The benefits of Catholic School?

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by ScienceGeek, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. ScienceGeek

    ScienceGeek Rookie

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    Jan 12, 2009

    I am applying to a Catholic School what are some of the benefits of working at a catholic school and what are some of the down fails.


    They are asking for someone to teach religion as well as science. 1 religious class, which I have no idea how to teach and 4 science classes.

    There is about 54 students in each grade.
     
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  3. old-new teacher

    old-new teacher Comrade

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    Jan 12, 2009

    I teach in a Catholic school and love it! Of course, I'm Catholic, and feel like I have a very strong faith, so in many ways, the reasons I love teaching there are tied to the fact that I can put my faith on display without worrying about repercussions.

    In my school, the atmosphere is a very loving and supportive one. There are some politics, but NOTHING like what I experienced in the public schools.

    We follow our state's standards as far as curriculum expectations, but also include 30 minutes of religion per day. We also participate in our state's standardized testing so that we can show that we are comparable, or even better than the public schools in our area.

    As far as teaching religion...well, it helps if your are catholic, but it is not absolutely necessary. If your school has a pre-designed religion curriculum, just use the teacher's manual to crutch you through. We have a full time director of religious education who does not TEACH the material, but is available to help an of our non-catholic teachers when they have questions about what they are teaching.

    The disadvantages of teaching in a catholic school? Well, the biggest one I can think of would be the pay scale. Our pay scale falls about 30% lower than the public schools here. I happen to live in a county where the school district is very wealthy, so it is hard for our school to compete. I also live in a community that is completely isolated, so far, from the current economic melt down and has a 1.5% unemployment rate right now. So, anyone who is teaching in our school REALLY wants to be there...there are too many jobs available at the higher pay scale for them to be there because there is no other option! It creates a nice work environment that I know may not exist in other catholic schools....

    I hope I helped and didn't just muddy the water more for you! Good luck!
     
  4. ScienceGeek

    ScienceGeek Rookie

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    Jan 12, 2009

    well I would be willing to teach religion, but I'd have to stick to the book.
    What are the benefits like in Catholic vs. Public?
    The main reason why I'm interested is they said they'd be willing to take on an alternative route teacher in their ad. If you didn't want to teach religion they would still consider hiring, but then would have to be considered p/t, so I'd rather teach religion for a half hour and be f/t!
     
  5. old-new teacher

    old-new teacher Comrade

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    Well, depending on the school and whether or not they are accredited, some schools will hire non-certified teachers for certain areas, but we don't do that at ours. We are a very new school, only in our 2nd year, and we are seeking accreditation, so we must be certified in our state to teach here. Our school, as well as our public school district, has a 1 year probationary period in which non-certified individuals can obtain their certification. We actually had to dismiss our K teacher from last year because she was unable to pass the PRAXIS to obtain her certification (sad, because she was actually a great teacher, but had severe test anxiety....). Alternate route certification is ok too, as long as by the end of the year, they have that wonderful piece of paper from the state stating that they are fully certified to teach whatever position they are hired for.

    Benefits...well, I am unaffected by this as my husband works for the gov't, so we have benefits through him. Our school does offer health insurance, but it is more of a safety net type of policy. I believe it has a $1500 deductible and then only a 50-50 co-pay after that. They also have an IRA in which they match up to 6% of our earnings (3% if we put no extra in ourselves). I suppose depending on how things are in Jersey right now, this could be comparable or a lot worse...I have no idea as I am on the other side of the country from you.
     
  6. Suburban Gal

    Suburban Gal (formerly Elizabeth) Banned

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    Jan 12, 2009

    Advantages to Working in Private Schools

    Flexible Curriculum A private school teacher does not have to teach to the test. Public school teachers must focus on preparing their students to do well on state mandated testing as opposed to really teaching them.

    Smaller Class Size Prep school class size is smaller than similar public school classes. You can truly teach a small class of students. Discipline issues are minimal.

    Increased Teacher Safety Teachers feel safer in most private schools. That is because private schools can enforce their discipline codes with impunity. In addition most private schools have a much smaller student population than public schools. It is easier to supervise a smaller group of students.

    Teaching in a Private School vs a Public School

    Here are some of the more common attributes where public and private schools differ. These are often the reason why a particular private school was started in the first place. Parents or teachers, often both, decided that they could produce a better educational result by creating a school where they controlled the way the school was run and who attended.

    Teacher Safety Teacher safety is a non-issue in most private schools. When an incident occurs, the consequences are swift and appropriate. Private school students are governed by contract law. The terms of their being at the school are very clearly spelled out in that contract signed by parents and the school.
    Class Size Class size is small in most prep schools. Typically 12:1 is the ratio of students to faculty you will find. Most parochial schools have larger class sizes, generally in the range of 25-30 students. It is much easier to teach a small group of students than to teach a large class.

    Supplies Supplies such as books and equipment tend to be newer than those in public schools. In a private school students buy their books at the beginning of the school year. Facilities and equipment is generally state of the art in private schools as they have more funding options.

    Curriculum In private school, teachers often feel they have more impact on the curriculum than they would in a public school setting. This is because most public schools (charter schools being an exception) must follow a state set curriculum from which they cannot deviate. About 30 private schools follow the IB or International Baccalaureate curriculum which is a rigorous course of study leading to a diploma granted by an external examinations body.

    AP Courses Private schools offer a wide variety of AP courses because they have the staff and resources to teach these college level courses effectively.

    Administration Private schools tend to keep their administration fairly streamlined. They don't have the layers of bureaucracy with which public schools have to contend. This makes it easier to address issues and effect change as necessary.

    Unions Most public school teachers belong to a teachers union. Private school teachers do not belong to a union.

    Source: Private School Review

    Hope this helps you make up your mind! :)
     
  7. Elena5

    Elena5 Rookie

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    Jan 12, 2009

    I teach on a Catholic school and I love it. We really are a faith filled community and it is a warm and supportive place to work. However, this all depends on the school. Just like public schools, the atmosphere varies. Another benefit is that we don't do any high stakes testing. The parents can be quite demanding, but they are also very supportive as well.

    The 2 downfalls of teaching in a Catholic school are the low salary and the lack of prep time. I have to do lunch duty and recess duty once a week and we only have specials 4 times a week. But once again, this all depends on the school.
     
  8. Tutor

    Tutor Comrade

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    Jan 13, 2009

    I'm an intervention specialist at a Catholic school. Our diocese requires all teachers who teach religion to take some kind of inservices.

    I like the small atmosphere, all the teachers know all the students. Discipline is really not a problem. And no high stakes testing. Our kids take a computerized achievement test that is linked to the state standards. Our diocese also has it's own standards.

    Salary is the downfall. Our teachers have prep time. Some days they have 2 or more specials. They all have a job at dismissal time but it only lasts for 15 mins or so.

    Check it out.
     
  9. CindyBlue

    CindyBlue Cohort

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    Jan 13, 2009

    A con to private schools is the pressure to pass the kids with a great grade...after all, the parents are paying for it. Since private schools are funded by tuition, losing a kid because the parents pull them out because they didn't get all A's means losing money for the school, so administrators of private schools can put a great deal of pressure on teachers to give only good grades. (Don't ask how I know!) Another con is no tenure, which means you are subject to the whims of an administrator. Hope you get a good one, because you have no real recourse if you are fired, and you can be fired for any reason, at any time...they are usually "at will" contracts. In most jobs I'd say great, I'll do a good job and fire me if I don't...but in education there are way too many variables, from parents upset at you because you teach one way, to the parents that are upset at you because you don't teach the other way, to administrators who may not back you when you have to take a stand for what is right and reasonable, etc.
    But the rest of the pros I have also experienced...generally better community feeling among the staff, more choice in textbooks, better supplies, more autonomy.
     

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