Reasons/Perks for teaching at a Private School

Discussion in 'Private School Teachers' started by BioAngel, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Apr 8, 2009

    I grew up going to public school, so I honestly never thought I'd be working in a private school. But I honestly love it. Yes, I took a pay cut, but instead I got an awesome classroom, awesome technology (every teacher and eventually student will have a macbook), and great professional development. They expect a lot of me-- even as a newbie teacher-- but I like having a place where I *have* to work and I can get support and help when I need it.

    So I'm glad I was hired at this school and you'll mostly only hear praises coming out of my mouth :D

    Why did you decide to go for a private school? What perks does your school have that covers not getting paid as much?
     
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  3. blindteacher

    blindteacher Cohort

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    Apr 8, 2009

    I would agree with you. The technology is wonderful and makes teaching sighted students a possibility for me.

    I also like that many of the students are self-motivated and want to do well in school because they are raised by their parents to appreciate a good education.

    I enjoy that there are fewer discipline issues (at least in my experience) because of the smaller number of students per class and also because of the cultural differences. The conflict that often arises in public schools as a result of limit of resources doesn't exist in private schools since access to resources is pretty much unlimited.

    On the other hand many of these students have internalized a sense of entitlement from their parents. If there is one thing I want my students to leave my class knowing, it's that each person is to be respected and it is not acceptable to see yourself as above others simply because of your privileges and opportunities.
     
  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    You are so right that there have to be perks that compensate for the lack of compensation!! I found that I prefer the small, close environment of a private school. The admin is very understanding of teachers' needs (they realize we do have personal lives, health issues, kids issues..).

    Our teachers have very little paperwork, very few committees, we are encouraged to adapt curriculum, there are no state standardized testing frenzies (we give the CAT), we aren't judged on test results, there are no limits on copying, etc.

    I wish I could say that we have an abundance of technology available to us. We don't. Our classrooms are too small, too. And we definitely need to professionalize some of our methods. But, all of that is in the works and I am hopeful that progress is being made. It is worth it to me.
     
  5. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    For me, the biggest perk is that my son gets to go to school there and I don't pay any tuition.
     
  6. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    I love teaching in private school. We have no bans on expressing our religion and we do not have to accept every student or keep every student. My students are very motivated and there are few major discipline problems. The technology is incredible--every student and teacher has a laptop computer. Every classroom has an LCD projector. I am also lucky that we are paid 98% of the average of the 3 public school districts areound us. I also have great benefits--paid healthcare, 401K.
     
  7. mom2ohc

    mom2ohc Habitué

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    I teach at a public school, but if i was teaching at a private school, I would think that the best perk would be free tuition for my daughters :) that idea gives me food for thought to change what I do.
     
  8. seduflow

    seduflow Companion

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    I worked in a private school. The enviroment was nice, and there was technology around, but it was at the expense of the salaries of teachers, and that's why I left
     
  9. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    I sometimes wish I could "afford" to teach at a private school for all of the reasons mentioned above. I could not afford the loss in pay. I went to private elementary school and they are different than public.
     
  10. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    Unfortunately free tuition is not always a perk. I taught for 6 years with one or both of my daughters attending the school while I was teaching there. Tuition is around $15,000 per student per year and teachers were given a $300 discount and it was not per child.
     
  11. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Ya at my private school they can't afford free tuition for faculty--- they actually changed for the upcoming year how they'll give discounts to faculty kids. It'll be more like limited scholarships (a set number of scholarships per grade) because the school is losing millions by allowing such steep discounts to already be given. Faculty members are upset, but with everything we do to make our school so great I can't really blame the school for having to raise prices. We'll see what happens--- its sad that some teachers would quit just because their kid can't go there.

    OMG-- I love the copiers we have. We have wireless connection around the building so we can send something straight to the copier and pick it up. It also can scan something (like a homework assignment) and it'll email it to us as a pdf! That's what I've been doing to post it at my moodle course so no excuses about leaving an assignment at school!

    I love the small classes-- my biggest is 18 and I'm use to teaching up to 35 while student teaching. I feel like I can get to know all 67 of my students because I work in smaller classes with them.

    I also feel comfortable with my faculty members, for the most part (I'm usually always anxious so I still freak out sometimes) but I don't usually ever feel like I have to kiss somebody's butt because they're above me.

    Since the students come from rich families, I do have issues about them feeling that it should be other people to clean up after them, or they should be treated a certain way, or that they're never wrong. A lot of the young girls brag they know this or that person or they bought something really expensive recently. That I really can't stand--- esp when it gets to the point of where they talk down to the teachers.

    Otherwise its great :)
     
  12. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Certain schools are better than others, but if you can afford it it'll be an amazing investment for your kids. While I attended public school and still went to a great college, I've seen private school students attend even better colleges.

    At times though it can be difficult for new students to adjust because these students have basically known each other since they were 7 or younger. We have 4 new students this year and they've all adjusted wonderfully but it did take a month or two.
     
  13. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Apr 9, 2009

    I love working in a private school.

    My #1 perk??? Free tuition when my kid was there! :D

    More perks:

    1. Prayer
    2. Chapel
    3. Freedom to speak about Jesus/God
    4. Love shown (yes, I know love is shown in public school too. My son attends a public school now).
    5. Need I say more? :D

    Gee, I'm glad I found this folder!
     
  14. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    You're so right about love being shown. We have the ability to get very close to the kids and really get to know them well. I hug my kids freely and some of the young ones like to come and sit on my lap occasionally. I love it that way.
     
  15. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Apr 10, 2009

    My kids asked me what my faith is and I don't feel like I have to hesitate about it and can tell them I'm Catholic... or I point to the crucifix around my neck that I wear every day. I don't feel like I have to hide my faith, even though we're not a religious school. I don't go into detail with them but I will answer them if asked.

    I also love how I can give my young girls a hug when they want one. I couldn't imagine seeing these kids 5 times a week and telling them no sorry I can't give you a hug! I'm not really asked by my boys for hugs (they're too old by now).
     
  16. taryn_liz

    taryn_liz Rookie

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    I teach at a private preschool, but don't have many of the perks ya'll do. But the perks we do have make it worth it. I have gotten very close to some of the families, and a couple of them are even throwing my aide a good-bye barbecue when she moves. Teacher's kids don't get to attend free, and we have no technology. Only 2 of us teachers are actually certified teachers. This is only it's 3rd year, and it's a good alternative to daycares. We get paid half of what a first-year teacher gets paid in this state, and no insurance or benefits like that. So for me, this is kinda a year of experience that will hopefully help me get into a public school next year.
     
  17. Mrs.Z.

    Mrs.Z. Companion

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    I love my job at a private school. It's in a very nice area in LA county, and is a pretty good size (about 400 kids). I teach Kindergarten and have only 13 (Yes 13!!!) students. But there are 3 Kinder classes- so I have teammates to bounce ideas off of and what not. I never have trouble getting supplies I need, and because my kids order TONS of books from Scholastic, I am ALWAYS getting free books from them. The tech is not as great as the public schools around, and I really like tech, but hopefully, one day...

    Tuition at my school is about 16K/yr. Teacher get a 50% discount which is great but still pricey.

    We have SOOOO many extra curriculars and that gives me lots of prep time to get most of my work done during school hours. Swimming, spanish, music, art, computers, YOGA, insrumental music and more. Its a great place to work. Although the pay is lower, we do get a bonus and can earn extra money by tutoring at school or teaching homework club.:love:
     
  18. sahsjing

    sahsjing Rookie

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    May 16, 2009

    Last year at this time, I got two offers. One was from a public high school, the other was from an independent prep school. The public school's offer was about $10,000 higher, with good retirement benefit. But the independent school offered my two kids free tuition starting from the second year. I picked the independent school.
     
  19. heatherlynn444

    heatherlynn444 Rookie

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    -class size! (last year I had 15!)
    -getting to teach Bible every day
    -making unlimited copies and not having a certain amount you are allowed to make a week/month etc.
    -not having big discipline problems, not letting injust anyone or being forced to keep anyone with problems
    -very close knit and understanding faculty/administrationg
    -lots of help if you need it. we have helpers that come in adn make copies, laminate, cut things out etc. for us
    -wonderful room moms that plan all the parties, helpw ith field trips,etc. I dont do anything for class parties but watch!
    -knowing other teachers, parents, admin is praying for you all the time!

    we get paid I think within 85 or 90% of what PS teachers make so its not bad. I went to a private school all my life so I fit right in and it feels like home, I love it!
     
  20. fast chalk

    fast chalk Comrade

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    I like teaching at private schools cause they are more organized, they have their own project, principals do care about teachers!!!! , the feedback with my students is awesome, almost everything is scheduled from the very beginning of the year, coordinators help, there is a good atmosphere among teachers, parents usually cooperate, I don´t remember more advantages, but...
    let me tell you, working at public schools is not my option, SO FAR...
    I´ll keep on working at private schools for many many years, I guess.
     
  21. missamie

    missamie Rookie

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    I taught at an inner city public system 9 years - 44 mile drive 1 way + it was public inner city!

    Now I teach at a small private secular school 5 miles from home. Benefits have all been dropped but I make good money otherwise, not that much less than I would be making in a Michigan public school with as many years. My children go to school with me everyday. Tuition amount went from 1/2 tuition - $9000 for a elementary and preschooler combined to free when I went to enroll them in public school - my school needs girls - I have girls. IT IS A BLESSING to take my girls to work with me everyday.

    I have to work hard, extra hours, bend over backwards for parents - but I have a good reputation in my school and I have a high rate of returning students.

    We have no contracts. Teachers get fired or asked not to return. I don't brown nose, but I do try to go above and beyond the call of duty. I work to make myself indispensible. My students achieve - hense I still have a job and make good money. I've been with the school since it began 6 years ago.

    We have had cuts, we had 2 of each special each week - we are down to 1 of each. We still have Spanish 3x a week though. My principal has tried to maintain the core teachers and give decent salaries - but the specials teachers have suffered. Our enrollment hasn't grown as expected but it's still growing little by little. We have around 110 students preschool - 8th grade. At it's core we are a good school with excellent ratios - 14-1 max and great teachers.

    We have great technology and materials available to us and the most beautiful facility imaginable. The teachers I work with are amazing. If you're not an amazing teacher you don't stay.

    We've managed to get parents that aren't stuck-up but much more down to earth and focused on their children. We have a great community with a lot of parents that volunteer and donate to the school. Every school has it's problems and we have our share, but the pros I'm experiencing outweight the cons and I'm very happy where I'm at.

    Oh, and one of my favorite parts - we have so much freedom in the classroom! As long as we get the job done we can go about things in almost any way we choose! I love that part!
     
  22. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Same here. I love my school! :)
     
  23. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    A perk, as a science teacher, is that I don't use textbooks-- instead students plan their own experiments, collect data, and come up with the main ideas about a topic (plants, solar energy, and basic chemistry is what I do).

    I have one new girl and as we were talking about designing an experiment I asked her in class what experiments she did in 4th grade (since I know what my school does in 4th). She said "We didn't do experiments-- we had a textbook and we took notes or answered questions." I cringed and said we wouldn't be doing anything like that here--- she was happy about that.

    Teaching science in this fashion (student oriented) and through their own experiments (its an inquiry-based curriculum) makes a lot more sense than reading out of a book.
     
  24. wrice

    wrice Habitué

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    Nov 14, 2009

    Free tuition for faculty children was actually deemed illegal by my school- a biased perk only for workers with families, and obviously denied to anyone who is not a parent. I wonder how some of your schools get away with it!! (Especially since I'll be paying considerably for my daughter!)
     
  25. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    wrice....check your pm's. I pmed you.
     
  26. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 14, 2009

    Neither my school nor my husband's gets that perk either. All 3 of my kids are currently in public schools. I sincerely wish there were a way for them to attend one of our high schools!
     
  27. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    now, that is a very nice perk! :)
     
  28. beatlebug731

    beatlebug731 Comrade

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    Is the curriculum more flexible in private schools than it is in public schools? In the public schools I student taught in, you had to follow the textbook biblically. Do teachers in private schools have more freedoms in that sense?
     
  29. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Well, the powers that be have more freedom.

    As a private school, we give our own Comprehensive Exams. NY State has approved them as at least equal in difficulty to the NY State Regents exams. (I've taught Regents classes-- believe me when I say our Comps are far more difficult!!!)

    But everyone in my school must teach the syllabus. Once it's set for the year, there are very few reasons for not completing it. We know that all our kids are completing all the coursework necessary for one class before moving on to the next.
     
  30. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Beatlebug, I have a lot of freedom. We have textbooks for each subject, but are encouraged to pick and choose the best parts, and supplement with our own ideas and activities. As long as I cover the state standards, I can pretty much choose how I want to do it.
     
  31. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    Same as amakaye. We have a ton of freedom. We actually made our own ppo's (pupil performance objectives) based on what we typically do in our school. They're very broad intentionally because we like to be able to look at a whole child and make a decision about advancement based on the whole child and not just academics.

    We have a ton of freedom at our school.
     
  32. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    At my school, my daughter does get free tuition to attend there, so of course that is wonderful.

    Another perk: small class size. I only have 14 students.

    Also, the parents are very supportive.
     
  33. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Oh, and about curriculum, we are discouraged to teach straight out of the text, but use many sources.
     
  34. lehcar1021

    lehcar1021 Rookie

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    Jun 9, 2010

    Pay Cuts?

    Many of you have mentioned pay cuts in private schools. I have been working in a public school system for 4 years now and often struggle financially, living paycheck to paycheck. I am interested in switching to a private school, but am concerned with the amount of talk of pay cuts. What about benefits? All of my medical and life insurance was covered under public school system.
     
  35. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I got a $3000 raise this year.

    We have benefits. But to be honest, I forget the detials; we're under my husband's plan from my SAHM days and I forget whether he contributes or not (he's also a Catholic school teacher.)

    I can tell you that, with our plan, there's a $25 deductible. The maximum we pay per person per year is $2,000 in medical bills-- beyond that, they're all covered. Prescritions are $20 for a name brand, less for a generic.

    Of course, every single school is different.
     
  36. Señorita V

    Señorita V Rookie

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    Jun 27, 2010

    private school entitlement

    I was recently hired by a private school and have these same concerns. What are some ways that you open up your kids minds to acceptance and respecting others, especially the really tricky ones?

    Also, does anyone have issues with laziness because of these entitlement issues?
     
  37. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Kida are kids. They'll be as lazy as they're allowed to be, regardless of the school they attend.
     
  38. Señorita V

    Señorita V Rookie

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    I completely agree with you, Aliceacc. I hope I can break some of these kids out of their old habits or at least instill ambition.
     
  39. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Don't go into it assuming they'll be lazy. I've taught some pretty remarkable teenagers!!!! It's rare that I need to "instill ambition." Once they know I'm serious about teaching, they in turn become serious about learning.

    Set the bar where it should be, and assume that everyone will reach it.
     
  40. eddygirl

    eddygirl Companion

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    Jun 27, 2010

    My private school is one of the larger ones in our area, and for many years, we received decent raises and benefits. However, the economy has forced many families to reconsider private education because of the tuition costs. Enrollment has gone down over the last two years, so we did not get a raise last year, and next year we will only receive a step increase. We are dependent on enrollment to keep the money coming in.

    I love my working environment and the kids are fantastic, but the fact is, I will probably always make less money here than I would in the local public school system.
     
  41. Señorita V

    Señorita V Rookie

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    Jun 28, 2010

    Thanks again, Alice for that quick reminder. Guess I'm just a bit nervous about my first year! :)
     

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