Blog: Rising Educators Voice the Importance of Teaching in a Public School
November 29, 2018
Educators Rising’s participants are drawn from school types across the spectrum from vocational campuses to magnet schools. They come from different socio-economic backgrounds and have differing political beliefs. Therefore, when we asked them their thoughts and feelings on teaching in public schools at the end of their journey to their own classrooms, we were surprised when nearly every respondent said they wanted to teach in a public school. Though their reasons were as diverse as the students themselves.
Following are some of the main reasons our pre-service educators gave for wanting to teach in public schools.
Teaching to a Diverse Student Body
While some in the public decry the fact that public schools are forced to take in all students in their district boundaries regardless of ability level, the Rising Educators who responded to our discussion topics felt this was a reason to prefer the teaching experience in a public school. In fact, many of them saw the diversity of public schools as a strength and, even the reason they personally want to teach.
Dajsha Williams, a National Student Ambassador from Ohio, thinks it is important for every student to see someone who they can aspire to be in front of them in a classroom based on her own experiences. “Teaching in an urban public school is very important to me! Growing up being a young African-American girl, I felt as though in my school I never saw ‘me;’ there was no representation. I hope to be the someone my future students can look up to and inspire them to be whatever they want to be.”
“Public Education is full of ethnically and economically diverse students,” said Daisy Boyar from New Mexico, another National Student Ambassadors on the advantages of teaching to a diverse set of students. “[Public schools create] better social skills for students because they are exposed to so many unique individuals with different backgrounds.”
From all the way across the country, Paige Tasker from New Hampshire echoed her sentiments, “I feel it is very important to teach in a public school because there is a lot of different personalities and diversity within the school.”
Educators Rising National President Elizabeth Soriano-Salgado cited her own experience on why she wants to teach in a public school after college. “Because I went to a public school, I saw a more diverse classroom [both] ethnicity [and] socio-economic wise. Many of the opportunities I have received have been because I attended a public school and I am absolutely thankful for [the public schools I attended] for helping me grow into the person I am today.”
Ensuring All Students Have the Best Teachers Possible
A strong theme across many of the respondent’s answers was that all kids, regardless of where they come from deserve a quality teacher.
“[Public schools are] where good teachers are needed more,” said Jonathan Lowery from Wisconsin.
“I want to give those children that need the extra push a lot of help,” said Kailey Quezada from California. “I want to play my role in a public school so that students know they can come to me at any time.”
Adriana Carranza from Arizona, another Educators Rising National Ambassador, strives to be a public educator because she feels, “a lot of the students in public schools are more neglected compared to private schools. I believe that education is so important to have, and the fact that public schools aren’t getting that full potential education upsets me. The simple fact that because their parents don’t make enough money to send their kids off to a private school shouldn’t affect what and how they learn.”
Carranza also stated that her own experience in a public school has shaped her desire to be a top educator. “I attend a public high school, and most of my teachers have been amazing educators and I cannot wait to follow their lead in the future,” she said.
The role a teacher can play in a child’s life is not lost to future teacher. Sarah Williams from Ohio states, “students at public schools need to feel just as important as the ones in private and charter.”
Changing a Public School from Within
A lot of Rising Educators are heading into teaching to try and make public schools better places both for the student and for the teacher.
“It is very important for me to teach in a public school because I have seen the type of environment that public schools host,” said Zack Poland from California. “I feel that, as a future educator, my classroom could play an integral role in student’s lives as a place to express their concerns or to feel safe.”
“I want to inspire all kids, even those who feel school is a waste of time,” said Pedro Gonazalez, also from California. “I want to be able to get those kids who think they are bad at school to wake up in the morning and [be] thankful to gain a free public education.” He continued, “I want them to go where somewhere in life which is why I will push every student to get an education.”
Other Reasons to Teach in Public Schools
As always, some of our Rising Educators for various reasons, chose to remain anonymous. Their answers are no less important and here are a few of the highlights:
“I believe more Christian teachers are needed in public schools.”
“It is important to teach in a public school at least once in your career because it gives an educator insight into all of the different environments that different children learn in making this educator more well-rounded and overall improving their capabilities.”
“I want to fix the problems I faced as a student and prevent other students from having to deal with the same issues.”