Catholic vs Public school teaching - ProTeacher Community





JMC1
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Catholic vs Public school teaching
Old 10-25-2006, 09:06 AM
 
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I teach 1st grade in a public school and am considering switching to teaching at the Catholic school where my children will attend next year, mainly so I can be at the same school as them, and so I can get a break on tuition (which is "unGodly"!) Anyone else out there in this situation, or have any suggestions? I know I will be missing out on NYSTRS benefits and more money, but I am torn...


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Catholic Schools
Old 02-14-2007, 08:21 AM
 
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I currently teach at a Catholic school, and do very much enjoy it. I did all my college observations and intern teaching in public schools. I can understand being torn . . . I keep wondering if I should move to public, but I love where I'm at, so I've got the same torn feeling going sometimes.

I think what I love about where I'm at: 1) We've got good kids; there's minor problems, but nothing like I'd probably run into at many public schools. 2) Community atmosphere: I feel like our staff is a like a family; a feeling I never completely gotten in any public school I worked in. 3) Great parent support -- If you need help or something for the classroom, there's normally someone who is willing to help out.
BUT on the other hand, yes, 1) Catholic school teachers don't get paid as much, 2) I find there seems to be less professional development opportunties (you have to search almost all of it out on your own), and 3) sometimes parents (because they are paying for their child's education) can be a bit pusher/demanding . . . but overall I love where I'm at and assuming I can continue to afford living in the town where I work, I'll stay for quite awhile.

I don't know if that helps . . . but I thought I'd offer my insights anyways. Good luck in the decision.
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Old 02-14-2007, 10:03 AM
 
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I may not be a whole lot of help because I have only ever taught in the Catholic School system but know plenty of public school teachers. The Catholic School system in my town is very large. Actually if all the catholic school in my area were to close my public school district would be in a very serious situation. We recently had a fire at one of our catholic schools. All of the children had to be moved to a different location. They will be there until April or so. The public school district was very concerned that the only option would be for those 300 kids to go to public school until their school was rebuilt. They would have had to take them but had no room to take them. They ended up being housed in various catholic schools in the area that had extra room.

Pros about teaching in a Catholic School (and with your kids).
You don't have to put up with all the "politics" that happen in public school
Usually have smaller class sizes with not as many students with special needs
Parents are usually involved in their child's education
You will know all of the kid's your child is friends with and you will also know their parents

Cons about teaching in a Catholic School (and with your kids)
We are not tenure. We are on a year to year contract
Pay isn't nearly as good
Resources aren't as plentiful (ex - speech therapists, special ed teachers, resource teachers, aids, etc)
The parents of your child's friends will occassionally expect special treatment

These are all I can think of right now. I personally have no desire to teach in a public school. I know I could make more money, but I don't want to have to put up with everything they do. I know each year I will have my same classroom and grade as the year before. There is not a lot of moving around in my school. This year I did move grades but three of us got together and we all swapped grades. FUN!
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Old 12-04-2008, 06:11 AM
 
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Hi,

I am actually a stay at home mom now, but taught a few years in a Catholic school prior to having kids.

I agree with what everyone has said so far. But it so depends on the area you live in. Our school district actually has much smaller classes in the Public school than the Catholic schools. For example, my child's class has only 22 kids in it right now (public school)... the Catholic school equivalent in my area has 29. So that is a big difference and one of the reasons our child is not in catholic school right now. We are thinking about moving him next year -- for various reasons.

There are less resources, but again that depends on the Catholic school. Our Catholic school has a Special Education teacher and a resource teacher and aides in the different grades.

Teaching in a Catholic school is much different. But there is a definite positive to being able to discuss Christ in your classroom. To be able to celebrate and discuss His Word in the classroom for me was such a motivating factor!

Parents in Catholic schools are usually very active, but so are the parents in my public school. And the feeling of entitlement is again more of a socio-economic issue... we have many parents who volunteer for a few hours a week and feel they are entitled to pick whatever teachers they want, tell the teacher what reading group their child belongs to, etc. That is no different public or private, some parents will be difficult and others supportive and great. I found a mix when I taught too.

So I guess my opinion is if you feel the school is a great school for your kids to attend, then you probably will love teaching there. Being a certified teacher, you will most certainly be an asset to the staff! And being that you have been teaching already, you probably have many resources already you can bring with you.

Best of luck.
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