I am learning so much more as I go through orientation. Coming from student teaching placements (one in inner-city Pittsburgh) and a low socio-economic status school in Virginia, I had no idea schools could be the way I am learning. Granted, we do not have the technology that I had back home. There are not Smartboards in every room. There are not even projectors in every room. But, the differences are this: smaller classes (biggest one thus far is 18 and will have two adults in there), whole school involvement, parent responsibility, availability to talk to an administrator as needed, MUCH better cafeteria food, and teachers who still love to teach. Today, the entire staff had to plan activities for the year-long teaching of the 7 successful orientations (responsibility, trustworthiness, etc.). All staff work together, no matter what you teach. Student report cards for these character traits are agreed upon unanimously by the staff, as children are to be demonstrating these at all times - not just in the classroom.
Some classes may have only 2-3 students, but if that is the material the students need, then the class is needed. We have the advantage to truly provide intensive instruction to see greater results. Being an educator is challenging at times. Being an educator in a public school is very challenging at times. I am proud of myself for doing it and working so hard at it. However, I am going to work just as hard in a private school. I truly appreciate my hard-working friends back more than ever. I always respected them and thought they had it tough, but now, I see the truth. To my Salem Family (for those ready this), and other teacher friends - YOU ARE AMAZING TEACHERS!!!!! The differences you are making can never be expressed enough in words.