PROGRAM — private school

I am a parent and teacher at Weatherford Academy in Louisiana. I have known about Weatherford for a long time. While I was working at previous schools I would always hear about how great of a school Weatherford Academy was.

I came in for an interview with Weatherford, and I instantly fell in love with the school. The first thing I noticed was that the people here were not tense, they were laughing and joking around. Some schools can be very tense and you can feel alienated.  But, from the moment I walked into Weatherford’s door, the people here became like family.

That’s when I decided I wanted my daughter to come here. I didn’t want my daughter to attend a school where she was just another number or another check. My hope was for her to go somewhere where she was comfortable, where she knew everybody. I really wanted a place for both her and myself where we could work and learn in a comfortable environment. Now, when my daughter leaves to go home she hugs everybody on her way out… and forgets not to take the school toys home.

My daughter is in the three-year-old room and her teacher is phenomenal. They have helped me find a place to send her to work on her speaking skills and even helped with potty training. She is a younger sibling by about ten years and that has its own learning curve. My daughter struggles with sharing, but Mrs. Weatherford and the school have helped with that. The school also helps me to learn as a parent. When I had my first child I was young and ignorant. There I things I may have done then, but they are encouraging better ways for me to do them now.

Working here has changed my perspective on private schools. The first school that I worked at was also a private school but unlike Weatherford Academy, my previous school did not really seem to accept low-income students. At my last school, everybody was in a higher income bracket.

When I came to Weatherford I realized just how different the school was despite having the private school label. Here, we help a lot of lower-income families and I personally feel like I am needed more here. Lower-income families often times don’t have resources or access to information, and we help to give it to them. We do diaper giveaways and we even help people in the community who don’t have resources regardless of whether or not their kids attend Weatherford.

Honestly, working here really impacted my outlook on life and my community. Coming from a more affluent school honestly made me a bit oblivious to the struggles of my community. Often, you hear about low-income people and you might have even experienced it as a child. But, I had never really realized the full scope of the challenges these families face until I switched schools.

At my former school, we had a quick Christmas list; everybody wanted an Xbox or some high-end item. At Weatherford, these kids ask for things like socks or shoes. It dawns on you just how much the simple things in life matter. My eyes have been opened and I try to give back to my community.

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