Thank you for teaching, and thank you for writing this. My 4-year-old starts school in September, and it’s on my mind a lot. I wrote this: Why I’m Terrified To Send My Kid to Public School (And why I’m going to do it anyway)
It’s hopeful to me to read this perspective from a teacher who cares so deeply about education that truly works for everyone. As I mention in my essay, I want to work as a parent to hold the school accountable for diverse education that doesn’t favor whiteness (as much as possible), but I am afraid that low enrollment has left the school in crisis mode. There are 2 kindergarten classes right now, with 25 kids each. Legally in WA state, 17 is the max. It’s 15 kids max in a high-poverty area, which we are. So even with a third teacher (which they are finally considering hiring, halfway thriugh the school year), the kindergarten classes would be illegally overcrowded.
The school district says they don’t want to hire more teachers because they don’t have the money, because enrollment is so low. All the rich families are at the 2 secular private schools (one’s a Waldorf school that wouldn’t let our 6-year-old neighbor read, even though she wanted to and was reading at home, because her grown-up teeth had not started to come in yet. Seriously. Her parents switched her to the other private school.)
It’s hard not to panic when I think about sending my kid away to the great unknown. It’s comforting to think about teachers out there like you who are competent, caring, and passionate.