public school alternatives

 

Editor’s note: The opinion reflected in this blog post is held specifically by the contributing author. This blog post is intended simply to express one author’s personal perspective. Austin Moms Blog highly respects all of the varying opinions of our contributors and readers and we kindly ask that all comments are respectful of the contributing author.

“Mommy, I don’t want to be a big girl,” my oldest says to me as I am tucking her into bed. We say our nightly prayers and I cuddle her. My brain starts to wander about my daughters’ futures. My oldest is almost 3 ½ and enrolled in a church pre-school. But with all the back-to-school photos dancing around Facebook it is hard for me to avoid thinking about the looming kindergarten.

To preface this, I am a former public school English teacher… I taught 9-12th grades for five years. I had incredibly challenging years and I had incredibly wonderful years. But when I brought my first daughter home, I was determined to find a way to stay home.

Now that I am on the other side, as a mom deciding the best fit for my children for their education, I think about my career as a public-school teacher and all that I learned. Here are a few of my reflections of why I don’t want my kids going to public school:

  • The rigor and overall education is going down the tubes fast in public schools
  • The respect is baffling…most kids do not respect their teacher as they age and teacher’s lose their authority in the classroom quickly. (Admin support is often unavailable.)
  • Social media and smart phones have drastically hurt the focus and learning in the classroom.
  • The social aspect is scary… I am genuinely scared to put my daughters into public schools for that reason the most.
  • They are not safe, doors were propped open every single day, someone could walk in at any point and harm students.
  • Character building is not a priority.
  • Many kids fall in the cracks and admin beg teachers to pass most students along, even when it is a disservice to the kids.
  • Having an IEP or any kind of learning disability is often a giant joke and not taken seriously.
  • Teaching basic life skills is not a priority. Teaching students to be ready for the real world is just not important…but standardized testing sure is.

I know this may be a hot topic, but after my experience, even with the wonderful years and the impact I made on students and the imprint they left on me, all in all I don’t want my kids going to public school. I don’t think the American public school social aspect is necessary. I am terrified of the language and phrases my kids could learn. I don’t think that the drama is necessary or something they have to endure.

With myself and my husband both having our background in education, I think either a private school or homeschool would be better served for our children. I think a life on the road (until high school) where we can teach them about the world, different climates, different ecosystems, visit true landmarks, discuss true history would be more beneficial. To go on mission trips to truly understand poverty, different cultures, the essence of hard work, basic life skills and the importance of serving others. All of the above would hardly be discussed in a public-school class room. I know there are AMAZING teachers and administration out there, but sadly most is out of their hands.

We would teach our daughters about true economics and how to balance their finances so they don’t fall into the credit card/debt trap that is so common in our country. We would make sure to set them up for true success. 

By high school we are pretty certain we’ve found the best (in our eyes so far) school to attend. It is out of state, it is private, it is rigorous, it has an outstanding athletic program, unprecedented academics, truly phenomenal fine arts programs…it is too bad that some of our public schools can’t be this way. And I think it is also important to note that my husband and I have worked in 11 public schools (in two different states) so, we have a pretty good idea of the public-school system.

If you do have your children enrolled in public schools, I urge you to not only be involved in your child’s life, but their teachers, the school, be on the PTA, know what is going on. Write to the superintendent when something doesn’t seem right. That is the only way public schools will start to get better — if the parents demand it.

But for now, for this former school teacher, I don’t want my kids going to public school. I know my children will receive the best education possible in all aspects and having me close by to keep them safe, makes my mama heart happy.

 

We love and respect all viewpoints at Austin Moms Blog. While this contributor feels that public education is not right for them, it is right for a lot of the other contributors at Austin Moms Blog.  Here is another viewpoint on public schools.

Lauren Wiatrek
Lauren Wiatrek is a native Austinite that after moving to New York and Colorado, decided her heart was in the center of Texas. Her husband, Evan helped build their family of daughters in a home they love. After battling stage 3 breast cancer in 2017 Lauren has become a strong voice for wellness, health advocacy, and her faith. Lauren loves to travel every chance she can get. Lauren enjoys extra hot coffee on the porch, her F45 workouts, Young Living lifestyle, being all things as a #girlmom and helping empower women. Lauren started her journey with cancer on her blog www.bestillandsmile.com you can also follow her on her Instagram: @lauren.wiatrek for motherhood tips and her wellness journey after cancer.

28 COMMENTS

    • The kids will learn more about life at home than public school. And it’s very rude of you to say, “loserville. Public schools are not safe anymore. They’re too dangerous for children.

  1. I think it’s incredibly brave to push back against the grain and create your own path that works best for you and your family. Every child is an individual; they learn different, they create different, they make thoughtful connections different, are emotionally different, and they are different beings than each of us. School is more like a factory, creating a product, each getting the same attention, the same care, the same direction, without any thought to how each child needs something different to aspire into the greatness they carry with them. This is not a knock on teachers, but a statement of distaste for the inability to create and foster change within the institution we call education. Life is ever changing, as is our needs in society. If we have societal advancements, why are we not advancing our education system to foster a brighter future for this world? We are not fostering our children’s enlightenment or ability to be the best they can be, because WE are not providing the environment and opportunity to allow them to grow and flourish into everything they can be. Teacher’s are being required to teach for standardized tests, when individual people should NOT be standardized. We are not allowing our children to reach their fullest potential because we expect them to be the same, reaching the same goals, learning the same way, teaching the same thing. We are squelching individualism, creativity, emotion, individual thoughts and imaginations! School is no longer a place to learn, but a place to simply meet expectations…not exceed expectations…or excel. And while some kids do absolutely thrive in this environment, we cannot deny that not all children do well in this stifling environment.

    While I do believe there are amazing teachers, including special education teachers, there are absolutely not enough in the education system! As I hear about Central Texas school districts removing funding for counselors, ultimately letting go of all mental health support in schools and requiring sports coaches, who have NO mental health training mind you, to now attempt to support our children. Not only are counselors out, but school nurses have multiple school systems they have to monitor, meaning, one nurse for 3-5 schools. THIS does NOT make for a healthy and safe environment at school. God forbid your child has an allergic reaction in a class room of a school without a nurse! And In leu of all the school shootings, if you are not afraid then you are ignorant to think it’s impossible for it to happen to your child. We should be demanding mental health support in schools! We should be demanding mental health support in our jobs! We should be demanding mental health support in our communities! Our futures our DYING!!!! And sadly, it’s not just because of the angry kids with guns, but because of bullies, depression, anxiety; our babies are killing themselves. How is taking away our counselors and nurses available in each school OK?!?

    I think it’s amazing and courageous to step out of the norm and to forge the path that is right for your family! It saddens me to read some of the responses to your personal journey. We should be using every opportunity to allow our minds to be opened to different possibilities, and whether or not this choice is right for other families, we should not be bullying each other or condescending towards another just because we don’t agree with another’s point of view. As a community, we are failing because we are against each other. This is a choice, just like in every moment of our lives. Don’t look at this as a division of opinions, but as an opportunity to respect our differences. If you have once choice today, choose to be kind and supportive, whether you agree or not is unimportant. What is important, is our childrens’ futures!

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