Thursday, December 17, 2009

Why I love my school: comments

Thank you to everyone who is submitting "Why I love my school" essays. We're still accepting essays and you can send them to thesfkfiles@gmail.com. Again, we're looking for 375 words on why you lover your school.

Some readers have mentioned that they'd prefer to not allow comments on essays. When you submit your story, just let me know whether or not you want the comments function enabled or disabled.

12 comments:

  1. But please consider the usefulness of comments! Yes, I know there is some serious snark on this site and I completely understand not wanting your post to be a target of that, but in the comments so far, the two essay writers have had a chance to clarify and elaborate on their essays--the comments have added significant value to the posts (on Fairmount and Adda Clevenger, the two essays in this series so far). I hope you people being generous enough to tell us about your schools will consider allowing comments (though I guess I'd rather have your essays without comments rather than no essays, so if that's what it takes, then sure, go ahead and turn off the comments. Just please think about it first...)

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  2. I love my school because it's private.

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  3. Instead of "why I love my school," how about "why my school is OK." I find the notion of being in love with my kids' school preposterous. Anyone, and I mean anyone, who literally thinks their kids' school is 100% perfect is delusional. Public or private, such a school doesn't exist. I think this thinking is more of the same thing where parents are under so much pressure to do the perfect thing for their kid -- load them up with lots of extracurriculars, enrich their lives with wonderful things, and, then, send them to the perfect school. I also kind of think a lot of this pressure is what leads parents, year after year, to rush like lemmings to the same "trophy" schools, both public and private, and ignore the many other alternatives. Parents are so exhausted with all the pressure put on them to do the perfect thing for their kid that is often easier to just run with the pack than sit down and try to figure out what kind of school would ACTUALLY work well for their kid. So if I could suggest, how about a new contest where parents give the pros and cons of the school their kid is in and then explain why, even with the warts, it is working out OK.

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  4. Thank you, 9:12. As a veteran parent with kids now in middle school, I believe these are words of wisdom.

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  5. You can love the school without believing it's 100% perfect. I love my husband, my kids, my dog, the city I live in and etc., and no way are they 100% perfect (nor am I). It's erroneous thinking to believe that those things have to be synonymous (loving the school, or anything else, and claiming that it's 100% perfect).

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  6. As a mom to a kindergartener who went thru the lottery headache last year, I can say that we "really, really like" our school. It's not just OK... it's literally the only school on our Top 7 list that would have worked for our family and we thank our lucky stars every day that we got in off the waitlist at the end of the first week of school.

    It is NOT perfect but I don't know of any school that is. Every school has its pluses and minuses.

    As for the application & lottery process, I would have saved myself a lot of time, energy, and heartache if I would have focused on start time and availability and quality of after-school care as well as the other things that were important to us (test scores, diversity, proximity to home, etc.).

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  8. 9:12 again -- Like the poster whose kids are in middle school, my eldest is now in fourth grade. I'm just trying to put things in perspective for parents with younger kids because I fear, when I read the comments on this blog, that parents are driving themselves nuts in the quest for the "perfect" this and the "perfect" that. And it not only drives this lemming push to the "trophy" public school that they keep hearing other people put down, but it feeds this crazed push to private school regardless of the cost and regardless of the consequences for their kid. Private school is, at the end of the day, proving you did everything possible for your kid by literally putting your money behind it. I was talking to a friend whose kid has been at a very expensive private school for most of her elementary school years. Her kid is a smart but socially clueless kid -- and she now finds herself socially isolated. It was so obvious to me that the school -- despite the high price tag -- just wasn't working out. The girl is coming home crying every day, for goodness sake! The parents have finally been pushed to looking at public schools as an option. I concurred that perhaps a bigger public elementary/middle school would be perfect, as their daughter might find kindred souls in a larger pool. Nevertheless, every comment was dripping with defeatism -- "I'm destroying my kids' chance of getting into a top college;" "The private school is so wonderful -- it gives her everything (arts, music, sports), and now she's not going to get all the wonderful things that the private school provides." And I kept thinking -- my goodness, your kid is literally coming home crying every day and you're worried that she's not going to get her full of music every day!

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  9. Many friends who are private school parents have told me that there's a pervasive atmosphere of fear of, or disdain for, public schools that makes it harder and harder to consider it the longer you're in a private school community.

    The parent whose child is crying every day needs to man up and deal with this, though!

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  10. I don't see why the choice is only that particular private school or public school - couldn't the parents look at other private schools, too?

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  11. Perhaps the parents feel another private school would be hard to get into at this point.

    Or perhaps the child does need a larger pool and not the hothouse that 6 or 9 or 13 years with the same 20-30 kids can be.

    9:12/11:30, you rock! Thanks for the sense of *perspective*.

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