This is the second in a series of guest blogs from one of our highly-engaged advocates, Sonya Taylor. Keep an eye out for future guest blogs from Sonya and some of our other key advocates.
Being a teacher, you see so many different types of students in your classroom. Many different types of learning styles are on full display in each classroom. Every child is different. As a teacher, you are aware of that truth and have to constantly reflect on lessons and find ways to try and reach each individual child in the classroom. That statement is the exact reason why I am a huge supporter of school choice.
If as a teacher, I have to be responsive to each individual learning style within a classroom, I believe our state should be responsive to the fact that not all students are going to succeed within the public school system for the same reasons.
One story of a former student comes to mind. This student had been retained the previous year because she was not showing the growth needed in her social emotional skills or academics. She was having a very difficult time and her mom was extremely frustrated with the choice she had made on where she sent her daughter to school. Seeing other students flourish while her daughter struggled was hard to watch. She had to make a change. There is one detail about this story that will surprise you. All that happened, took place at a charter school, a school of choice. Her mom had chosen this school for her daughter knowing the local district school was not going to be a right fit for her. She had high hopes and expectations that this was going to be the perfect place for her daughter to grow. Only to find herself feeling hopeless about her daughter’s academic career.
She began to research and found another charter school that she felt would be a better fit. She enrolled her daughter and hoped it would be the right place for her daughter to grow. She was right! Her daughter began to grow socially, academically, and behaviorally. This was the perfect fit. Her daughter, who was once struggling with academics and constantly in trouble for behavior, had become one of the top students in my class in every area.
School choice is not about charter schools, private schools, or even virtual schooling options. School choice is about providing parents an opportunity to find the school with the perfect soil that will allow their child to grow and learn in ways they may have never been able to see had they been boxed into one option.
School choice is not a just great idea. School choice is imperative for all students within our state. School choice can change a child’s path from struggling to achieving beyond what they ever thought they could, simply by finding the right space for them to grow.