Back to school is around the corner. While living in Kennett, I was a teacher for the Kennett school district. I've always thought of teaching as a 'calling' so to speak. Most of us certainly do not choose this profession because we want to get rich! Most choose it because they want to make a difference in the lives of school children. I certainly did. It was a way of giving back to society. My best moments were when I felt that I did make a difference in a child's life.
Teaching in a public school has its limitation when it comes to speaking freely about faith. As a public school teacher, I felt bound by the law to show my faith only in my actions, rather than using class time to share my faith to a captive group of students. Since moving to California I have been teaching in a private Christian school. I am still amazed at the difference between private schools and public schools. For example, everyday is started with a devotion and prayer based on the scripture of the week. Curriculum is taught with biblical references in all classes (even P.E.). Thursday is chapel, in which outside speakers come in to share their faith with the students and faculty. Gossip is not allowed among students OR teachers and is grounds for dismissal. Lots of parent intervention in private schools. School uniforms are required for the students. Discipline is given only in loving ways, but is firm as well. California has outlawed corporal punishment. Cussing, racial slurs, put downs, mistreatment of other students by a student or students is not tolerated. Respect is a huge issue!
One of the biggest differences between public and private schools I have noticed is that the teachers are in more of a serving type roll. Parents are paying a pretty penny to send their children to private schools. Tuition is just part of the expense. Uniforms are expensive, students are required to buy text books, and school trips are not included and are very expensive. For example, 7th graders go to a science camp for 3 days on Catalina Island, 8th graders fly to Washington D.C. for a week to take in all the historical sites, 4th graders fly to Sacramento and visit the capital for the day. Lots of extras and green stuff required!!
Just for the record, my daughter is a sophomore in public school; my son graduated this year from public high school here, but will be attending a private Christian university this fall. In both we have issues and problems, joys and heartaches, just in different areas. It's all part of the experience of life. But maybe, it's the commitment by the parents, teachers, community and school administrators to the children that make the difference……? What do you think?