Recently, I shocked my peers here at the College of Wooster by telling them that in my hometown we play “Paper Scissors Rock” as opposed to “Rock Paper Scissors,” and we call shopping carts “buggies.” However, nothing surprises them as much as the fact that I had less than 240 students in my public high school. To many of them a school that small seems irrational, and they struggle to understand how I could have possibly received a quality education at such a school. What they fail to comprehend is that a school does not have to be a large public school or an elite private school in order to provide students with an education that will prepare them for the future. With a strong teaching staff and an emphasis on high performing academics, even the smallest of schools can develop great pupils.
Most people have that one teacher from high school that they will never forget. They return years after graduation and thank said teacher for everything he or she has done for them. Just as Cedric Jennings in A Hope in the Unseen was really close with his teacher Mr. Taylor, students everywhere find teachers who become their mentors (Suskind 6). For me, there are multiple teachers that have had a positive influence on my life, but none so much as my one English teacher, Mrs. Iberis. According to many people, Mrs. Iberis was “too smart” to be a teacher. She had been enrolled in medical school at the Northeastern Ohio College of Medicine, but then decided to get her masters in English instead and become a high school teacher. Most people considered her to be slightly insane because of this career choice, but I admired her for pursuing her passion and sharing her knowledge with us. Without good teachers, how can we expect to end up with excellent people at any profession, since they would not be properly trained?
My high school is far from perfect. It does not offer a single Advanced Placement class; nor does it have Ivy League connections like St. Paul’s Academy from Khan’s book, Privilege, where a simple phone call can drastically increase a student’s chances of getting accepted into a certain college (Khan 175). While these factors may hinder students of Lowellville High School’s ability to get accepted into the highest colleges, it does not entirely hinder their actual education received. The teaching staff may not all have masters like Mrs. Iberis, but the majority of them are still wonderful teachers who manage to produce excellent students. They not only channel information to us students, but they also teach us about life, and how to succeed in all areas. For example, every English test during my junior and senior year had a five-paragraph essay question on it. Because I had experience with this style of testing, my tests in Ethics, Justice, and Society, which included full-length impromptu essays, were nothing new to me, and I was able to excel at them.
In regards to how my school was run outside of the classroom, there were...