I grew up in a private school. I never attended public school. Did I want to? I'm pretty sure everyone in my school at some point wanted to try public school. My desire hit around 9th grade. I was tired of dress code, tired of rules, etc. and wanted to walk on the wild side. ;) Fortunately, my parents made the decision for me and I stayed where I was. When I think of high school, I think of 4 of the greatest years of my life.
I graduated with a class of 25 people...some of us (myself included) had been there since Kindergarten. Most of them had been there at least since middle school. We weren't friends..we were family. We did crazy things together and at least one of us should have died at some point in our Senior year, but by the grace of God we didn't. I mean...hanging out of someone's sunroof while driving 60 mph on Senior lunch....NOT SMART. Riding in a huge van with 8 other people and no seats or seatbelts...again while driving 60 mph... to Taco Bell ....NOT SMART. My memories of those years are forever with me and I wouldn't trade one day of my experiences in private school.
When we had Noah, the question was not which school he would go to. It was always "Which private school can we afford?" I just knew I would NEVER send my child to a public school. I was one of those parents. I had never experienced public school and I honestly had a real FEAR of sending him to public school. I was teaching in a private school at that point and it just made sense to stay there and send him there.
I love how when I have everything worked out, God steps in and tries to be the boss. I know He does that on purpose...just to remind me how much I am NOT the boss. ;) He hand delivered (literally) me my job at Claxton and paved the way for Noah to attend there too. I was hesitant and nervous, but I was willing to give it a try. I didn't want to assume that, just because we live in the South, that everyone loves Jesus. I mean...that's basically true...but not always the case. What if this school wasn't filled with people like me? How would I respond? How would Noah respond? What if his teachers weren't faith filled people? All of these questions ran through my mind...as they would any normal parent. We want to protect our children from things of the world, but is that always the best answer?
I dont' know what your beliefs are. I don't know what kind of experiences you have had. I had a fabulous experience in a private school when I was in school. I fully support parents who choose to send their children to private school. I also fully support parents who choose to send their children to public school. I do not, however, support parents who say "I would NEVER send my child to a public school"...and then proceed to trash public schools.
Newsflash: It is not the job of our schools to raise our children.
Your children will learn a lot at school, but they should NOT be learning their morals and values from a school. Our schools are here to educate children...not raise them. Your children will eventually run into other kids who aren't exactly like them. They will eventually hear and see words and concepts they shouldn't. Protect them as long as you can? Fine. But don't turn over your job as a parent to the school. If the school teaches something you disagree with...educate your child on it! If your child comes home and says a kid said something they shouldn't....educate your child on it! Don't shake your head, blame the school, and shove them in a Christian school so you can sleep better at night.
Newsflash #2: Christian Kids Sin Too.
Private schools are not here for us to put our kids in hoping they will teach our children the things that we as parents should be teaching them. They are a great option...but they shouldn't be the only option. They should enhance what we are teaching our kids...not do our jobs for us.
Since being at Claxton, I now know how ignorant my statement of "Never sending Noah to a public school" really was. I pray with my co-workers EVERY morning. We share requests, pray for each other, and pray over our kids before our day even starts. I think I actually pray more at Claxton than I did when I taught at a Christian school..ha!
And one last piece of evidence in my case is the following letter I received from one of my coaches. I don't share this letter to inflate my ego. I share it to show you an example of the type of people I work with every day. The type of people, in a public school, who will be teaching my son.
"Thank you for welcoming (name) into your room and modeling your teaching for her. You have taken everything that has been shared with you this year and added your own personal touches. You do everything with excellence as described in Col. 3:23. I continue to marvel at your patience as you welcome in your children just as Jesus welcomed the little children unto Him. You are an exemplary member of an excellent team as you always put your children first and demonstrate the attitude of Christ."
These are the types of people I work with. We may not be able to say "Jesus" 90 times a day, but we show Him and His love all day long. What speaks more?
My lovely co-workers and I with a random toilet.
I was going to put a "potty-mouth" comment here....but it's so cheezy even I can't write it!