Catholic Schools


#1

Hello, I am new to the forums and I have a question for some folks out there. I have always wanted to teach in catholic schools. Lately after some consideration have decided to leave my comfortable salary as a public school teacher and attempt it. I thought catholic schools were turning out highly educated involved Christians who behave and act with morality and ethics. When I discussed this change for with some fellow teacher colleagues they think I am crazy. They think that the students are not prepared for a faith based lifestyle or even at the appropriate developmental level. Some also mentioned to me that it is a very in/prestige group of people to belong to. I felt a bit torn because having attended catholic schools as much as my family could afford to i was surprised by this perspective. I want to defend these accusations please help.
Do you find yourself or others you know choosing catholic schools for faith for prestige or some of both?
What things do you consider when making religious educational decisions?


#2

Hard to answer your questions without knowing the age level and the type of catholic school. There are expensive, private catholic schoolss (sometimes, but not always associated with a religious order) and then there are parish elementary schools and then there a diocesan high schools.
The first type seems all over the map, from VERY catholic to VERY un-catholic. I will address the latter two. In general, people send their kids to Catholic elementary schools and high schools for two reasons, 1) strong acedemics, 2) Catholic education. Unfortunately for most, #1 far outweighs #2. Now, parish elementary schools will likely be much more "catholic" in nature than diocesan high schools. That is definitly the case around here and from conversations with other folks around the country, it seems to be common. The pendulum of catholic schools is swinging back to the right. It is moving much faster at the parish level than the diocesan level. This is to be expected, as parish schools are typically smaller, by necessity much closer to the parents, younger teachers, and they have a single boss: the pastor.

Diocesan high schools become entities controlled only by themselves. Bishops seem to take little interest in them. The administrations see to it that trustee boards are big enough to be unweildy and therefore lacking in power. Quite simply, they operate on their own and they often act like it. The administrations like to style themslevs as a private, as opposed to catholic school. Parents choose the school on acedemic and prestige grounds more often. Therefore, the pendulum is swinging to the right at these schools, but at a much slower pace. It will take many of the administrators time to die off.

BTW, I am a big suppoerter of catholic education and I think our parish schools need support and are always in need of dedicated teachers. Most teachers who start teaching in catholic schools, stay there as opposed to moving back to public schools.


#3

Also, some Catholic schools aren't truly Catholic. They may be progressive, which most Catholic schools aren't. Do your best though. Teach the Faith! I will pray for You! :signofcross::byzsoc:


#4

After subbing in a number of Catholic Schools, I can say they are very much a mixed bag. You will find a lot of well meaning teachers who are well past their prime and a lot of inexperienced teachers who are lost in the classroom — both of these are especially true at the middle school level. And you will find pay that can range from somewhat below average to “you have got to be kidding me” (teaching middle school for $48 a day with a masters degree for example — I could make more at McDonald’s) But there is a lot less **** to deal with.


#5

I can only speak for my children’s school - It’s very Catholic and not at all “prestigous” espeically compared to the excellent public schools in my town that are well funded and have all the bells & whistles like laptops for everyone. The grade school is supported by the parish and does not turn anyone away regardless of their ability to pay so although we have some very wealthy families, we also have single parents, immigrant families, and very poor families. Mass is weekly, prayers are daily including the rosary. The Priests are often in the classrooms. I feel like it is TOTALLY Catholic.

We are blessed for sure.


#6

[quote="yellowbird, post:5, topic:194776"]
I can only speak for my children's school - It's very Catholic and not at all "prestigous" espeically compared to the excellent public schools in my town that are well funded and have all the bells & whistles like laptops for everyone. The grade school is supported by the parish and does not turn anyone away regardless of their ability to pay so although we have some very wealthy families, we also have single parents, immigrant families, and very poor families. Mass is weekly, prayers are daily including the rosary. The Priests are often in the classrooms. I feel like it is TOTALLY Catholic.

We are blessed for sure.

[/quote]

My children's school is similar to what you describe here.

We lose teachers every year to the public schools. We'd love to have you come and teach!


#7

Our little parish school is far, far froming being prestigious. People are more middle income and make many sacrifices to send their children to our school. But go down the road about 20 miles and you’ll find just the opposite. So it really does depend upon the school you are applying for a position.

I can say though our parish school is facing a crisis and its not over enrollment but over the aging teaching staff. And that can lead to hiring someone that is willing to take a pay cut from teaching in the public schools and is not the most competent teacher. We currently have two openings, and very few applicants. Our teachers, for a couple of them, our school was their very first teaching job and very well will also be their last.

I don’t know about all diocese, but my cousin teaches in the Pittsburgh Diocese and I had asked her once why she didn’t apply to our old childhood parish. She told me our old parish was not union, the school she currently taught at was union and she was going to be eligible for her pension in two years and couldn’t afford to leave. Possibly something to consider.


#8

I send my kids to Catholic school for the religious part of it… We can’t afford it, and struggle to pay but it is worth it… Not everyone in the school is wonderful and sweet but for the most part, it is a nice environment. They pray everyday, got to Mass, they love it. My little daughter said, “Mommy, I don’t want to go to public school b/c I can’t pray there” …good luck to you…


#9

It is great to hear of someone who wants to teach in Catholic School for the right reasons.


#10

Our Catholic School is a mixed bag...

WE love it because of the faith aspect... it's really Catholic, the principal is top-of-the-line, and the academics are fabulous... but mostly for the faith.

There certainly are families who attend the school for the "prestige"... it's probably one of the "higher income" Catholic Schools in our area, so with that naturally comes the swath of single-child families unloading from their Cadillac SUVs...
But then again, there are also BIG families getting out of large conversion vans who are OBVIOUSLY working hard to put their families in for the faith aspect...

The teachers aren't paid as well as public school teachers... I *PRAY *to one day be able to teach there (waiting for both the position to open and the financial opportunity since it WOULD be a huge pay-cut for me from engineering)...
It's my dream job. :D


#11

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