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Friday, December 10, 2010

Private schools

When our daughter was in elementary school she lost her voice. Not literally, but the power that she had all along up to that point disappeared. I first noticed it when she freaked out about giving a speech in 5th grade. This girl had not had a problem before, all of a sudden the pressure of being in front of boys, of public speaking, of being the focus made her hate school.
I had read about this stuff where girls become invisible, but did not think my spirited daughter would succumb.
She did.
Fortuitously, family helped us send her to a girls middle school focused on science and math. The school was amazing -- repeatedly told her (and all the gals) that they could lead the world, whatever that meant to them. There was never a question about if the girls could do it, the educators were dedicated and positive. Within a year she was presenting projects in front of doctors, surgeons and business leaders. She went back to public high school with alot of self-esteem regarding her ability to learn.
Our son is in his first year of middle school. His school is big, the teachers mostly don't even know who he is, I feel like he is a cog in a big wheel, and is being pushed through whether he learns or not. He always loved math, but hates it now due to how it is taught. Our finances are quite different, but I took Wilder to look at a local private school (I should be accurate, they call themselves Independent schools) to see if he could have the same benefit Ruby had access to.
When we were walking away his comment was " How come all the adults and teachers talked to me?" He said that was so unusual.
It made me sad to tell him that was what educators do-- they are interested in their students (or prospective students) and their learning.

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