I hung drywall as a teenager, and we used to always use paper tape on the ceiling (don't know why really, but that's just the way we did it). However, on walls we would often use mesh. SO, I would stick with paper on the ceiling. You can go ahead and apply the first coat of mud over the tape while the underlying coat (beneath the tape) is still wet. You don't want a heavy coat of mud beneath the tape, just enough to get the tape to stay in place as you apply your first overcoat. As far as the pressure you have to apply, you will only learn that by experience. Your peeling problem is absolutely due to not enough coats of mud being intially applied over the tape. I would do 4 coats of mud, allowing at least 12-24 hours drying time between each application, and lightly sanding between each coat to remove the "cat walks", or ripples that you will see in the dried coats. On your final sanding you won't that joint and the dried mud to be smooth as a baby's bottom so the joint doesn't show when you paint. Good luck!!