But you know what really makes the difference? The problem that I can't solve no matter how well I teach?
A year ago I'd tell my students, "If you want to succeed, you need to leave." Now I tell my students, "If you want to succeed, you need to stay."
I want to make it clear. I love the Eastside. Love it. I love the community. I love my students. I love the fierce sense of pride we all felt about being from the Eastside. But the hard truth was always that in order to get a quality higher education and then a decent paying career, you had to leave the neighborhood. You had to leave your friends. You had to leave your family. You have to leave you.
Sometimes in our race to get our children ahead, we don't stop to think about what we're asking them to leave behind.
Edit: The Science Goddess is thinking about similar issues.
1: We have art, band, choir, a library, a librarian, a school nurse, two computer labs, an iPad cart, a gym, after school tutoring with teachers, before school tutoring with community members, Read 180, English 3D, ST Math, Khan Academy, Destination Imagination, Lego Robotics, PAL boxing, speech and debate, field trips, two different student counseling services, a chess club, a counseling service for teachers, parent workshops, drama, and I'm sure there's plenty of stuff I don't know about all of which are no cost or low cost and all of which did not exist or only existed in a mostly theoretical sense at my old school. On the other hand, my old school had a police officer on duty. So there's that.