected to live by the beliefs of the church.
     
  12. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

    Joined:
    May 22, 2006
    Messages:
    1,457
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 4, 2006

    Mrs. Goatess:
    I would strongly suggest that you try an independent school. You can go on the National Association of Independet Schools Website and post your resume. Like Aliceacc says I think you should try the Catholic schools. You might also try Jewish schools also. They often hire nono-Jewsih teachers to teach genral curriculum. Do not overlook your public schools. I have heard that there is a shortage of teachers in Florida. If you would like to try subbing in private schools apply with Kelly Educational Staffing. Go on the Kelly Services Website and you should be able to find the Kelly Educational Staffing office nearest you. Unless you really want to go back to the Baptist Church i would agree with emcay. Try to look for a more liberal Baptist school. Good Luck!
     
  13. Angel_Voice

    Angel_Voice Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2006
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 4, 2006

    Mrs Goatess...

    I am a preschool teacher at a local Christian private school. Not every employee claims to be a Christian, but must meet a certain set of standards. (Decent attire, no cussing, acceptable home life, etc.) We are not expected to attend this church, but on the application you do have to list your denomination and give your testimony. You are encouraged to attend the church of your choice, but it's not something that is monitored.

    We have chapel once a week, but a certain doctorine is not taught. We tell our kids Bible stories and teach them little songs. (It's like Sunday School.) We want them to learn about Jesus as well as their ABC's. This being a Christian school, it is part of our curriculum.

    My oldest son goes to this school as well. We put him there so that he could get an education in a christian environment. There are certain subjects that should be taught very carefully. There are things in the world that my husband and I don't approve of and we don't want our children to be taught that they are "ok". That's why they are in this type of school.

    I'm not trying to discourage you. But, if there are certain things that you think should be taught or discussed perhaps a public school would be a better choice. You have to be prepared to "bite your tongue" with some subjects that would be frowned upon by the church.

    I hope this helped. Good luck to you!!
     
  14. alexsmom322

    alexsmom322 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2006
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 5, 2006

    I interviewed recently at two Christian schools here's what they asked me.
    What is your Christian testimony?
    What are your ideas on the creation of our universe?
    What is your method of moral education?
    What are your strengths and weaknesses in instruction and classroom mgmt?
    How much time do you spend with your church?
    - they also said I needed a letter of reference from my pastor
    Oh, and they asked me....what was the most important subject. I of course said reading. they said they actually had someone say Science!
    Remember in Christian schools science is a no-no!
    good luck
     
  15. emccoy

    emccoy Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2001
    Messages:
    133
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 5, 2006

    Not true!

    Science is acceptable. But theories that reject Biblical principles will either not taught (bad move) or refuted with Biblical alternatives (much better).

    There is much in the way of creation science available. Discussion about false theories, such as evolution, also helps students to understand why they believe what they believe. Faith in Christ should never be a blind faith.
     
  16. srh

    srh Devotee

    Joined:
    May 4, 2005
    Messages:
    1,199
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 5, 2006

    Thanks for taking a stand, emccoy...a positive one for Christians and science! Some people are shocked to learn that there are MANY reputable scientists in the world who are also Bible-believing Christians! I only wish I were more gifted in that area!! :-D
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. RainStorm,
  2. 99 percent,
  3. ready2learn,
  4. tigger88,
  5. Caesar753
Total: 182 (members: 8, guests: 155, robots: 19)
test