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Private vs Public School

Submitted By: Katherine Han

You are sitting in your bedroom when you overhear your parents talking about moving you from your current, public school to a private school. Education is a big thing in our lives. And part of getting a good education is going to a good school. Private schools have often been considered to offer the better education over public schools. However, this may not always be true. In the end, it all come down to how the student learns best. I started off my education in a public school, then moved to a private school in 7th grade. Both schools have given me a good education, even though their teaching styles are different.

A public school is much larger than a private school. My public school had over a thousand students; in comparison, my private school has only 300 students in 7th grade through 12th grade. So obviously, the teachers from these two schools will have different teaching styles. In public schools, classes are much bigger with around 20-30 students per class. So the teacher will have to teach to the whole class in a more generalized way. Some students get the most benefit out of this way of teaching. They learn just as much as any other student since no one receives individualized attention. Also, the whole class moves forward as one, so it gives students the right amount of pressure to work hard. As for private schools, classes can range from 3 students up to around 10 students. This way, the teacher can focus on each student individually. The students get more attention from the teachers which allows them to learn at their own pace, without all the rush or pressure involved.

The amount of competition at these two schools are also different. At a public school, there is more people, so there is more students to compete with. In high school, competition can get intense since every student want to be at the top of the class. There’s much more pressure in competition at a public school because of the number of students. However, on the plus side, if a student does get top of the class at a public school, it is much more rewarding than getting top of the class at a private school. In public schools you compete with much more students than in a private school, so earning top of the class is harder. But it also makes this title have a lot more weight and importance. In a private school, there’s less pressure. Students get a little more leisure time and they don’t have to constantly be competing for top of the class. Getting top of the class is always exciting, but in a private school this is weighted less because of the little competition.

Finally, private and public schools offer different opportunities. In a public school, there are the basic things offered: AP classes, clubs, sport teams, etc. However, if you ask for more opportunity, it’s harder in a public school. There’s so many students who want more opportunities that you become just one of those students. In private schools, however, there are generally more things offered. More clubs and electives, like fabric arts. And more opportunities for you to stand out as an individual. However, some students thrive better when they aren’t standing out.

After going through experiences with both public and private schools, I can safely say that I enjoyed my school life at both schools. Both schools have their specialties and downfalls. When I got to either school, I am aware of both the benefits and the risks I’m taking with my education.

~Katherine Han

About Timothy Lee

Timothy Lee is a senior at Monta Vista High School. He moved back to the States in 2012 after living in Beijing, China for two years, and currently lives in Cupertino, California. This cross-culture experience has enabled him to encounter a vast variety of environments in which part of his writings are based on. He is also currently an officer in HEARTS, a nonprofit organization, and a VP at Silicon Valley DECA. He also has a passion in web design, computer science, badminton, and writing.

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