Job Prospect, might be working in a Christian Private School

Hey everyone.

Everyone knows that the economy is in the shitter and times are really competitive for work. I got my BS in Psychology and really wanted to do something in behavioral science. Well, many of those jobs have been cut by the state and I just haven't really been able to land anything since I graduated college.
So I may be offered a job with a private school teaching a toddler class. Its more or less baby sitting, but they require a degree. I had no idea it was a Christian based school until I get there and there are crosses everywhere and somehow I missed the "Messiah" part in the title of the school. I was sooo excited to work there and when I saw this my heart just sunk. I have really been waiting a long time for a good job to come along and then I see that.
My husband and I are in a real financial rut. We could lose our apartment and fall behind on some of our bills if one of us doesn't get a job real soon. We both are recent graduates and haven't found squat.
Anyways, I went along with the interview, and I am thinking I will take the job if it is offered. Then when the interview is about over, she tells me its an 18k-20k position, and that is another hit below the belt for me because I looked up online the average pay for this position and it was closer to 25-30k.


1.) I feel really uncomfortable knowing that I am atheist and working in a place devoted to religion. Should I feel like a hypocrite?
2.) I feel that 18k-20k is really too low for a college grad and that I am being taken advantage of.
3.) I really would enjoy working with children and wish that I could overlook 1&2
4.) I feel that I have to put everything I am feeling aside and think of supporting my family. My husband says that I can finally get something helpful from this religious crap and that I should take advantage of it.

Any thoughts, concerns, suggestions? I'd love to hear them.

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So I think that salary is definitely location based. I took a peek at your profile to see where you live.

1) I'm not sure. Are you the kind of atheist that is anti-religion or the kind that just doesn't want to be bothered by it? Do you have to teach religion or do you just need to make sure the kids are safe? I think it would bother me, personally, if I had to teach religion. But feeding your family comes first.
2) Take a look at this:
It suggests that median income for a day care center teacher (closest I could find to what you described) is in the are of ~$27k. So I found what you found :) Is it your first job? If so, you may deal with the low pay for a year or so in order to gain experience. If not, it may be a bad career move.
3) There are other things to a job besides money and religion. These need to be counted too. As long as you're happy and not going hungry, the point of life is not usually to maximize your salary.
4) Agreed here. Family needs to come first. Plenty of people do far worse things to feed their family.
Would it be possible to take the job and while you have it, look for better work? I have always been told that having a job, any job, makes you look much more employable anyway. Or are you likely to get locked into a contract that wont let you leave?

In the year after I graduated with my bachelors, I went temping at Early Childhood Centers. I did everything from changing nappies to cooking lunch for 60 to chasing kids pretending to be a monster. I had a WONDERFUL time. I couldn't find a job in my area (Biology and Anthropology), and the work schedule meant that I had the flexibility to keep looking for something more to my liking.
Thanks for all your responses so far. Its validated a lot of what I was already thinking and makes me feel a lot better about the situation I am in. Just like you Mel, I love kids, and I think I would really really enjoy working there for the time being. Eventually, after my husband graduates from law, I want to return and get a guidance counselor degree.

I really like the "fuck it and play the game" attitude. In a way its kinda makes me feel more in control rather than just being stuck in some awkward environment.

Here are answers to some of your questions.

This would be my first "career" job.

I would not have to teach any religion unless its like reading them a story at story time.

I would be able to look for another job because Georgia has a law makes contracts unbinding to the employee, so basically its just there to ensure that I follow their rules or they can fire me for violation etc etc. I can quit at any time with no penalty.

Because I don't really have to teach any religion it doesn't bother me as much, but if someone tried to engage in a religious conversation with me, like a co-worker, I think I might be a weee bit uncomfortable.

And as far as the pay is concerned, I think I will have to talk more about it with them because it really seems that they are taking advantage of me during a really crappy unemployment rate. I just have to figure out a way to be tactful about it because I don't want to ruin my chances.

Attending holiday events would be ok.. I guess.. Every job has something that is unattractive. I think this would be on that list.
If someone tried to engage me in a religious discussion at work, I'd politely bow out and suggest that it's not one of the things I'm willing to talk about in the workplace. Chalk it up to professional standards and how minor disagreements can cause hurt feelings. Even at a religious school, you're still there to work.
that's a good suggestion
1.) I am afraid you have little choice. If I were you, I would accept the offer. Food and shelter are basic things, you cannot do without them. In my country, we have a say: "everything goes through the stomach".
2.) Yes, they are taking advantage of you. Go and work there, get some experience (which is very important in any field), and within several months chances are you find a better job elsewhere.
Good luck, I hope everything turns out OK.
18-20K is a rip off, but it's better than unemployment. Another thing that I didn't see mentioned was benefits. Do they offer health insurance or have a 401k type of program? Thats something else that would sweeten the deal for you.
After graduating from college in 91 I was in a similar boat. Jobs were scarce and I had a hard time finding work as a graphic designer. I worked menial low wage jobs... whatever I could get, until i finally got a job at a newspaper creating ads. It sucked, but it was in my field and I got some valuable experience out of it until something bette came along. Good luck! :)
I'm facing the same problem right now; graduated in December 2007, went off to Iraq for a little while, then came back in January 2009. I STILL haven't found a job in social work, behavioral science, or the medical field (I'm a med officer in the Army). And this is after over 15 applications and 4 job interviews. I keep running into the whole "experience" barrier. I live in Arkansas, and this area where I live isn't exactly teeming with such jobs, though they are there. The medical field, even if you're going to just be a medical receptionist or assistant, still seems to require experience. There is also a behavioral health facility here; I interviewed for a case manager position with them and got beat out. Same goes with TWO other positions I interviewed for with DHS. And, ironically enough, the 4th interview I had was for a position as a mentor or observer at a Christian children's Home. I told them I was a secular humanist, to which they replied "whether or not you believe in God has nothing to do with whether or not you get this job". (It was funny; before I told them that, they asked me, "Why do you want to work for a Christian organization?" I said: "I don't.")

I did get offered a referral off of one of those interviews, but I haven't called about it, don't know if I will, because it's a Mental Health Worker position....only $9 an hour, which I think is too low, plus you don't even have to have a degree for the position (and I earned 2 bachelors degrees), and then I'd really only be babysitting people with serious mental health disorders. Not my bag.

The position you describe makes me think that they sorta would expect a married-with-no-kids type of woman, who would otherwise just stay at home, or perhaps an empty-nest mom.....but then the degree requirement kinda destroys that, and yeah, 18-20K for a degree-holder is crap. But like Wiley said, it is better than unemployment. Hell, I had to take a job delivering our local newspaper, which only pays $900-1000 a month...but, combine that with my drill pay ($380 a month) and I personally can meet my monthly bills, albeit with not much left over...and I'm looking for something else, too.

For what my word is worth, I'd say take it if you can and continue to scout for something better.
Now THAT is a brilliant idea....put me down for one also.
Ask for $22,500.

Take their money.

Plant some seeds of doubt in your students; religious schools have often bred atheists and freethinkers.
Agreed. Take the job and try and make just one child think "what if". Smile each day and if asked say all thanks be to Jebus. Meanwhile keep looking for something else. I believe there is someone else on the Nexus who is also working in a Christian school if memory serves.
If you have to take the job then subvert from within. ;)




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