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Catholic school but not a Catholic

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by SinC_n, Apr 2, 2019.

  1. SinC_n

    SinC_n New commenter

    Hi all, I've got an interview coming up for a placement in a Catholic school except I'm muslim so a bit worried about what to say if they ask about my faith and supporting their ethos. Any suggestions? Also are they likely to reject me based on this?
    Thanks
     
  2. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    I worked in a Catholic school, although I am not a Catholic. I was happy to support their ethos i.e. they cared about the kids, and were warm and friendly towards them; one of the students had to read a prayer/thought for the day in registration every day; I attended Mass and other church events with my tutor group, and sat with them, but as I'm not Confirmed I just received a blessing from the priest. If you are happy to do these things then fine - that's what they mean by 'supporting the ethos of the school' (encouraging the students to participate in the religious side, and overseeing their participation, even if you don't believe in that thing yourself); but if you're not happy with this, then it isn't the school for you and you should turn down the interview.

    If offered the job it's fine for the kids to be aware that you are not a Catholic, don't worry about that (there were people of all/no religion at the school I worked at), but do not get into discussions with the students about rights and wrongs of Catholicism and your own personal beliefs - you shouldn't discuss personal things with the students anyway, and you also need to respect the parents' choices to send them to a Catholic school. Not that all the kids will the Catholic, of course.

    Why do you think you'd be rejected because you're a Muslim? Check the criteria for students applying for places at the school - you'll find that the school will accept other religions because all religions are basically about serving God and being a good person, regardless of God's name and image.
     
    agathamorse likes this.
  3. Wotton

    Wotton Lead commenter

    Unlikely most teachers in Catholic school that I know are not Catholic. Many of the children are not Catholic either. Have you looked at the school ethos, find the similarities to your religion and theirs , I'm sure there are many.
    You will probably be expected to attend Mass when it is held in school or at church if on a school day.
     
  4. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    It is unnecessary to receive a blessing to support a school's ethos. I expect, if @SinC_n is successful on the legitimate grounds of their application, the school & pupils would understand @SinC_n's lack of religious participation.
     
  5. meggyd

    meggyd Senior commenter

    Anyone can receive a blessing. Teachers should most definitely be prepared to accompany their class to Mass and model behaviour, sing etc.If you really feel you can't be blessed remain in your pew, but to be honest , as a Catholic parent, if you can't do this or lead class prayers etc, perhaps this is not the school for you. I would also add that I had no problem whatsoever with non Catholic teachers. There were loads and all excellent, but why teach in an RC school if you cannot embrace the ethos?
     
  6. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Everyone can receive a blessing but not everyone would wish it.

    It depends upon the view of the school but Christianity is not restricted, nor even best expressed, in the rites of any one church.

    The ethos of Christianity is aligned with that of Islam. You need to distinguish between ethos on the one hand and orthopraxy & orthodoxy on the other. I recommend this distinction to @SinC_n.
     
  7. meggyd

    meggyd Senior commenter

    Obviously not a school for you either Vince!
     
  8. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    I would not wish to teach at any school led by people who could not distinguish between ethos and orthopraxy & orthodoxy.

    I wish @SinC_n much luck, wherever their placement, but if they are is rejected by this school on account of their religion then it is the school which has lost. Teachers who understand and are sympathetic to religion are increasingly scarce, as are parents.
     
  9. SinC_n

    SinC_n New commenter

    To be honest I think it's more me feeling anxious as I get closer towards the interview, I've never had a formal interview before and don't know if there will be a panel of interviewers or just the 1 person. Part of the interview involves me doing a 5min presentation about something I find exciting and inspiring in my subject and I don't know if what I have planned is right or not.

    I don't have a problem with taking the students to Mass or anything like that, I just wasn't sure if they would be strict on staff being Catholic. The placement is only for 1 month and it was the only school where I live that offers uni students it before applying for ITT.
     
    blueskydreaming likes this.
  10. meggyd

    meggyd Senior commenter

    It is highly unlikely that the school will reject a teacher because he/she is not Catholic. Catholic schools are far more tolerant than you might think. Wearing a turban or a headscarf would be quite acceptable for example. What would not be acceptable would be a disrespectful attitude towards Catholicism.
     
    agathamorse and blueskydreaming like this.
  11. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    If the letter says 'formal interview' I'd expect 1 or 2 people interviewing. If you're worried then just email and ask for some more info.

    You'll be fine :)
     
  12. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    An interview for a placement? We once had a school that tried to do that. Told no interview or no placement. Must be in a county awash with teachers who can be fussy. In my area, schools compete to host placements because they know it’s a strong source of recruitment.

    I worked in a catholic school alongside Muslims, Protestants, seventh day Adventists, atheists and probably some more I was wholly unaware of. Only the DHT and upwards have to be catholic. That’s why I left. No where upwards from an AHT role in catholic schools for a non catholic.
     
  13. SinC_n

    SinC_n New commenter

    Thank you, it doesn't help when some of the university staff told me it was unlikely I'd get the placement because of my medical history but I don't think they do a fitness to teach for short placements.
     
  14. SinC_n

    SinC_n New commenter

    There's actually a shortage of teachers here especially for chemistry but it's really competitive and 15 people from my course have an interview and that's just from my uni.

    I only want to do my placement here because I'm thinking of maybe applying for teaching and want to make sure it's the right decision.
     
  15. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    Let me clarify - you are not yet on an ITE course but are seeking a placement?
     
  16. SinC_n

    SinC_n New commenter

    Yeah, I've done 3 12 week placements already over 2 years but was told by my dfe advisor that doing another would make my application for ITT stand out more
     

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