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Switching from Jewish school to public school
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amother




OP
 

Post Tue, Jan 18 2022, 3:16 am
I have been a teacher in Bais Yaakov’s for close to 15 years. I have finally taken the plunge and applied for a job at public school. The salary is approximately 4x what I am making now. My heart is so torn. I love the environment, being on my kids schedule, etc. on the other hand, I am missing a tooth but can’t afford an implant, my husband needs a surgery but Medicaid won’t approve it (although the doctor has said it’s required), etc. We really need the money. Looking for chizzuk and also things to take into consideration before making a final decision.
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endlesslybaking




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Jan 18 2022, 5:51 am
You can do it. I'm not a teacher but I'm in "one of the therapies". I went from working in a frum clinic, to working in the public system. The money is better, the clients are usually better, and it's just not as daunting as it seems. I have a friend who made the jump from teaching bais rivkah to teaching public school and she loves it.
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WhatFor




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Jan 18 2022, 6:00 am
Your primary responsibility is to yourself and your family. If you feel that this is best for you and your family, then this is the right decision.
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amother




Daisy
 

Post Tue, Jan 18 2022, 6:09 am
This is a no brainer. Make the switch
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amother




Fuchsia
 

Post Tue, Jan 18 2022, 6:44 am
I taught for many years in ps, and really liked it. There are many pros, and salary is just one of them.
(Be prepared for a lot more paperwork and extra teacher duties, though.)
Which grade level are planning to teach? Elementary, middle or high?
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imasinger




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Jan 18 2022, 6:48 am
Every job has pros and cons. It's helpful to list them.

Make sure to list the intangibles, too. How comfortable are you with the administration in both places? What would happen if your DH needed extra from you care after his surgery?

How will you deal with Pesach, with less time just before it to prepare? This year is easier, but will the public school let you take off the yamim tovim when they're all during the week?

Then, one question you might want to ask yourself is, given that your salary would be quadrupled, are the cons at the public school 4x as bad?

Hatzlacha. You'll be fine. And in the unlikely event that you are really miserable, you can probably switch back after a year.
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amother




Fuchsia
 

Post Tue, Jan 18 2022, 7:29 am
Another thing to be aware of, is early Friday's in winter. You want to research any school you get an interview for to know what the hours/commute are like. Better to have school with an earlier start time so you end earlier. Usually middle and high schools start earlier in the day. Of course keep the commute time in mind to see if it's doable on the shortest Friday's of the year.
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jflower




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Jan 18 2022, 9:08 am
Will you still be eligible for Medicaid if you take the higher paying job?
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STovah




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Jan 18 2022, 9:15 am
jflower wrote:
Will you still be eligible for Medicaid if you take the higher paying job?

OP wouldn’t need Medicaid as public school jobs generally come with decent benefits.
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amother




Iris
 

Post Tue, Jan 18 2022, 9:20 am
I work for public school. It's definitely not easy. Know what you are getting into before you start. The hours are harder and many times you start very early (I leave my house at 7), prepare to work late on short Fridays, erev yom tov, Isru chag, and through your kids vacations. The environment will be very different than a frum school. The administration may be difficult and there is a lot of paperwork. However, the money and benefits are great. So if you think you can deal with the difficult parts it can be a good option for you. Just know what you are getting into first.
.
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amother




Beige
 

Post Tue, Jan 18 2022, 9:23 am
amother [ Iris ] wrote:
I work for public school. It's definitely not easy. Know what you are getting into before you start. The hours are harder and many times you start very early (I leave my house at 7), prepare to work late on short Fridays, erev yom tov, Isru chag, and through your kids vacations. The environment will be very different than a frum school. The administration may be difficult and there is a lot of paperwork. However, the money and benefits are great. So if you think you can deal with the difficult parts it can be a good option for you. Just know what you are getting into first.
.


Was going to write exactly this. I also switched from a yeshiva to a public school. In the beginning I hated it but now I like it. It’s not easy but the pay is definitely worth it.
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amother




Fuchsia
 

Post Tue, Jan 18 2022, 9:25 am
amother [ Iris ] wrote:
I work for public school. It's definitely not easy. Know what you are getting into before you start. The hours are harder and many times you start very early (I leave my house at 7), prepare to work late on short Fridays, erev yom tov, Isru chag, and through your kids vacations. The environment will be very different than a frum school. The administration may be difficult and there is a lot of paperwork. However, the money and benefits are great. So if you think you can deal with the difficult parts it can be a good option for you. Just know what you are getting into first.
.

I agree with all the above. It's definitely going to be more work and longer hours plus dealing with taking off for YT/full day on Fridays, but that's the trade off for a much higher salary and good benefits.
A good thing about your timing is that the public school system is starting to be hit with a major teacher shortage due to tons of teachers quitting or retiring early due to covid. So, new teacher applicants will have a much easier time getting a job and there are likely going to be openings even at the really good schools.
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amother




Wheat
 

Post Tue, Jan 18 2022, 10:11 am
imasinger wrote:
Every job has pros and cons. It's helpful to list them.

Make sure to list the intangibles, too. How comfortable are you with the administration in both places? What would happen if your DH needed extra from you care after his surgery?

How will you deal with Pesach, with less time just before it to prepare? This year is easier, but will the public school let you take off the yamim tovim when they're all during the week?

Then, one question you might want to ask yourself is, given that your salary would be quadrupled, are the cons at the public school 4x as bad?

Hatzlacha. You'll be fine. And in the unlikely event that you are really miserable, you can probably switch back after a year.


Many of us work in the “outside world” and work on a secular calendar and make pesach and YT work. It is hard but very manageable.

If you work at a “real” job, you are legally entitled to FMLA if you need to care for your DH.

Just a side note, maybe Hashem has. Special plan for you in public school. Maybe there is a kid who is not yet frum and there and you can connect with them and help teach them the beauty of Torah Judaism. My parent taught in PS and the Jewish kids sought out and had lunch with them and connected. Maybe you have a special tafkid.
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amother




Emerald
 

Post Tue, Jan 18 2022, 10:19 am
I work for public school too. I agree with what the pp's are saying. It is harder hours, more paperwork, not the same environment as BY, difficult erev YT and shabbos, but I find it worthwhile overall. My salary is higher, I have excellent insurance, a retirement plan in place, I enjoy my coworkers mostly, and my supervisors are ok. I actually like my students too. They are mostly very sweet kids.

I will say that regarding taking off erev Yt, yom tov, chol ha moed, etc, if need be, talk to a union representative. I did and was informed of a lot of leeway for religious leave. I doubt every district has the same policies but it is FOR SURE worth asking. I take off every erev YT, and all of chol hamoed with a partial deduction in pay.
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amother




Iris
 

Post Tue, Jan 18 2022, 10:25 am
amother [ Emerald ] wrote:
I work for public school too. I agree with what the pp's are saying. It is harder hours, more paperwork, not the same environment as BY, difficult erev YT and shabbos, but I find it worthwhile overall. My salary is higher, I have excellent insurance, a retirement plan in place, I enjoy my coworkers mostly, and my supervisors are ok. I actually like my students too. They are mostly very sweet kids.

I will say that regarding taking off erev Yt, yom tov, chol ha moed, etc, if need be, talk to a union representative. I did and was informed of a lot of leeway for religious leave. I doubt every district has the same policies but it is FOR SURE worth asking. I take off every erev YT, and all of chol hamoed with a partial deduction in pay.


It is very unusual to be able to take off every erev yom tov and chol hamoed with a partial deduction in pay. Many principals would absolutely not allow that. I am lucky to take of chol hamoed with no pay, but I would never dream of asking for erev yom tov too.
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amother




Fuchsia
 

Post Tue, Jan 18 2022, 10:27 am
amother [ Emerald ] wrote:
I work for public school too. I agree with what the pp's are saying. It is harder hours, more paperwork, not the same environment as BY, difficult erev YT and shabbos, but I find it worthwhile overall. My salary is higher, I have excellent insurance, a retirement plan in place, I enjoy my coworkers mostly, and my supervisors are ok. I actually like my students too. They are mostly very sweet kids.

I will say that regarding taking off erev Yt, yom tov, chol ha moed, etc, if need be, talk to a union representative. I did and was informed of a lot of leeway for religious leave. I doubt every district has the same policies but it is FOR SURE worth asking. I take off every erev YT, and all of chol hamoed with a partial deduction in pay.

For sure ask, but what you describe as taking off for YT sounds very unusual for ps.
My district clamped down, maybe because frum employees took advantage? We had 2 days paid, then needed to use our 3 days of personal leave, then were allowed no more than I think 5 days unpaid. They obviously had consulted with lawyers and a Jewish calendar and had it figured out to the day so it was enough for the exact days of the yamim tovim, no erev or chol hamoed, certainly no purim or isru chag. And you needed to submit an official letter from your religious leader to HR in advance.
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SixOfWands




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Jan 18 2022, 10:39 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
I have been a teacher in Bais Yaakov’s for close to 15 years. I have finally taken the plunge and applied for a job at public school. The salary is approximately 4x what I am making now. My heart is so torn. I love the environment, being on my kids schedule, etc. on the other hand, I am missing a tooth but can’t afford an implant, my husband needs a surgery but Medicaid won’t approve it (although the doctor has said it’s required), etc. We really need the money. Looking for chizzuk and also things to take into consideration before making a final decision.


I can't comment on the issue of working in public schools.

But I can on the surgery issue. Your DH's doctor's office should be fighting Medicaid's decision. There's often office personnel dedicated to contesting insurance denials. I get this for meds all the time. I have a condition that can be treated with any of 3 meds; they denied them all. Doctor's office argued until I got one.
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tryinghard




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Jan 18 2022, 10:45 am
Also you should be aware - someone mentioned FMLA: it generally is not applicable for at least 6 months to a year from when you start the job. And if you are still of age where maternity is relevant, look into their policy. My relative has worked in the public school system here for years and maternity is not simple at all. They do allow her to take off, can’t legally deny her, but it is all unpaid and she has to use any sick or personal days first. Sometimes the union has been able to help her, but not always.
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amother




OP
 

Post Tue, Jan 18 2022, 10:50 am
jflower wrote:
Will you still be eligible for Medicaid if you take the higher paying job?


I want to get off of medicaid, I need insurance that covers the health care we have been procrastinating on.
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amother




OP
 

Post Tue, Jan 18 2022, 10:52 am
tryinghard wrote:
Also you should be aware - someone mentioned FMLA: it generally is not applicable for at least 6 months to a year from when you start the job. And if you are still of age where maternity is relevant, look into their policy. My relative has worked in the public school system here for years and maternity is not simple at all. They do allow her to take off, can’t legally deny her, but it is all unpaid and she has to use any sick or personal days first. Sometimes the union has been able to help her, but not always.


Well being that I don’t get any paid maternity leave in my current position that wouldn’t be a factor as long as I can take off after a baby. Not currently pregnant but still of age that I may have another child in the next few years.
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