Thursday, December 21, 2006

Why independent schools?

Recently, a few of my friends and colleagues have asked me why I'm looking to teach in a boarding school. I have a variety of reasons, some of which I discuss here. Then, today, I saw this bit from Robert Kennedy who writes the About.com site for private schools. Here he's talking about independent schools and his love for them:
I like the way they bring out the best in their students. I like being able to teach as opposed to just being a traffic cop. I abhor monopolies and relish competition. Private schools offer competition and an alternative to public education. Let's not lose sight of that basic fact. The egalitarian and other social issues serve merely as a smoke screen to obscure what is wrong with public education in America.
Good stuff. Sure, there are some things about independent schools which aren't pretty, but that could also be said about public schools. The bottom line: if I want to dedicate my life to teaching and working in schools, I want to do it in an environment where I can make a difference, where I can feel save, where I can develop deep and meaningful relationships with everyone in the community, where the values of the institution are aligned with my own values and where we actually strive to live those values, and where mediocrity isn't tolerated but meritocracy is demanded.

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