I bumped into an old friend on the train on Monday.
He is a teacher in the government system and loves his work. I was also a teacher in the government system for quite a while and had a hoot. I loved the rough and ready nature of things and the earthy conversation in the staff room. I have also taught in a Christian school and while I found the people top quality, the ethos (of ‘no non-Christians’ allowed) had me seething. I describe that as the year I was a ‘teaching whore’ – only in it for the money and hated how dirty it made me feel…
Anyway… rant over… My friend was expressing his concern at the development of Christian schools and the significant impact it was having on the rest of the education system.
Basically the issue is that Christian schools are leeching all of the Christian teachers out of the state system and using them to staff their own ventures.
He is concerned that there are precious few Christians left in the state system. In fact he told me that his principal download bonneville dvd (not a Christian) is very worried at this trend and has expressed concern at the change in ethos in state schools as the Christian teachers have gone.
It began to dawn on me that unless a Christian teacher holds the strong conviction that we must remain in the state system it is almost inevitable that they will be lured into their own system.
Here’s the problem:
– There is a finite number of teachers in WA and a much smaller finite number of teachers who would call themselves Christian
– Christian schools must be staffed by card carrying Christians
– Christian schools are on the grow
– The government system is not very appealing in many places.
As Christian schools grow, if they wish to remain true to their ethos of staffing with only Christians, then sooner or later they will need to recruit from the government system. (Or they can compromise and staff with non-Christians)
Sooner or later if the $$$ are right and the working conditions are better than in state schools, it won’t be long before very few Christians are left in the government system.
I dunno about you, but I see this as a huge issue and one to get concerned about…