Hanna de Jong-Markus

How Cohesion Matters 4 75 4.7 Results Working at an orthodox Protestant school as an obvious choice To begin with, the analysis showed that the option to teach at a type of school other than an OPPS did not really cross the minds of these teachers. They had grown up in orthodox Protestant familiesandhadalwaysattendedOPPSs themselves, including in theirprofessional education. They had all oriented their job search on vacancies in OPPSs. For example, Jan41 declared, “It was obvious. I mean, you find yourself in the orthodox Protestant bubble and you are a teacher, so you will be working at an orthodox Protestant school.” Or, as Floris said, “I never looked for jobs in general newspapers. It is common to look at websites of orthodox Protestant newspapers.” Looking to the future, the teachers basically could not imagine working at a school that is not orthodox Protestant, although they were aware of some disadvantages of OPPSs (see section “Perceived disadvantages”). They viewed their choice for an OPPS as obvious and during the interviews they both explicitly and implicitly showed reasons as to why they did so. These motives mostly had to do with the monoreligious character of OPPSs. Some of them also stated that their preference for an OPPS did fit with certain conditions, such as the distance between their home and work. Some teachers indicated that they were more or less aware of why they opted for an OPPS at the time they started to work there. Others formed their ideas over the years. Some teachers also indicated that their ideas were developed over time, such as Ruben, whomwe will introduce here. Ruben declared that he initially wanted to become a teacher because he had the desire to teach children new things, but he added, “Later on, there was also the pleasure of talking with my pupils about the Christian faith and being an example to them.” This statement indicates that being a Christian matters to Ruben when it comes to being a teacher. Moreover, he stated how he wants to practice this, such as by telling pupils about God, praying, and showing what it means to have a relationship with God. It is the mono-religious character of OPPSs that gives Ruben explicit opportunities to do so, and, as such, Ruben had an interest in working at an OPPS. Overall, we could distill three different interests of teachers in the interviews: (a) experiencing education as inseparable from Christian socialization (as in the example of Ruben), (b) feeling comfortable in the school’s religious climate, and (c) valuing cohesion in children’s educational environments. We will outline these successively in the next sections. We will then give a more detailed profile of these interests by describing their 41 All of the names in this article are fictitious to preserve the participants’ confidentiality.