Working at Christian school

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Teacherteaherc, Mar 11, 2021.

  1. Teacherteaherc

    Teacherteaherc Rookie

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    Mar 11, 2021

    Has anyone worked at Christian schools before?

    Catholic, Methodist, Anglican, Protestant, Non denominational, etc.

    what is it generally like?
     
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  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Mar 11, 2021

    i worked for several years at a Christian school. I enjoyed it much more than the decades I spent in public school. I had much more freedom to develop my own curriculum and use my own teaching methods. I didn't believe in some of their religious philosophies but wasn't required to share them. The supervision was minimal and not invasive. The schools I worked at were not Christian overbearing, unlike a colleague who was required to join that church and adhere to much stricter moral requirements.
     
  4. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    My mom spent her entire career in Christian schools (two of them over the course of her career). She's very religious so it was a good fit for her; she liked that she could talk about God at school. She didn't have to be a member of the particular church attached to the school, but she did have to sign a statement of faith saying she agreed with the teachings. The requirements/general stress level were significantly less than public school (no state testing, no data monitoring, no RtI/MTSS, no sped population, extremely small classes, high parent involvement etc.) and she was very happy there, but she got paid peanuts. I made more than her my first year out of college with just my BA.

    My dad retired from public school and promptly got a much easier job at a Catholic school. They were fine with him not being Catholic; him being "religious in general" was enough. He doesn't have to go to some of the Catholic-specific PDs the other teachers have to go to, and he doesn't have to attend mass (the ones during the school day). I always tell him the other teachers must hate him! My teammate's daughter attends Catholic school and my teammate is very insistent you must be Catholic to work there, so that may be regional. He's deliriously happy with the job and finds it to be significantly less stressful than his years in public school, but again he gets paid peanuts, with 40 years of experience and MA+90 or something like that. It's on top of his pension so he doesn't care that much. He was planning to get a "retirement job" as a para or school based tutor to help pay for insurance and this opportunity ended up appealing to him more. I'd certainly rather do what he's doing than be a para!
     
  5. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Comrade

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    Mar 11, 2021

    I interned at a Lutheran school in college as part of a methods class. It's the same as any other small school with the exception of religious paraphernalia on the walls and some extra wiggle room in the curriculum. The only thing that made me uncomfortable was when one of the two teachers I was working with introduced me to the class as, "their new sister in Christ," without asking first. I have a very jewish-sounding name, so it was strange to me that she didn't ask if it was ok.
    Mom taught at a Greek Orthodox school. She enjoyed it with the exception of massive class sizes. She was intentionally hired as an outsider because the school wanted to force the youngest kids to use English, so it was fine to walk the class to mass and wait in the back and not participate.

    It varies by diocese. Some don't care at all, others care on paper, others won't hire anyone who isn't gung-ho religious. A dear friend teaches at one (or at least did until they covid-RIF'd him) and he's a twice-a-year Catholic. He lives outside the parish he teaches in though, so no one's the wiser that he attends his wife's protestant church. I was passed up for a job a school that *really* wanted me because I wasn't Catholic. They ended up not filling the position at all that year because I was the only appropriate candidate and the archdiocese said no.
     
  6. whizkid

    whizkid Groupie

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    Fortunately I haven't.
     
  7. Caballo21

    Caballo21 Rookie

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    Mar 20, 2021

    I'm at a Catholic school that is also an independent school. The school doesn't answer to the archdiocese in our area. It's been a good fit for me these past 10 years, a lot of freedom with curriculum and teaching methods. It is smaller, so I have more preps. Classes are small too. I am Christian but not Catholic, and I do enjoy working in a faith-based environment. I sit some prayers (Hail Mary, etc) out.
     
  8. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I'm at a Christian school, and I really enjoy it. Not all Christian schools are the same, so I suggest really getting closer and finding out about the individual school. Christian schools in general are much more locally run. The principal has much more say, and less control from some district or larger group. This usually is great. This often allows more freedom with the curriculum and what you may do in the classroom. Exceptions can be in a school where a principal chooses to be more controlling. Religion is also important at a Christian school especially in a K-8 setting. Also, there is a large emphasis in helping children be good people and usually less on test scores. A lot of anti-bullying and caring for one another.

    The myth about Christian schools is that the students are all well behaved and the parents all are motivated to help their children. You will get some motivated ones, but there will still be that challenging parent and child.
     
  9. teacherguy111

    teacherguy111 Cohort

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    Mar 23, 2021

    I did for two years. Great atmosphere. But very low pay. 20k but I only had 11 students in my class. No benefits. Low stress. Catholic school pays kind of in-between protestant and public school it seems. Cool to be able to talk about my faith but also I think I'd find it harder to sign the belief statements (mainly signing the anti lgbt ones) these days as my faith as evolved.
     
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  10. London Powell

    London Powell Rookie

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    Mar 23, 2021

    I didn't work at a Christian school, but thanks for sharing your stories. Once, when I was in college, I wrote a small study on pedagogy and didactics in Christian schools. Edubirdie helped me with this. I remember my conclusions, which said that the methodology of work in such schools is fundamentally different and the methodology of work in ordinary schools.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2021
  11. GeetGeet

    GeetGeet Companion

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    Mar 31, 2021

    Getting paid 20K didn't stress you out?? Holy sh**!! Never, ever, would I teach for that kind of pay after getting a degree for it. I made more working 30 hours a week at a health food store. In 1999.
     
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  12. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Wow $20K??? Many teachers at our Christian school make $50K+. We have some very experienced teachers. We are about 10% less than a public school in salaries. I think it goes to show that there are some HUGE differences between one Christian school and the next. Get close to it and ask plenty of questions.
     
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  13. Caballo21

    Caballo21 Rookie

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    Yup, agreed. You need to look pretty closely at what they are charging for tuition to get an idea of teacher pay without directly asking. Unless the school has a significant endowment or other funding allocated for salaries (as some do) this can pretty much directly tell you what sort of salary range you are looking at. I know teachers in Catholic schools who started at 40K but will never make more than that at there school, it is a set salary for teachers. Others in Christian schools who are in the 20K range, tuition is 5K or less. If they knock off more tuition $ for each kid a family enrolls, this is also a sign that teacher salary will be low. Sadly. This is just my experience. My school offers significant financial aid, but tuition is high. Teacher salaries are a living wage. Still about 80-85% of public school teacher salaries in our area, strong union state. But there are benefits others have mentioned, such as smaller class size and faith-based environment.
     
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  14. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Apr 5, 2021

    Christian schools where I live pay a bit less than public schools and their salary increases aren't really high but they certainly don't pay them less than 40-45k to start. I have no idea what the tuition looks like but I do know that some have been closing recently due to low enrollment (even pre-pandemic) so that's something to also consider.
     
  15. teacherguy111

    teacherguy111 Cohort

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    Apr 13, 2021

    I know 20k is looooow. I then went to a stem school and earned a whopping 38k and thought I was rolling in the money lol.

    Now I earn 66k in the best place to be a teacher in the usa when you take pay vs living expenses.
     

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