Peachy Academy: Private vs. Public

Photo by Joseph Chan on Unsplash

Hello loves and welcome back to Peachy Academy! In today’s post, I will be discussing the debate of whether private school or public school is better. Throughout the years, I have had many people (including parents) ask me which setting I preferred, and which was better of the two. So, I figured that I would touch base on this topic for those who were curious.

This episode of Peachy Academy will also feature a friend of mine who experienced a similar educational background. The only difference is that she attended private school for a longer period.

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For the sake of anonymity, I will not be disclosing her real name. So, let’s just call her Annie! As I mentioned, Annie’s academic background is like mine; however, with her permission, I will briefly mention aspects of her education:

  • Private school from pre-school thru 8th grade (Total: ~10 years)
  • Public school from high school thru undergraduate university
  • Earned her Bachelor of Science in microbiology
  • Currently a 3rd year dental student (DDS, DMD)

I had asked Annie to answer some interview questions for me, and she delivered! Her responses were so candid and perfectly reflected her experiences and personality. Nevertheless, I will be adjusting her responses slightly to help keep the flow of the conversation. Additionally, I will be incorporating my perspective alongside her answers.

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Before getting into her mini-interview, I will admit that I do not think private school prepared me for high school or higher education, especially since my school was more geared towards religion. Although it was a more intimate setting, I believe the distractions that parents are worried about were still present. Kids are social during this time of life, and they are naturally discovering who they are and who they want to be. Therefore, there is no difference when it comes to having a smaller number of classmates.

If anything, there are different parental influences that surround them. For instance, those who choose to enroll their children and can pay for private institutions are going to be more or less the same in terms of personalities and parenting styles.

On the other hand, I believe that my private school sheltered me from many things that I had to quickly learn about once I transferred into high school, or when I started to transfer into the adult world. It did not prepare me for many aspects of higher education and life that are extremely important. For example, learning how to adapt to different professors, teaching styles, peers, varying opinions and perspectives, and deliberation.

Furthermore, I believe that there are other resources that facilitate a more productive education that are either cheaper or for free. For example, there are plenty of resources online for kids like Khan Academy, Crash Course, and other tutorials on YouTube. Parents can also enroll their children in tutoring services or purchase supplemental workbooks for subjects like math and reading.

Ultimately, I believe that making the decision to place one’s child in private or public school should be made based off their personality and learning styles. Personally, I believe that it is harder to teach or supplement social aspects of life in children compared to education. Therefore, I consider public school more valuable than private school.

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  1. On a scale of 1-5 stars, how would you rate your overall experience in private and public school:
    A: I would give private school a 3/5 and public school a 4.5/5

  2. Which did you prefer academically? Socially?
    A: I preferred public school for both.
    J: I would agree with Annie. I personally think that public school provided more for me in both aspects compared to private school.

  3. Which challenged you more academically?
    A: Public school challenged me more.
    J: I would also agree, but to be fair, we experienced more upper-level courses in public high school than in private elementary and middle school.

  4. What did you like the best and the least about both settings?
    A: To be honest, I really liked that we were required to wear uniforms in private school. I did not have to think twice about what to wear. On the other hand, I felt that some of the teachers were a little mad. But overall, it wasn’t too bad. Additionally, I lived further from school, so the commute was long.
    My favorite thing about public school was being able to participate in more clubs, attend interesting classes, and surround myself with better peers. The least thing that I liked about my public school was attending classes that were mandatory by the state and having to be with students that did not have a positive influence on me.

  5. Did you feel like you gained a real benefit by attending private school? Explain.
    A: Yes, I was able to experience a small school setting. It is sometimes nice to have a smaller class and be able to talk to everyone. I also gained Joslyn xoxo.
    J: Awwww! She’s so sweet! We have known each other for a very long time now. It really is kind of crazy to think about…

  6. Did you think that having a smaller student to teacher ratio was helpful, indifferent, or not helpful? Why?
    A: Yeah, it was helpful in a way because I would have more one-on-one interactions with teachers. I feel like interacting personally with teachers helped me open up and interact more.
    J: I was probably more indifferent to this. Personally, I did not really struggle with asking for help or conversing with my teachers. However, it was easier to communicate with the teachers when we were in a smaller ratio. I felt like the teachers knew us more on a personal level.

  7. Did you wish we had more of a variety of teachers in private school?
    J: To give some context, our classes were so small that we only had two “homeroom” teachers per grade. Throughout middle school, we basically had the same six teachers every year. For our elective classes, we had known most of our teachers since we were in kindergarten.
    A: I don’t think I minded it. At least I got to know how each teacher would word their test questions. So, it made test-taking more predictable.

  8. Compared to our private school classmates, do you think that attending public school helped you be where you are today? Or do you think the result of your outcome, compared to our classmates, was due to differences in personality and non-academic related factors?
    A: Yes, my public school environment was more intense, and my classmates were all extremely passionate about school and had life goals. I think my results were mostly differences in personality and non-school related. There are a good number of our old private school classmates that achieved big and great things. I think it all boils down to your own personality, life goals, and how willing you are to achieve them.

  9. Do you think parents could get similar benefits of private school through other academic resources? If so, can you give a recommendation?
    A: Honestly, some private schools are different from others. Mine was more religious based but there are other schools like international or boarding schools that are considered private and offer a wide variety of things. Some private schools do not necessarily have better ways of teaching or education.

  10. Do you think the amount our parents spent on private school tuition and other expenses was worth it?
    A: Well, I looked cute in the kindergarten jumper uniform but other than that, meh. I think if they sent me to a more education geared private school, it would be more worth it. I did enjoy the smaller class size though. Other than that, I have some pretty funny memories from private school that I don’t think could be replicated in a public school setting.

  11. If money was not a factor, where would you send your kids to school? Why?
    A: If the public schools in my zip code were known to be good and higher tier schools, I wouldn’t mind sending my kids there. It all boils down to the quality of education and extracurricular activities that the school would be able to provide. I would also look at their testing scores for college entrance exams. That also gives a good idea about the school. Then again, if I lived in an area where the public school wasn’t so good, I wouldn’t mind sending my child to a private school that is renowned for their education, etc.

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So, there you have it folks! I am sure we could have gone a little deeper into this discussion, but again, we wanted to keep it slightly ambiguous for the sake of anonymity for Annie. I probably could have found someone who had a different perspective on this topic, but with everyone’s busy schedules, Annie was the first one that came to mind and was readily available at that time.

If you were wanting another post, or a video, regarding our private school adventures, just let me know! I am sure there are plenty of stories that we can share sometime.

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this post. I know it was a fairly specific and almost random topic, but I hope you found it somewhat helpful or interesting.

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Here is a list of updates on my end of things:

  • School starts in 3-4 days and I am freaking out!!!
  • I have been prioritizing the million things I need to do prior to orientation and the long weekend
  • I have been practicing my time management and stretching the limits of my productivity
  • It’s a struggle to try and juggle Instagram and other social media outlets along with editing posts and vlogs
  • I have been trying to go to the gym more :))
  • Crochet is my new favorite hobby and helps me to relax by keeping my mind preoccupied with counting stitches

With that, I invite you to comment what you would like me to talk about next! I have some other topics lined up for this series (and other content in general) but I would like to hear your input. Thank you, as always, for joining me today! I greatly appreciate your time and support. Until next time!

With love, Joslyn

ʕ •ᴥ•ʔ

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