The demographics of students and parents that attend public and private schools tend to be pretty stereotypical. As in certain types of parents send their children to private schools, and certain parents send their students to public schools. Although, sometimes schools can break these stereotypes (ok, a lot of the time).
So, instead of talking about private and public schools in this post (and the next few), I’m going to be talking about two ends of the parent spectrum. Those who care too much about their child’s education, and those who don’t care enough. Of course most parents will fall somewhere between these two, but will probably lean either way. So here are some characteristics of parents that care too much.
Parents who care too much
- There will likely be a lot of pressure on the child to perform
- Students may often be forced to go to tutoring (I onced tutored a Kindy girl in maths, she was doing year 2 maths at the time…)
- The parents will put stress onto the teacher, and ask questions about why their child isn’t getting straight A’s
- Although because of this, the teachers are accountable and teaching remains excellent
- Students may be forced to do tests for selective schools when they have no chance of getting in, and therefore are under unnecessary stress
- Parents will support the teacher in learning, and students will value learning as their parents do
Most private schools have parents that exhibit above symptoms. This can be both harmful and helpful. And some parents may only be helpful, or may only be harmful. But in deciding where to teach consider the parents that you will be partnering with in educating their children.
Stay tuned for Parents who don’t care enough.
Continue reading ‘Public vs Private #8 | Parents Who Care Too Much’
I’m still in the process of thinking about whether to teach in a private school or a public school (can you call them that?).
Something to consider in this decision are the other teachers at your school.
At a Christian private school, there is likely to be a higher proportion of Christian teachers. This might make it easier to have a Bible study each week with other teachers, and you may be able to create a unified front for Christ for non-Christian teachers. In this situation it may be easier to be a witness for Christ with the support of other teachers.
At a public school, there may not be many, if any other Christian teachers. This might make it incredibly hard to be a witness for Christ, and you may be tempted to be quiet. However, you would then be placing more Christian teachers in public school staff rooms. So hopefully encouraging Christian teachers who may be at the school, or being a much needed witness at the school.
All of this is of course speculation as I don’t know how many Christians teach at either public or private schools. However, I would love to hear from you!
If you’re a Christian teacher (preservice counts), what has your experience been with staff rooms at public and private schools?
Please comment here.
Continue reading ‘Public vs Private #7 | Other Teachers’
This semester at Uni I have been doing some research into the funding of Public and Private Schools.
Through this research I have come to believe that (in terms of funding), there is no such thing as a Private school in Australia.
On the right is a breakdown of funding in Australian schools from 2008. As can be clearly seen, both private and public schools receive government funding. Of this, Public schools receive far more State funding and Private schools receive more Federal funding.
Government (Public) schools receive $1022 per student from the Federal government and $10222 per student from the State government, for a total of $11244 per student from government funding.
Non-government (Private) schools receive $4713 per student from the Federal government and $1664 per student from the State government, for a total of $6377 per student from government funding.
How can we can non-government schools “Private” when they clearly receive government funding. Sure, they may have policies that are not dictated by the government. But why cant we have a system where every student goes to the local comprehensive government school? I understand that there are reasons for this (I will detail these reasons in a future post), however surely a single system of education would benefit the education of all.
Australia has a history of a split system of education (mainly based on religion), which is where a lot of these issues come from. Other countries such as Canada and England have a more mainstream system of education, where there are Private schools, but they are for the VERY rich only. I wonder if there is any possibility of a single mainstream system of education in Australia?
What do you think?
Published August 4, 2009
Tags: Bible, Freedom, Private, Public, School
In a Christian private school, a teacher will have significant religious freedom.
I recently received a Facebook message from somebody who has recently graduated as a teacher and is in her first year of teaching (Hey Liz), and she mentioned that she has the joy of reading the Bible to her students each and every morning. She also said that they even go home and ask there parents to read the Bible to them!
And it’s not like her students are all Christians, she estimated that around 90% are from non-Christian homes!
How exciting is that!
I must say that I do not have a public school teachers experience to draw from, but in my experience, this would never happen at a public school.
The freedom that Christians would have at private schools is certainly an exciting prospect as a pre-service teacher…
Continue reading ‘Public vs Private #6 | Freedom’
Published July 29, 2009
Tags: Church, Forum, Online, University
The semester has started and for me, I have been greeted by a number of courses that are doing weekly online reflections.
This has excited me a bit for 2 reasons
- I enjoy the content (Primary school maths and a subject based around my prac).
- I enjoy reflecting about life online.
Each week I am asked to write a few hundred words about what I have learnt and also to comment on what other people have posted. I am looking forward to this as I believe that it will really help me to learn the content, which will be very useful for me when I go to teach.
It is interesting to see that University’s are so readily using reflection online before many churches are. I would be interested to see if many churches are using online forums to discuss the content from Sunday’s service. Would we be able to grow through an online forum?
I think that communication in our age is getting easier and easier, and I hope that churches will stay up to date with effective communication techniques.
Continue reading ‘Online Reflection at Uni’
A school Christian lunchtime group is a great place for Christian students to invite their friends to hear about the gospel.
One of the catches with a school lunchtime group at a public school is that a teacher of the school is required to sign off on the group. This means that if their isn’t a teacher to sign off on the group, then a lunchtime group cannot exist.
So for lunchtime Christian groups to exist, then Christian teachers must be present in public schools. Their would also be opportunities for a Christian teacher to run the group.
This doesn’t mean that a Christian teacher couldn’t be involved with a lunchtime group at a private school, but there are most likely chaplains or youth workers to run these groups.
Lunchtime groups are a great place for students to hear the gospel, as well as receiving leadership training, so it would be sad if they weren’t able to run.
You can learn more about lunchtime groups at the Scripture Union website.
If you have any thoughts on anything that I have said, please share below in the comments section.
Continue reading ‘Public vs Private #5 | Lunchtime Group’
Published July 20, 2009
Tags: Private, Public, Sport
At a private school, co-curricular sport is usually compulsory.
The series on whether to teach in public or private schools continues. This is series of posts to discover all of the factors in deciding where to teach, so as to make the most informed choice for my situation. I hope that others may participate in this discussion and may use these thoughts in making their own decision. This thought was proposed by Kate Ramshaw.
The fact that co-curricular sport is compulsory means that teachers are often called in for participating in coaching. From my knowledge, each teacher is normally required to coach a team.
This has both positive and negative sides to it. The fact that you cans spend extra time with the students outside of class allows the teacher to continue their influence in their lives. It may also allow students to see the teacher in a different setting and possibly build respect. This is of course if the teacher has a sport that they are enthusiastic to coach.
Sport however, takes extra time. In the life of a teacher, especially a new teacher, there is already restrictions on time. Will the extra time taken to coach mean that sacrifices will need to be made in the rest of your life?
If you would like to read more in this series, here they are for your benefit.
Continue reading ‘Public vs Private #4 | Sport’
Teaching is hard. Being a Christian is hard.
Therefore, being a Christian teacher is very hard.
At a public school, a Christian teacher is likely to be in the minority, with very few other Christian teachers if any at all.
There will be older teachers who will be able to support your teaching, they may even mentor you and give you excellent advice, but whatever they tell you, it will not be directly influencing your walk with God.
However, at a private school, there are likely to be many other Christian teachers, many of whom will have been teaching for a long period of time.
These Christian teachers will be able to support you not only in teaching, but in being a Christian teacher. This support would be very useful in the early years of teaching especially, as the teacher tries to understand how to best serve God in their field. The fact that the teachers can work together in glorifying God means that they can share experiences of discussions with students or parents, and also particular struggles that they may have.
Of course if every Christian teacher went to a private school, then there wouldn’t be a single Christian teacher in a public school. But it is something to consider in this debate. If you have an opinion on this, let me know in the comments.
Continue reading ‘Public vs Private #3 | Support’
NSW is one of the few places in the world (I do not know of any others) that allows scripture to be taught in public schools.
This is an incredible opportunity.
(If you have not read the first post in this series, please read it here now, it is a basis for all thought)
Scripture (or SRE, Special Religious Education) is mandated to be part of NSW government schools.
“In every government school, time is to be allowed for the religious education of children of any religious persuasion, but the total number of hours so allowed in a year is not to exceed, for each child, the number of school weeks in the year.”
Education Act 1990 No 8, Part 6 – 32 Special religious education
So SRE has a definite space in public schools,. SRE in NSW is also mandated to be based on an opt-out system, rather than an opt-in system (Education Act 1990 No 8, Part 6 - 33 Objection to religious education).
Scripture is the norm, and the public support it as well! 65% of the broad population in NSW support SRE (From here).
So scripture is in schools, and it is important, but what does that mean for teachers?
Teachers can have an impact on the number of hours of scripture that is taught, and also on when it is taught. This can be done through a few main avenues.
- Teachers can be a voice in the school that supports SRE, this is vital as the principal decides when and where scripture is taught.
- Teachers can also support clergy and other lay teachers through actively encouraging scripture publicly.
- Teachers can also encourage students to learn during scripture by valuing it themselves, rather than dismissing it as “time off”.
If you are a teacher in a public school, then you can actively support the teaching of scripture at your school. You cannot do this at a private school.
Continue reading ‘Public vs Private #2 | Scripture’
Published June 16, 2009
Tags: Private, Public, School, Teaching
Over the coming months, I’m going to be trying to decide whether to teach in a private school or a public school. This is going to include a series of posts documenting my ideas on this issue.
A few things to note before I start
- I know there are great reasons for teaching in both private and public schools. There is not a right or wrong choice.
- I want to know which would be best for me in serving God.
- My views on this could change, so although I am trying to work this out early in (not even half-way through) my degree, I may not feel this way in 2 years.
- I would really appreciate others jumping in on the discussion.
- This process will also hopefully help me (and others) to think about how we can actively serve God through teaching
- This process involves thinking mainly about Primary schools, but a lot of it will be relevant for Secondary schools as well.
- Finally, in this process I am referring to private (independent schools) and public (government schools). I personally do not think that I would teach at a Christian school or a Catholic school.
- UPDATE: Will be referring to the school system within NSW, Australia.
That’s the basis from which I will be writing the rest of the posts.
Let’s see what happens…
Continue reading ‘Public vs Private #1′