Someone told me I'm being "elitist" for sending my son to a private school.

Discussion in 'Private School Teachers' started by tracykaliski, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    I work in a private Montessori school and I went back to work after my son was born because I knew I could take him and tuition would be free. It's a great school IMO and it's where I would have wanted him to go even if I didn't work there.

    So, fastforward to yesterday, I'm having a conversation with some friends about school and children. One has a 1 yr old and is lamenting the cuts in her public school system. She's worried about where to send her daughter, and a conversation ensued.

    One of the other parents, who teaches in a public school, told me to "stop talking down the public schools." She also called me elitist for wanting to send my child to this school and for actually noticing a difference between some of the kids in my neighborhood and the kids at my school. Man, I was pissed.

    How do I let go of this? I'm all for whatever works for children, I just wanted my son to go to this school.
     
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  3. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Apr 9, 2009

    I spent my whole life in public school and while yes I did get a great education there's a lot of garbage going on behind the scenes that made me want to avoid it as a teacher.

    I love my private school, I love the small classes, the technology we have, the supplies we have, the curriculum we have. If I need something I can get it without much fuss and the only paper work that I do is grading and report cards--- we have other specialists to take care of the rest.

    I work with no more than 18 students in a class, which is amazing considering I was student teaching 35 students in a class once.

    I'm glad to see that the money people pay for private schools actually get used to help students out--- even if it's for teacher professional development or other expenses not necessarily used for the students.

    One story that comes to mind was this school that was failing in NY state. They received a lot of money but it went no where but into the pockets of the top admins. A local newspaper uncovered it and it got a lot of people upset. Not a penny went to the students.

    At private schools parents have every right to find out how we're spending the money and my school personally has to go through the parent board before allowing any big spending plans to start.

    I loved my teachers in pubic school, but I know the students will be given an extra advantage in a private school, even if you just count having smaller class sizes. Nothing elitist about that--- especially since its coming from a person who's seen both sides.
     
  4. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    You're not being elitist, you're being real. If that person feels so strongly about public schools, then she should be on the front lines of reform. My county's public schools are in a shambles, yet for years the upper admin has been swimming in money. I still can't forgive the one super who spent $200,000.00 on a toilet seat. Just the seat...not even the whole toilet. (on a side note, it looks like we might have a real leader in that position now...at least I can hope. This guy took a pay cut in addition to the delayed pay he asked of the teachers....I'm impressed).

    As for your neighbor, she's just bitter. Don't let it get to you.
     
  5. peggy27

    peggy27 Cohort

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    You are just doing what is best for your son. Free tuition, how lucky. Just ignore them, they are probably jealous.
     
  6. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    We have sent our children to Catholic school since kindergarten. It is not because we wanted to be elitist or try to be better than anyone else but because that is what we thought was best for our children. If this is what you think is best for your child, then you do not need to explain this to anyone. We have actually gone through this for years with my husband's family. Our children went to private school but all his siblings send their children to public school. My MIL tells people all the time that we did not think that public school was good enough for our children. We always tell her that we did what we thought was best for OUR children.
     
  7. punchinello

    punchinello Comrade

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    It depends on the school system. Our public school is very strong and the kids this year got into so many amazing colleges. People who sent their children to private schools were very disappointed. The colleges just weren't that impressed, I guess. Spending all that money for private school used to guarantee a spot at a good college, but not anymore. At least not in this area...
     
  8. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    These people sound like it's costing THEM money for you to send your child to private school. I would tell them to MYOB :D
     
  9. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

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    I think you should tell them to mind their own business.
     
  10. BioTeal

    BioTeal Rookie

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    In a very indirect way, there is a financial impact on public schools. The strongest indicator for student performance on standardized tests is the educational level of the mother. Every additional child of a college educated mother will likely help raise average test scores, thus helping the schools with NCLB.

    Should that matter in this case? No. Do what you feel is best for your child.
     
  11. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    You were in conversation with other moms...everyone was giving their say...and you were entitled to yours. How rude of that mom/teacher to call you that!
     
  12. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    Well, thanks. I do feel better today and if it happened today I'd probably tell her to kiss my fanny and mind her own business. I do think there's a bit of jealousy involved with it because she's a teacher as well and her children are in a public school.

    Thanks guys.
     
  13. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    "elitist"--word of the year. What a tiring word. It's what is said to you if you disagree with someone.
     
  14. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Tracy, if it makes you feel any better, I refuse to send my kids to public schools as well. I homeschool mine (with huge amounts of help from my mother).
     
  15. Cateacher2b

    Cateacher2b Companion

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    Apr 10, 2009

    Don't worry about being an "elitest". My son has been in Christian schools since kindergarten. He is now in 8th grade and still attending. I put him there because I felt that he needed smaller class size, discipline, and a Christian education. Of course I have worries about what happens when he graduates high school and heads out to college. It will be his big step into the "real world" as my sister says to him. But I know he will be prepared-he even told me the other day " Mom, when I go to college in 4 years I want to live in the dorms. So don't miss me too much!" I wanted to cry.

    I teach in a public elementary school. So I see both sides of the equation. You have to do what's best for your child-not anyone else!
     
  16. D.Crowe

    D.Crowe New Member

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    Apr 16, 2009

    Private schools

    I also teach in a private school and have the amazing opportunity to take my boys with me to school. There is obviously both pros and cons to private and public schools. I think that if you have the opportunity to teach in an amazing school and take your child with you, go for it. Who cares what other people think. They cannot accurately judge your experience.
     
  17. kteachone

    kteachone Companion

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    Apr 17, 2009

    Um. HELLO. FREE is FREE. If I could afford to send my kid to Montessori, I so would. It's an amazing program.

    Your friend is probably just jealous.
     
  18. Mrs.Z.

    Mrs.Z. Companion

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    If by 'elitist' she means 'best possible education I can get for my kid' then, ya, you're elitist. Own it. You know what's best for your kid. I find that people have to justify their decision for public school by demeaning YOUR choice, they recognize something is wrong. Sure, Public school (many, not all) are good, some even great. But no one can deny that they are privy to budget cuts and limited resources.
     
  19. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    May 22, 2009

    I sent my kids through private schools because the values of the school matched our family values. We had 2 different experiences. The first school, K-8, gave a fantastic education and cemented the values we taught at home.

    The second school shared our values, but the teaching style was opposite of DD learning style. So she struggled through 2 years there then went to public h.s. for 2 years. She herself has said "I never would have made it if I had gone to that public school at 14."

    Many of our friends' children who went through public school have told us that the private school kids go into the public schools, and it is a breeze for them because so much was expected at the private schools. Facts is facts!

    We got hassled a lot for the way we raised our kids. Our values were considered old fashioned and overprotective. Now, 20 years later, every person I meet who knows my kids tells me what great kids I have. They are respected and loved by their peers and adults. The kids whose parents hassled us? Pick a vice, any vice, and that is how those kids turned out. Seriously.

    We had the school backing our home taught values, and that is what worked for us. (And I am talking about a very strong willed child here!)
     
  20. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Biggest issue - not all kids learn in the same way. If you child would do well with Montessori, that is where he should be. You are the one to make that decision, because you are the one who will answer for how your child turns out.

    Get a tough skin now! There will always be someone criticizing you because you are not following the crowd.
     
  21. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    You might ask her what an elitist is. She probably doesn't know the correct definition!

    What a weird conversation! Been there!
     
  22. CanadianTeacher

    CanadianTeacher Groupie

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    As a teacher in a public school, it would be the last place I send my kids. Call it what you want, but I set out to shelter my kids from certain influences (that seem more prevalent in public schools), and I don't feel bad for doing so. I'm not naive enough to think they can be sheltered from everything, but I do know that if they are in an environment where low morale, low expectations and bad behaviour are the norm, this experience will have an eventual impact on their own attitudes and affect their emotional growth. My kids are both in Catholic School, but not private. I think that the decisions we make with our kids can impact their development. As a parent, I have one chance to do it right and I can't turn back time if I make a bad decision, so I take that very seriously. Do what you think is right for you and your kids. In the end, regardless of whether you are seen as elitist or not, you will have no regrets because you did what worked for you.
     
  23. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    This shouldn't be a discussion here about private versus public ed...There are many many excellent public schools and many great private schools as well..I have had the privilege of working in both settings, with great experiences in both.

    That said, choice in schooling your own children, like many parenting decisions is just that- a parenting decision. I don't know why people think they should have an opinion about how parents birth, feed, dress, school,______ fill in the blank their children. All are personal decisions. That should be your response to the colleague who made the comment about being elitist...it's your personal decision, period.
     
  24. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Well, next time you see her, you could smack her one or you could just let it go. Chalk it up to ignorance. You're doing what is right for your son and for your family.

    Different strokes for different folks. Make no apologies or excuses.

    :hugs:
     
  25. nattles19

    nattles19 Comrade

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    If you were discussing the shortcomings of public schools, she was probably feeling defensive because she works in one. She took what you were saying personally, and so went on the attack.
     
  26. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    :lol: I seriously thought about a good smacking for sure. Thanks for the laugh!
     
  27. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    Very well said. I totally agree.


    It doesn't bother me anymore that she said that. Now when she brings it up (it's as if she has to prove her point to me over and over again), I just tell her my decisions are my decisions and she has no say over the matter, and I'm not going to discuss it with her. Period. It pisses her off, but makes me feel much better! :)
     
  28. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    I was like that as a child and I believe my son is the same way. That's one of the biggest reasons we send him to this school and will find another private school for him once he's finished with 6th grade.
     
  29. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    I will add that we did work hard to make sure our children interacted with all kinds of children through sports, music groups, Scouts, church, etc. So it was not like they were is some totally insulated world. We just got them the best education around with teachers who supported our values.

    We also believed it was important to have our oldest go to the public h.s. her last 2 years. I knew she would encounter a lot of things there that she hadn't had to deal with personally. She had to learn how to handle sexual harrassment (did fantastic!), peer pressure to drink and use drugs (A+), use discernment in choosing friends (great job - learned that some friendships had to be limited to one or 2 common interests). Toward the end of the senior year, when most of the kids finally give in and act out, she was confident enough to say "No thank you, and please don't waste your time asking me to party at the beach again." I felt it was very important for her to experience these things while still living in our home.

    We have to take the kid we get, then do the best for them we can. As an educator, your friend of all people should understand that our education system has many flaws, and public school is not appropriate for EVERY child. That is just common sense. But she is probably taking it as a personal insult - like you don't think the p.s. is good enough for your child.

    Like I said, get a thick skin! You sound like the kind of parent who puts a lot of thought into the choices made for your child. That is not very popular among people who just go with the flow. (Which is different from doing what you have to do because circumstances prevent you from doing what you would prefer for your child.)
     
  30. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    I send my daughter to a private school because I love the small classes (never more than 18), and I love the fact that she's getting an education beyond the TAKS test. In the public schools in our area, if you're not a "gifted and talented" student, then the best you'll receive in a class is intensive TAKS instruction. There is no education for the 80% in the middle.

    As for the "elitist" issue, I know that my daughter's school requires that each child complete 30 hours of community service a year, and most kids end up with close to 100 hours. That certainly doesn't seem elitist. :)

    People who are that rude and judgmental generally have other issues. Ignore her and tell her you feel confident that you're doing what's best for your child.
     
  31. heatherlynn444

    heatherlynn444 Rookie

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    I grew up going to a christian school and like another psoter said, it matched our values and my parents scrimped and saved so we could have a christian education and be sheltered, to an extent (not in a weird way) to certain things. I am SO grateful for the sacrifices they made to send my sister and I there for 10 years!
    SOme public school systems are great and thats fine, but like everyone has said, its what fits best for your child/family. I totally think it boils down to a case of jealousy!
     
  32. missamie

    missamie Rookie

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    Even though the jk-8th grade school I work at isn't a christian school, most of the parents are as diligent as we are at protecting our children's innocence. That is one of the most importance reasons we have for sending them to school where I work.
    Our oldest is in 4th grade and we are discussing how to set our finances in order so that when she is in 9th grade we can continue to send her to private schools.

    It isn't elitist - It's doing what you can for your children. My school's tuition is expensive, many of the parents who send their children are NOT rich, they sacrifice for their children.

    We'd send our children to public if we had no other choice, but I taught in public and private - I don't feel elitist for sending them to private.

     
  33. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    That's such an elitist thing to say!

    *runs away*
     
  34. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    I totally agree. It's doing what we can for our children.
     
  35. wrice

    wrice Habitué

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    "Thanks for your opinion. We don't feel like it's elitist but a justifiable expense, and something we really value for our son/daughter"
     
  36. beatlebug731

    beatlebug731 Comrade

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    Ignore the nay-sayers. You are not being elitist you're just doing what you think is right by your son. I went to a private school because that is what my parents thought would be best for me.
     
  37. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I grew up in private school, until the last two years of high school when I went to a public boarding school (so not your typical public school.) At that time the public schools in the area where I grew up were bad enough that my parents did not consider them an option. Now, the schools are much better, and I would probably go to public school.

    If I have kids, I will send them to public school, because we are zoned for a really great school, and hopefully our kids would qualify for magnet schools. If they didn't, or we were zoned for a low performing school, I would try to send my kids to private school if I could, though most private schools in this area are religious, and I know that's not what we would want for our kids. (Not saying it's bad, just that it's not a choice I would make for me.)
     
  38. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

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    After working in a Catholic school for a couple months, I decided that my future child will definitely go to a private school, preferably the school I work at now. The private school vs. public schools I have attended and work in have no chance against the quality of education at the school where I work.

    Determining that I want my future children to go to a private school means that my husband and I may only be able to afford to have one child. I am okay with that, I am just happy I discovered this before I started having kids.
     
  39. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    See, Rachael, that was totally it for me too. It wasn't any specific private school I wanted him to go to, it was the one where I teach.

    She hasn't said anything more about it to me since then, since I've totally decided not to speak to her unless I absolutely have to. For some reason she got under my skin in a really horrible way, and once I was able to let it go, it doesn't matter anymore. :)

    I'm glad there are others who feel the same way I do, though. I wouldn't have done my son's education any other way.
     
  40. kfhsdramaqueen

    kfhsdramaqueen Rookie

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    Being a product of a public school, having almost married a former Catholic school boy, and having taught at a private school, I think there is a misconception about private schools. Everyone has the choice to send their child to wherever they feel their child will get the best education, and no one should belittle you for it. But, at least in NY, Catholic school teachers and private school teachers are less trained and paid less than public school teachers. The Catholic school that I taught at was fraught with discipline problems, because the parents felt their children were owed something because they paid for their education. I actually had a parent demand that his daughter be given a C on a paper that she blatantly plagiarised from the internet (it was cut and paste with the links still in the paper) because "At least she did something, and I pay good money for her to pass her classes." Public school has many problems, but private schools are not necessarily better. But, do what feel right for you.
     
  41. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Wow, I'm in NJ and Aliceacc is in NY (Long Island) and we'd both tell you from our Catholic school experience, that private schools are not necessarily elitist, that teachers are generally passionate about what they do (which is good because you could get paid more on the 'outside') , and that discipline is not usually an issue (but then again, in a great professional educator's classroom, behavior should never be an issue- public or private). If a student plagiarized or cheated in any other way in my classroom (public or private), I'd have plenty of 'backup' to confer with a complaining parent. It's not about public or private, kfhs, it's about comporting yourself with professionalism.
     

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