The Privilege of Choice

I believe in public schools.

My mother’s service to others as a public school teacher at a center-based special education school as well as Jonathan Kozol ‘s work in educational inequality and social justice made a huge impact on me at a young age. I vowed to myself that I would always serve underprivileged children in a public school setting.

Straight out of college I worked in a district that boasted children of all races and backgrounds. The town I worked in was home of a very well known Seventh-day Adventist University and many international students brought their families to the area for higher educational opportunities.

After moving to Belize, I volunteered at the local government school and held a couple free workshops on Special Education. But for the past three years, most of my teaching has been in private settings.

My innovative and inclusive approach is a bit too “free-spirited” for some government funded schools.

I’m a parent now and I want the best for my daughter. But I also want the best for ALL children! When the time comes to think about formal schooling for my daughter, my ability to choose between a public, private, charter, or home-school co’op is a sign of privilege.

If we choose to send our children to a private or charter school, we need to think about how we can GIVE BACK to our community. How can we help make the public schools a better place? What can WE do to make a difference for ALL children?

Most of the staff at public schools are brilliant, caring, and service-oriented adults who are trying their best to break through barriers of a system that does not provide equal access to all children. Many of my friends and family are public educators.They are not making much money but their passion drives them to make change.

Their passion gets them out of bed each day and they find ways to instill a love for learning while producing the results needed on standardized tests because these tests fuel the district financially and provide resources for the kids that need them.

We must continue to improve our public schools. And fight for what is right.

Parents of privilege-even if you are not sending your child to a public school-do something for your community.

Consider volunteering or donating resources to a public school or public educational venture.

 

 

 

 

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