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Take Attendance!

I've always found the idea of private v. public school teaching interesting. In my part of the country, here in the Midwest, private schools are not always the better paid, better equipped schools. In many cases it's the exact opposite.


well missy!
I say do it while you can! you are a great teacher and any place would be..strike that.. SHOULD be honored to have you..
sorry we missed you over xmas.. hope to see you and yours soon!
hugs, E (and M)

Miss Profe

As a career independent (private) school teacher of 13 years, independent schools span the range, from tp-self to mediocre. So, just because a family is paying $20,000 per year for an education does not necesssarily make it better. It simply affords the average student fewer cracks through which to fall.

Why do iI do it? As a TOC (Teacher of Color), the students of color need me, and the Caucasian students benefit from seeing a person in a leadership role.

Concerned Parents

Asphyxia activity (aka The Choking Game) is known all over this country, Canada and the world. There's a great chance that your child or grandchild, niece or nephew has already heard of it and has tried it or may be enticed to play it. Children as young as 6 years old have explained it to shocked parents. They don't know the deadliness or the dangers of permanent disabling brain damage, they think it's fun, safe and silly. Please help by signing the petition below. The life you save in the future may be a child who means the world to you. mom

A Petition for the D.A.R.E program and every Elementary/Middle School Health Program to incorporate Asphyxia Activity into the cirricula has begun to circulate -

Your signature means we insist on keeping our children safe -
"Sign Here at the DB Foundation.com"

Please feel free to copy and paste this. Blog it, Link, it, Forward it!!

The more signatures, the bigger the impact!


I teach at a private school because....
I have a BA, an MA and a PhD and I wasn't enamoured of the idea of having to get a license to teach partiuclary because I had six years of experience under my belt.
Perks at a private school can be great:
small classes, time off, a stronger community feel. However the trade off often is that the teacher is expected to teach to the individual, give in to lame excuses and bend over backwards to inflate the grade and oh yeah be a clinical psychologist. After all that $23-25K a year means something in the private school world.


The public school probably couldn't hire you because of all the "No Child Left Behind" Act rules. Public schools have to have "Highly Qualified" teachers, who usually need a Master's of Teaching, I think. I'm not totally sure of the requirements, I just know that it limits what I, as a teacher with a MT in Elementary, can teach to 6th graders. Even if you are certified to teach a subject, with the new laws, you also have to be "Highly Qualified," which often has more requirements. Thanks, Bush! Good job! Way to limit the people who actually care enough to help; make the people who make the least money PAY to get even more qualified than they already are.

New Teacher on board

I'm going to school to become a teacher in Utah and as far as going through the ELED program, it's a joke. It is really hard to get into the program here because of the competitiveness of the other students and the "Qualifications" we have to go through and pass now, aka "more testing." About 60% of the applicants don't get in because of this. Yet all I hear from the world is, "We need more teachers, we need more teachers!" If that's the case, then let these other girls teach for crips sake! Especially in Utah where we have so many more kids, leaving us with less money per kid.

Scott Palat

This is why http://www.nationaltutorinstitute.com is allowing people to start their own online tutoring businesses. It's an opportunity for teachers (and others trying to land a teaching job) to teach the way they want without school restrictions. The is a very unique opportunity you'll want to read about.

Brett Hodus

Is it so difficult to understand why public schools are failing? I don't think so.

This blog says it all...the hoops one has to jump through to become a public school teacher and help those who need it most simply aren't worth it. The pay is often less, the work is twice as hard, the resources aren't there, and with the No Child Left Behind initiative firmly in place, learning is no longer a major concern in public schools...just test-taking.

Our public schools need to start paying more to teachers and giving schools more leeway in the way they teach. No Child Left Behind is the worst mistake in the history of US education.

California Teacher Girl

I think one big problem is that the more education a teacher has, the more expensive the teacher becomes. A teacher with a M.A. is a lot more expensive (especially with experience!) than a teacher who just got a credential and has no other graduate work. It's all about numbers.

There are a large number of teachers with Master's degrees who are out of work or having to work in private schools because public schools cannot afford them. It's quite unfortunate.

John Stakis

Hi there, my name is John Stakis and I'm the head webmaster for a relatively new site called http://www.group-games.com. It's a collection of about 20 group games, icebreakers, team-building activities -- more games are being added every few days. A list of games, sorted by type, can be found at: http://www.group-games.com/games-by-type/ We've tried to keep a pretty clean interface in order to make it as useful as possible for teachers.

I was wondering if you would mind adding a link to our website, as we're still in the process of developing critical mass. I'd greatly appreciate it -- please let me know. Also, please let me know if there's anything we can do for you also.

Chad L. (IMC Guy)

I'm going to have to disagree that all of the passionate teachers are in private schools.

However, some of the reasons stated above are very true regarding salaries, NCLB, etc.

I see a lot of charter/choice schools in my area hiring anyone to teach the kids. In many cases, the public schools have teachers who are much more qualified than teachers teaching elsewhere.

NYC Educator

I don't think that private schools necessarily have better teachers than public schools. Sometimes they do, as is the case here.

Where I live, though, in the suburbs of NYC, public schools pay the most and can afford to be highly selective. In the city, they have both great teachers and terrible teachers. The bad ones wouldn't be hired anywhere but the city, and really they're the ones who ought to be at Burger King (though they'd fail the more stringent interview process over there).

Personally, I couldn't afford to teach at a private school. I do have an MA, by the way, for what it's worth.

It's possible the public schools in your area simply hire those without MAs to save money, and the drive to get teachers on the cheap can be very detrimental to good education. It's certainly been that way in NYC.

Sorry you didn't get considered for the public school gig. But it sounds like you're happy where you are, which counts for a lot.

Barbara Fowler

I taught in public schools in Oregon for 31 years--a BA in History from Whitman College and a Masters in Curriculum from the University of Oregon. I would say my colleagues were better qualified than private school teachers both in knowledge of content and in skills in instructional and management strategies. Private school teachers in our area had teachers who had one or the other but rarely both of these attributes.

I just saw Sherri Lansing accept an Oscar. In her speech, she credited teachers and their dedication to making the world a better place. Bravo! Every year, I wonder why we are making such a big deal out of these actors and actresses. Where are the teacher academy awards? I also get tired of hearing how Oprah is making a difference in people's lives. She hasn't come near to the personal effect that ONE teacher has on students' lives over a 30-year career.

btw Our public schools had better resources than the private schools in our area and paid their teachers more than the private schools.

Erin Henry

As a future educator I found this entry incredibly interesting. I noticed that another individual mentioned that in the midwest the private vs. public school is often the opposite. And as a student from Illinois I can vouch for this. Since you have experienced this from both ends, I was wondering if the attitudes of the students differ in the public and private schools?
-Erin Henry



I am right now employed in a public school (for 7 years) and looking for another job in a public school.

I haven't seriously considered the private schools here in Portland Oregon because I am averse of the snob culture and my understanding is that my pay would be lower and I may not have benefits.

Your post is interesting, esp that first comment. And the rest too, my public school in particular has a good mix of amazing teachers who care ALOT every day to some who are coach teachers, whose students bring him a cup of coffee and who knows what is up there... I feel lucky to work among these teachers, even the coach ones because they aren't really allowed to get away with the low level of teaching.

And ironically, aside from some standouts, to me private schools have seemed to employ people who more seemed to "fall" into teaching. Masters degrees? why bother when the pay is so low? so this idea that private schools are the only ones with good teachers seems really foreign. the public schools here anyway wont employ anyone without a masters. and yes, it is hard to get a job in a public school. and yes there are faults in the public school system as far as the quality of teachers go. and the main one seems the retirement system which encourages burned out teachers to stick around.

anyway, as far as teacher education goes, my experience has been kind of one that showed me 2 things:

The university doesn't care if you took the classes before, because what they really want is your money.

They teach a "methodology" that is wholly inconsistent with the testing culture of schools today. I was as a secondary teacher, taught that kids should "discover" and "teach themselves through this discovery". Haha! And what if they didn't discover the right stuff that was on the test? How do they "discover" rules of writing conventions? Vocabulary? We don't meet AYP or the kids don't pass the test. Silly.


I teach in a low-income, urban public school in LA and am counting down the days until I can teach in a private school again.

I would love to say that I get a warm and fuzzy feeling from providing learning opportunities to those kids who need it most, but the honest truth is that I would rather teach rich kids and not have to buy my own paper, art supplies, and xeroxes. I also dream of having another adult help teach PE, computers, and science. Or maybe just another adult to stand in the lunch line with my class so that I can actually get a break. It would also be nice to not have to hope and pray that my students' test scores are high enough to allow me to continue teaching next year.

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