Public vs Private?

Discussion in 'New Teachers Archives' started by Aimee, Jul 7, 2005.

  1. Aimee

    Aimee Rookie

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    Jul 7, 2005

    Ok....I am getting discouraged by sitting here all summer and not hearing anything about a job since June. I do have a screening interview next Wednesday and hopefully that'll lead me to some principals. Anyway, can anyone tell me the pros and cons of teaching at a private school? I've heard a lot of negative things about private schools---positives too, but seems like the negative out weighs the postive.

    Anyway, if I don't hear anything in the next 2-3 weeks, I am thinking about applying with some private schools here. I've heard the pay is a lot less than public schools. Any thoughts??
     
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  3. AMK

    AMK Aficionado

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    Jul 7, 2005

    I taught in a Catholic school for 4 years. The pay was much much lower than public schools. I did it because finding a job in public school is so hard. I liked the school, the kids and the parents were great. Anything I needed the parents would get or help me out. My adminstration was okay and for the most part I got along with the teachers. The hard part was the money I made almost nothing!

    But don't give up I know a lot of people who get called at the end of August for jobs.
     
  4. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    Jul 7, 2005

    Hang on

    I began my teaching career in a catholic school and loved the experience. It was a wonderful environment to get to know who I was as a teacher. I ran into the same things there as I still do in public schools- negative peers, bad administration, overbearing micromanaging parents, etc. I left catholic schools because of the pay and because I always had it in me that I had to teach in public schools. Would I do it over? In a heartbeat. If you can wait it out for a public school job- it's worth the wait (to finally get in!) BUT, working in private schools for 6 years gave me the experience and confidence to handle the situations I would be faced with in public schools. Hanging on for the public job is the best way to go if you want to end up there. While in private schools, once I signed the contract I had to stay so when a public school job came up I had to let it pass by. It took a couple of years of pounding the doors to get to public, but if that's where you want to be- continue to forge ahead. Good Luck! : :D
     
  5. mmeblue

    mmeblue Rookie

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    Jul 8, 2005

    I teach at a private school (Christian, not affiliated with a particular denomination), and I love it. The only public school experiences I've had were in my practicum and student teaching, so I don't have a lot to compare it to, but here are some good things about my job:

    * The administrators (principal & headmaster) are available to me. If I have a question about how to handle something, I've always felt welcome to go to one of them and ask. I realize that part of that is personalities, but I think another part of it is that the school is smaller, so the teachers and administrators are closer.

    * The parents are involved. Sometimes this is a drawback, as some parents can want to get too involved and critique every little thing, but for the most part, it's wonderful. I know that the parents care about how their kids are doing in our school.

    * The classes are smaller than those of my public school counterparts. My largest class has been 23 students, and my smallest has been 14.

    I believe my school's starting salary is about 85% of the starting salary for public school teachers in this area (could be off a bit). I'm not sure how that compares with other private schools, though. Personally, I went to private schools K-12 and always knew I wanted to teach in a private school, so I'm very happy where I am. :)
     
  6. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jul 8, 2005

    I teach in a private school which is not a religious school. It is a school known for honoring every child and an emphasis on respect for self and others. We have many sensitive children who respond well to our small class sizes. We rarely have 14 in a class. There is one class per grade. For teachers, that can have advantages and drawbacks. We have a lot of freedom to adapt our curriculums, augmenting certain topics, deleting some at our discretion. The ability to make a lot of decisions regarding planning for curriculum is something the teachers welcome. There are not layers of administration. The admin is very supportive. Parents are as well (yes, sometimes they want to protect their kids too much). We have more free planning periods than public school teachers because our students get more specials classes (arts). The children do not have serious behavior problems (saying shut up is considered a terrible thing!). Every teacher knows the name of every student in the school - K through 8th. There is a comforting, family-like atmosphere. Manners, respect for self and others, cooperation, tolerance, is all modeled and expected. The salary and benefits do not compare to public schools but the stress is far lower. Working conditions are pleasant. We are allowed to tutor and keep all the proceeds. We don't teach to the test though we do give one standardized test per year. We don't have access to all the technology bells and whistles that some schools have, though we improve our facility every year. We don't have to adhere to all the state rules about IEPs, etc., though we have great success in working with children with disabilities. Our teachers are mostly certified, some have master's degrees, some in ESE. We do have professional development workshops, regular staff meetings, (limited) supplies budgets. There are tradeoffs that make this an ideal setting for some teachers. I love the close relationships we form with coworkers, students, and their families. It works for me.
     
  7. Steph-ernie

    Steph-ernie Groupie

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    Jul 9, 2005

    I went to a Lutheran school for K-8th grade, and public high school. Then, I did half of my student teaching in a Lutheran school and half in a public school, and in the fall, I am beginning a job in a Lutheran school. Personally, I can not picture myself teaching in a public school. When I was student teaching there, I was so frustrated by what I saw, with teachers who had to be so concerned about politics and standards and benchmarks and administration, who were worried every single year about losing their job due to budget cutbacks, I can't imagine teaching in that kind of environment. In my experience, in private schools, teachers don't have to worry about all that garbage, so they are able to just TEACH because they can put all of their energy in to teahcing, the students get an excellent education. At the private school I student taught at, I noticed the teachers are much closer to each other than their public school counterparts, the principal was much more hands-on and caring for both the staff and the students. Like someone else said, the whole staff knows the name of each student from k-8, including the principal, who was often standing in the parking lot in the mornings and after school, visiting with students and parents, and giving hugs. The pay may be less in private schools, but personally, I would never go any other way.
     
  8. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    Jul 9, 2005

    I've got to say that I while I agree with all of the posts, it's tricky when we start to generalize. I have had experiences with great private schools and I have also had experiences with bad private schools. The same holds true with public schools- there are good and there are bad. I really think it's important to look at every school, whether it be private or public, individually and not make generalizations about public vs. private. I have my share of good/bad stories in both cases. :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2005
  9. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jul 10, 2005

    So true, lve2tch!
     

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