Let’s face it. With social media and television constantly telling us that small schools have “less opportunities” we begin to question our own judgments. If you are a parent, like myself, you may also start to question whether or not it is a good idea to enroll your child into a school that seems to have such a bad rep. Sadly, when I Googled small rural schools things started popping up like “problematic” and “should they stay open” and my jaw literally dropped. Respectfully, I am here as a parent and former student to tell you that these articles can pound sand. (no I didn’t learn that term from my small rural school)
Since back to school is just around the corner, I wanted to weigh in on why I think small schools are awesome! I grew up in a small rural community myself and I loved it. My school had a modest 300 or so students (enrollment has been slightly declining ever since) which is miniscule in comparison to many others in our Province. My school had (and still has), in my opinion, some of the absolute BEST and highly trained educators out there. And they CARED for their students, and still do. *Ahhhh, I’m starting to get that warm and fuzzy feeling inside again! I MISS YOU, MR. DUGGAN!!!! *
Although there are fantastic benefits of attending large schools as well, I am here to let you bask in the glory of all things that are small, rural schools.
God, my teenage senses are tingling just thinking about the memories!! I can feel my stress free, butterfly clip loving, Sisqo obsessed self just itching to break free again!! (okay now I have the thong song stuck in my head)
So here are some of the cool things that go down when you have the opportunity to attend a small, rural school:
1. You know everyone’s name. Since when did that become a bad thing? It’s good to know people!
2. My graduation class had like 53 people in it. The ceremony itself was literally 1.5 hours long. Trust me, nobody wants to sit in a hot, sweaty gym for any longer than that!
3. You know everyone who you graduated with. I was actually friends to some degree with each and every person in my grad class and I still love hearing about their lives now.
4. You know each and every teacher by their first name (but you were taught respect so you only call them by their last, except for that one teacher who was the super cool exception!) and they know each and every one of us!
5. Teachers generally have more “one on one” time with students. Definitely a perk (or a disaster, depending on your mood that day, but it’s okay because Leonard.. I mean Mr. Kaiser was only trying to help)
6. The secretary knows your parents by name and genuinely feel sad when your parents call in sick for you. “Tell Mal I hope she feels better soon and don’t forget to drink plenty of water!”
7. Pretty much every student in the school gets their picture featured in the candid section of the yearbook. And it’s an honor just the same!
8. It was pretty chill seeing a teacher outside of school because they were either your neighbor, your friend’s mom or your uncle’s BFF.
9. When it was pizza day and you didn’t have enough money, you could totally borrow some from a kid in another grade and they would just trust that you would pay them back the next day. It’s all about trust, people. Trust and pizza.
See? That doesn’t seem so bad does it? Small schools build lasting friendships and a sense of community and I for one am extremely grateful that my daughter will be attending one next year!
Okay, I’m feeling all mushy now.. Mama needs a drink!
Happy Back to School, kids! And Happy Back to Day Drinking, parents! (kidding, kidding) 😉