Is it better to be a teacher at a public school, private school, or charter school? Why?


ambreen khan, May it's helpful.

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You said right that If more students apply to go to the contract than spots accessible, sanction schools utilize a lottery framework to allow affirmation. An educator may go to a contract school since they offer a more creative educational modules than the customary government-funded school would permit. However, I need essay writing help but public and private school teacher must understand this difference.

Carrie Hagen, Nonfiction Writer and Researcher, Teacher

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Speaking purely to my experience and observations of family members and close friends, I prefer teaching at a public school. Why? Because I have a union's protection, quite honestly. I grew up watching my parents teach at private schools (different kinds of private schools even), and they and their teacher friends were given so many responsibilities in addition to their paid classroom positions that they always felt like they weren't doing anything as well as they could.

This was my experience when I taught for a bit at a private Catholic prep school. The teachers were excellent, and worked so hard, but the demands outside of the classroom "burned" a few of the younger ones out especially.

And yes, the pay is an important factor. Teachers work hard. When we aren't in the classroom, we are thinking, prepping ... there is always something to do! Public schools often pay higher, and that, of course, eases other types of burdens.

Lisa Hiton, Poet, Professor, Filmmaker, Writer, Arts Educator

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I echo much of what has been said before about no real "better"; however, I'd like to offer a few questions you might consider when applying to jobs at these kinds of institutions...

  • One differences between these three institutions can be the relationship between freedom and pay. Public school teachers tend to make more money, but have less wiggle-room in the curriculum they want to teach and/or the pedagogical means of approaching a given curriculum. On the flip-side, private school teachers are afforded different freedoms, but less in the way of a yearly salary.

  • A larger question you might ask yourself: to what extent does this kind of school abide my own political beliefs about the role of a school in a given community? On the one hand, every child in every classroom deserves a great teacher and education. On the other hand, the coexistence of these three kinds of institutions in one community often leaves some young people abandoned (in a myriad of ways). This question is designed to get you thinking about to what extent your teaching beliefs and pedagogies might or might not agree with the larger political system of schooling.

**All of these ideas are of course NOT universal to each state, city, or neighborhood. Different states and areas within states approach these ideas and ideals with different mentalities (and different means...).

It is important to remember that we need great teachers in every single classroom. There are ways being a teacher is a political activism (whether the teacher likes it or not). It's important to have people in the trenches at every turn; both irreverence WITHIN the system and AT the system will be needed to make progress and equality within the field (I mean equality of working conditions for teachers as well as the democratizing of education for young people).

Christine VanDonge, Senior Research Analyst

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The majority of my experiences have been researching charter schools, so I can speak to why a teacher might prefer (or see this as a best option) for themselves.

Like traditional public schools, charter schools do not charge tuition to students. Since they are publicly funded, they still participate in state testing and federal accountability programs, and they must have open enrollment. If more students apply to attend the charter than spots available, charter schools use a lottery system to grant admission. A teacher might choose to go to a charter school because they offer a more innovative curriculum than the traditional public school would allow. In addition, charter schools are not always governed by the same regulations as traditional public schools. While there are often standards set by the board or operator of the charter school, these may differ from standards (i.e. staffing, curriculum, budget management) for traditional public schools. Because of this, teachers in charter schools may feel more freedom in the way the conduct their lessons and manage their classrooms. It is important to note that some of this flexibility might add additional workload for teachers (i.e. some charter schools have longer school days or additional school days in their academic calendar). Lastly, charter schools may not require a teacher to be certified or be more flexible in their certification requirements.

Please feel free to ask any follow-up questions! I hope others can respond about a teacher might select private or public schools.

Jennifer Oleniczak, Founder and Artistic Director of The Engaging Educator

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As someone who has worked at and with all three, I think there is no "better" option. It's really about the fit of the teacher with the school, as well as the school climate in general.

There are plenty of articles assessing the options for students, but not a lot for teachers. The first is to understand the differences between the three, and get to know the school profile. I've seen incredible public schools that have funding, have great admin support, excellent resources and great students. I've also seen private schools that have little funding, excellent admin and little resources and great students.

I would say the first step is to go into the school and see what those teachers are like! Do they like their jobs? Do they feel supported by the admin staff as well as the parents? Do the children seem happy and connected to the school? If you are doing a hard and fast fact comparison, it might be helpful to visit some of the sites I have listed below. In the end, it's all a matter of how YOU fit into a school. There really is no 'best' option.

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