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I teach in a non-denominational Christian school. I have a B.S. in education, and this is my second full year to teach. When I took the job, they offered $20,000 but I asked for $25,000 and got it. With my first job, I didn't know you could negotiate with private schools, and I started at $22,000. With my degree and experience, $25,000 isn't really that far below what the public schools here pay.

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
suem123 07-05-2014 02:08 PM

I left the catholic school system to work in a public school for the wages. Working in public schools in Denver has become a nightmare. Class sizes are huge. Students are allowed to be disrespectful and the administration does not know how to address the bad behavior, so most classes have habitually disruptive kids that dictate the culture and climate of the schools. The scores for tests are low in most urban schools here because of language and socio economic issues and teachers get blamed for their students not making enough progress as measured by data from test scores. The joy of teaching and engagement of students is diminished as schools are scared of losing funding due to low test scores, and so teaching to the test has become the norm. Best practices are being left behind, more charter schools are opening taking money and resources from the public schools. It is considered bad practice to use text books and we rarely have a class set of anything. Thank God for technology, but our school has old and not enough computers.

I really miss the climate and culture of the Catholic school with caring students and parents. Not to say that kids won't be kids and act out once in a while, but I enjoyed teaching because I could focus on engaging ways to teach the content laid out by the school standards/curriculum because the general climate and expectations of respect and valuing others was in place in the school. Of course in the public school you have to teach who ever comes to school, where as when I worked at the Catholic school habitually disruptive students were eventually asked to leave and find a school that was a better fit. If you can survive on the salary I would stay with the Catholic school system. I am looking to go back as I am sick of babysitting behavior more than teaching.

Tammy Nystro 09-26-2009 01:57 PM

I currently teach 6th through 8th Language Arts. I have a Masters, 9 years teaching experience in Catholic schools, and 20 in various colleges and graduate schools.
I make 31,500. I took a $8,000 pay cut when the previous Catholic school closed.
It is wrong that we are paid this little. It is unjust. It does NOT reflect Catholic social justice that I teach my pupils.
The biggest problem is the system is set up for nuns as teachers. We are not nuns, but that hasn't been realized yet.

Jo Teacher 09-11-2009 07:22 PM

Amen to that.

Dukester 06-15-2009 08:47 AM

If you have any experience in education at all, you will know it is not the school that makes the most difference. It is the family environment! Just because you attract a group of basically "together" families does not mean your type of schooling is better in any sense of the imagination. In fact, with the frequent low requirements, some of your schools may be worse. If you got sent a random sampling of humanity, you would take a different look at education and school quality. "Dedication does not a good teacher make."

In addition, if you are such a valuable educator, why are there so many spelling errors in your post? I am no English teacher, but I would not want my child in your class no matter what you teach.

We need to stick together as "educators" instead of playing against each other. I have taught in both and there are some real advantages to teaching in each. Yes, public school teachers tend to get paid much more but they have MUCH more to do as well (additional state paperwork, many more phone calls home, more behavior problems, etc...) because of the diverse mix of family types that make up our society.

I also regect the assumption that, simply because they make more, public school teachers are "in it for the money and vacation." Simply absurd. That would be like saying, "Those private school teachers just teacher there so they don't have to be around any jewish students." Yep, it's that stupid.

someone who 04-22-2009 04:39 PM

Suzy 03-31-2009 09:43 AM

I'm trying to figure out the average pay of a Middle school teacher.

Noah 03-11-2009 09:51 AM

I will admit that saying things like the benefits are "out of this world" sounds a bit lame. Nevertheless, Catholic School teachers are realy among the best out there...primarily because they are dedicated to their profession and not just the pay, vacation and benefits. I would not disagree that Catholic School teachers are vastly undercompensated, but I guarantee it is no conspiracy that keeps their pay low, it is the nature of religious institutions. Mother Theresa did not have god benefits and the Catholic Churh did not pay her a high fact, they didn't pay her anything. The truth is, like Mother Theresa's budget, the Catholic School spends most of their budget on the children and education. If teacher's are paid more, then that takes away from the school. Perhaps, no smartboards and a lower quality of education would result....followed by lower enrollments (who would pay 5K a year for a school no better than Public School?)

What is shamefull are non-deonomonational Christian schools with high revenues and high salaries for their deacons and pastors. Take Cornerstone in San Antonio, Tx. The Rev. Hagee lives in a multi-million dollar home, takes home more than most baskeball players and actors earn in a year, (not that they deserve it either), and still pays his teacher's horribly low wages. I guess what I'm saying is that, if the church money is going towards better education and philanthropic endeavors, that's good...but if it is going towards individual conspicious consumption....then I would ask myself what is "christian" about that?

loujay 11-13-2008 08:16 PM

Hi! I teach in the canadian mid-west. I have been teaching for 23 years, most of my career has been in the Separate (Catholic) School System, which is publically funded. We have one very strong, 100 year old uninon for every teacher in our province. With my four year Bacholor of Education degree, I make 70 566, with our negotiated wage for the fall of 09, I will gross73 036. We pay about 36% income tax, which is on par for most Canadians. We also have national health care. We have perscription, dental, orthodontic, and vision coverage along with many, many other benifits.

I thank God everyday that I am valued as a catholic professional. I love teaching and I love teaching our faith.

I am very saddened to read about the paltry pay that Catholic teachers receive south of the border. Teachers work so very hard.

Thanks for listening.

INTJ Mom 03-15-2008 08:45 AM

I think you are kind of comparing apples to oranges here. Canadians have much higher taxes on their income than we do here in the US. Someone making 17-22K is going to be paying very little to no income taxes here in the US. My husband's best friend moved to Toronto 7 years ago when he married a Canadian and he says about 50% of his income goes to taxes. Your wages in Canada are higher to cover your higher tax rates. You have to remember that whether or not a wage is good or bad is relative to the amount of taxes and the cost of living in a certain area. For example, $50K/yr in Utah buys significantly more than $50K/yr in Southern California.

MrChapp 11-05-2007 02:38 PM

I interviewed at a few Catholic schools in Michigan six years ago and the pay was between 18,000 and 22,000. My sister currently teaches at the Catholic school we all went to and makes about 29,000. Most of the teachers there are either single with few expenses, or have spouses who make enough money to support them and the teaching wage is supplemental. People not in those categories don't usually last too long.

To the best of my knowledge, teacher's salaries are covered by tuition. To substantially raise the salary, they would have to A.)substantially raise tuition or B.) substantially increase class sizes. I doubt either of those sound like good options, as each would probably cause parents to take their students elsewhere. Very unfortunate.

fergus 11-05-2007 02:29 PM

"The benefits are out of this world" is a cope out for not paying Catholic teachers more. It is a rewarding career, I agree, but that doesnt mean we shouldnt be making a decent wage. Anything under 30,000 after a few years of teaching is not a decent salary. We should be able to have both spiritual benefits from Catholic teaching and good pay. We are being taken advantage of. I wish the church would wake up and fix things for us.

TLC 02-07-2006 10:47 AM

I teach at a Catholic school in central Indiana. It is my 6th year and I am at about $22,500. The rule of thumb the admin tries to go by is 75% of the public school. We have decent bennies, but sorry retirement fund. Our maximim classroom size is 18! But we have a reputation in the community for turning kids around with academic and behavior problems, so sometimes we get some doozies.

Teach 5 02-05-2006 07:39 AM

21 years in Catholic education-$36,500.

We don't really get any other benefits, we even have to pay our kids' tuition. It seems that the parents always think we get free tuition but we don't.

I tried for many years to get a public school job but we just have such an overabundance of teachers here, that they always hire the ones straight out of college, it's cheaper that way. I even volunteered to start at the bottom of the salary rung, after being told for the third time that they wanted to hire me but couldn't because I was too expensive. Unfortunately, the public school teacher unions will not allow them to do that, so it didn't help. I have had fairly low class sizes & well-behaved kids. I guess that is my benefit.

Indiana Jen 02-04-2006 09:47 AM

I'm at a Catholic school in Central Indiana. I'm in my 2nd year and I'm right around $25,000. I think I make 450 more this year than I did last year. I think your 4th year the larger pay raises kick in.

SC 02-04-2006 06:40 AM

I teach in a non-denominational Christian school. I have a B.S. in education, and this is my second full year to teach. When I took the job, they offered $20,000 but I asked for $25,000 and got it. With my first job, I didn't know you could negotiate with private schools, and I started at $22,000. With my degree and experience, $25,000 isn't really that far below what the public schools here pay.

Carrie in WV 02-04-2006 06:26 AM

This is my third year teaching in a Christian school, and our starting wage is around $22,000. The greatest benefit to me is the fact that my kids go free here. With book fees and registration fees, ballgames, etc., that is a benefit of almost $10,000. I live about 1 1/2 minutes from the school, which is another benefit--especially with gas prices this year! I am glad that my family doesn't have to depend on what I make--but it does pay help in saving for college and extras like that--we have a senior and then a junior following right on her heels. My school does donate to my retirement fund and they also will pay 50% for educational endeavors on my behalf. I love it here, and I would never think of transferring to the public schools. My sister did, and she is miserable.

Alicia 02-03-2006 09:06 PM

It's an absolute shame how low you get paid in the Catholic/private schools. I attended a Catholic school growing up, and I remember a few teachers leaving to go teach in the public schools. From my understanding, most of these teachers were Catholic and enjoyed teaching at the school, but they could barely survive on what they made. I've been told that it hasn't changed much.

In Minnesota, $17,000 is considered poverty level.

Gloria 02-03-2006 08:46 PM

I have been teaching for 9 years and have a master's degree. My catholic School pays me $28,000. We have the latest in technology. I have a smartboard in my room, are offered professional development money. They also pay 85% of my healthcare premium.

We also have to get an additional religious certificate which they pay for but I have to purchase the books.

I make ends meet by tutoring after school and babysitting during the summer. It is very hard to find any elementary teaching job in Missouri. If I worked for a public school, I would make about $50,000.00.

I guess that I'll have to wait for my fringe benefits when I get to heaven.

Thank goodness I love where I teach and what I do. I do hate never having any money to do things with my friends. I am thrifty and spend any extra funds on my classroom. I also spend time on weekends at school working, so if I want to teach, I will never be rich or out of debt but at least I will love what I have to do to live.

lis3569 02-03-2006 07:51 PM

I taught in a private (non-demoninational) school years ago and only made $13,000! I couldn't live on it and thankfully got a public teaching job. I work in a smaller school and have 8 years at this school with a masters and am at approx. $56K. We are one of the lowest paid districts in are area.

TeachingSarah 02-03-2006 06:54 PM

I am shocked at how little you get paid.

I teach in the public school system, but the Catholic school teachers make the same wage as we do. I have been teaching for approx. 10 years and I make 63,000. I will make close to 70,000 when I complete my masters.

How do you make ends meet?

Mrs. O 02-03-2006 06:38 PM

I like that saying, and you are right. Thanks

mab 02-03-2006 06:33 PM

I, too, teach 2nd in a Catholic school in the Midwest. I've been teaching 23 years, my whole career, in Catholic schools. Our starting salary is $21,000. I make $31,000. We, too, have well kept schools, try to keep up with our texts, and technology and the latest trends in education. My youngest is a senior in the system this year and tuition is $2000/year. When my oldest started out in first grade back in 1986, tuition was $120. Things have changed! We have to pay the tuition because it's not fair to the teachers who have no children in the system. They do pay for insurance for us, you pay for your family, and they do contribute to a retirement account for us. I really like teaching there, but you don't do it for the pay. As my first principal used to say, " The benefits are out of this world."

Mrs. O 02-03-2006 06:27 PM

I teach at a Christian school, and that is about equal with our starting salary. We may or may not recieve a annual raise because it depends on enrollment. A perk, if you have children attending, is a 50% discount per child. I make a little under $20,000 after teaching for 10 years. I have to pay $400.00 a month for my two children to attend. I love everything about my school, but I am considering a move at the end of the year only to be able to make more money and have better benefits. I keep wavering between the desire for more money, and teaching where I am completely satisfied in every other way. Just keep praying that God will lead you where you should be.

Marie G. 02-03-2006 04:55 PM

I am a second grade teacher at a Catholic school in the rural mid west. I love my school and our students. We have current text books and keep up on what is current with education. I would say our classrooms really are excellent. However, I am getting disgusted with the amount (or lack of) that we make anually. I am almost embarressed to say that starting wage at our Catholic School is $17,775. Our raise is $100 per year of experience. This seems so low for a career in teaching. I love my school and I don't want this to be my deciding factor in where I will be teaching in the years to come. If you are a teacher in a Catholic School in the midwest, can you please let me know what your situation is?

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