Until this year, my sophomore one, I had gone to only one school, a small private one with grades kindergarten through 12 and only 350 students.
I was there on scholarship and several factors influenced my decision to leave. The first was curriculum diversity. The school had only one AP class, AP Calculus. I felt like I would be able to design my courses to fit my interests more so in a public school. The next was cultural and racial diversity. The school was predominantly white with no Asians and three Black students. I felt like I would be going to college without a more international perspective on life. The last was social. For those of you who have never attended a small public school, imagine a close-knit family (I could name every student there) in which newcomers are rarely welcomed and those who don’t fit the “normal” are shunned. I did not fit in the “normal” category, but I had immunity against open ridicule because I had been at the school since kindergarten. If I had come to the school as a new student instead of leaving it, the story would be very different.
I cannot point out the cons of private education without pointing out its pros. I received a very personalized education and have excellent reading and writing skills. I have found that my English is much better than my peers. For example, earlier this week in my English II Honors class, my teacher asked us to list the eight parts of speech for a warm up. I all but scoffed out loud. I had known the parts of speech since fourth grade and here I was being asked for them in a high school honors class! I was even more surprised to realize that I was the only one who could list them all and that the next best listing was four out of eight.
The eight parts of speech are, by the way:
I also have less trouble and do not stumble over words when we read aloud in class. Part of this could probably be attributed to the fact I am an avid reader and writer, but words such as “atrocity” or “misdemeanor” should not be words that a sophomore honors student struggles over.
Another thing is note taking. I have found that I take better notes than my contemporaries. I had an excellent science teacher (the same one grades six through nine) who taught me how to highlight the important stuff and not to write down something you already know or is common sense.
In all of the other subject areas, though, I am right on par with the other students. I find this very interesting and hope to one day find out how to bridge the gap between public and private education.