Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bragging on my school

Family from Spain are visiting for a couple of weeks. Chatting with my uncle and cousin I found myself answering many questions about my school. They were curious about the diversity and how I felt about it. Having taught here for ten years, it is clear that I think it's wonderful or I would have moved on.

However, my uncle always wants to dig a little deeper. He asked if I would prefer that my daughters go to a school this diverse or a more typical elementary school. I told him that my oldest would be starting kindergarten at my school in a couple of months. They both seemed impressed by this. My uncle then asked what I would do if I won a million dollars. Would I still send her to my school? Without hesitation I said yes. They were floored.

Later I recounted this conversation to my husband, wondering if he would think I was crazy. He didn't bat an eye. He completely agreed with me.

I am frequently amazed at how lucky I am to teach here. As a colleague/friend said, "My job adds to my quality of life."


Doug Noon said...

Many students at our school live outside our attendance area. Some choose to go there because of our central location in town, but many others tell us that they like the emotional climate that we've encouraged.

My own kids didn't go there because they didn't want to be one of the "teachers' kids," and wanted to get to know the other kids who live nearby. But I wouldn't have hesitated bringing them with me if they'd wanted to go there.

I feel especially glad for the opportunity to work with a committed and compassionate group of teachers. Sounds like we've got that in common.

Michaele Sommerville said...

Awww, kindergarten!

I'm hoping my newest employer places me at a school with colleagues I'll enjoy collaborating with, laughing with, solving problems with...who also enjoy seeing the world through childrens' eyes as a way to help direct their teaching practices!

If your daughter is a bit shy or nervous, read The Kissing Hand before her first day of school, and pack some "kisses" in her lunchbox/snackbag.

Anonymous said...

I hear a lot of discussion about increasing "diversity" in schools, and I just can't process it. As a 2002 HS grad, I really think that young professionals don't think about things like that. I'm concerned about how to offer strong educational opportunities to students with supportive and un-supportive home lives, and students with differing financial situations...but racial diversity comes across as a silly, almost backwards thing to talk about. It would be like asking if I was concerned about the colors of facial tissue boxes.

Jenny said...

@doug nooon It's a wonderful thing to have in common. I count my colleagues among some of my greatest blessings.

@michaele I hope that you end up at a wonderful school. Little do they realize how lucky they will be.

@ anonymous I don't think that racial diversity is the biggest issue for me either. It's clearly the most visible, but not the most meaningful. I attended schools, all the way through college, where most of the other students were very much like me in terms of family makeup, socio-economic status, and life experiences. That's not true where I teach. These students differ in a dozen ways. It's exciting for all of us because we learn so much from one another. I look forward to my daughters understanding how much more there is to the world than just middle class families with two parents.

Blink said...

I too made the choice for diversely populated schools in our many moves as you are now making and would do so again if I had more than a million buckaroos. The reasons are many and some are complicated. I can still hear some of my friends audibly gasping upon hearing the names of the schools my daughters attended. My girls, now 17, 19, and 21 positively navigated through their school experiences and friendships and I think those daily experiences opened their minds beyond what I would have been able to with just my "talk". I can't wait to see a certain kindergarten around campus!