In the beginning…

This is my blog as a public school educator and a public school mom.

I’ve worked in public education for a long time.  I was a teacher before I became an administrator.

I have three kids.  My two oldest started their formal education this past year.  We initially attended a private school.

When we were in private school, I had an identity crisis.  I felt pampered. It was luxurious.  The PTO was a well organized fundraising machine.  The academic council was made up of professionals whose names went on buildings and companies.  The kids had field trips, parties, iPads, PE, Music, Art, Robotics all packaged in school.  The alumnus all went to fancy four year schools. But, I also felt guilty.  It seemed so wrong to indulge in private education while my public persona espoused the value of a good public education.

I spent the last year wondering to myself if I was a parent first, or an educator first. The dichotomy between my actions and my beliefs did not sit well with me. In the end, I decided that I could be both. I still want the best for my children, and I still entertain the thought of my kids graduating from places like Harvard or MIT. I figured, as a family, we could have some impact on improving public education if we went to public schools rather than sit on the sidelines bashing the public system.

10 days before the new school year began,  we made the switch to public school. So here I am as a public school educator and public school mom.


2 thoughts on “In the beginning…”

  1. My kids haven’t started school yet, but I totally understand how it might be difficult to choose public education for your children, when you have the means to send them to a fancy private school. We all want the best for our children; we also want to support the mission of public education.

    Your post reminded me of a Fresh Air interview that I listened to recently. The article is called, “How The Systemic Segregation Of Schools Is Maintained By ‘Individual Choices'” and it’s found here: http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/01/16/509325266/how-the-systemic-segregation-of-schools-is-maintained-by-individual-choices If you have the time, I highly recommend listening to the interview.

    What struck me about the interview and your post is that you are both talking about what Nikole Hannah-Jones describes as, “needing to live my values”. Living one’s values is not always easy, but people usually know when they’re making the right choice.


  2. Thanks for writing this honest post. It resonates with many thoughts I’m having as my first born will turn four months old this week. I know, school is a way off, but these kinds of questions are on the mind. I think you’re right about the conflicting values. Our culture would generally insist that a parent choose the best “return on investment” for the kid – what school will offer the best network, the best prospects for college, the best career pathways with the best salary and benefits. This is, I’m sure, is all about wanting out kids to be happy and safe and self-sustainable (for only most mercenary would this really be more about ensuring we, as parents, raise kids who will eventually be able provide luxuries for us in old age). Most important for me, I want to raise a son who is a good human being. I don’t know if that requires a private education.


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