During my career in public education, I've been lucky to work in both traditional public schools and public charter schools. And yes, for those of you who have been trying to figure out what the heck a character school is (no shame--I've been there), charter schools ARE public schools. They’re funded on the public dollar, just like traditional public schools. The biggest difference between a public charter school and a traditional public school is that charter schools are founded by members of the community.
It's absolutely NOT true that all charter schools or all traditional public schools are created equal. All schools are different, and all should be judged on their own merits. And, with that said...there are some very unique experiences and challenges that come with working in a charter school. Sometimes a co-worker or a student of mine will say something, and all I can think is you just don’t hear that in traditional public schools.
And so, without further adieu...My TOP FIVE SIGNS YOU WORK IN A CHARTER SCHOOL. And yes, not all of these statements are true for every single charter school on the planet. But I'm willing to be that my fellow charter school employees all can identify with at least one of these statements.
5. Your students think the phrase “school library” means the three shelves of books at the back of your classroom.
See if you can guess what my favorite book in THIS classroom library is.
4. No one makes you sign in to use the copier. Or expects you to make it through the year with only one ream of copy paper.
Not that the copy machine in any school works for more than five hours at a time.
3. Students in your school think it’s totally normal to attend PE class in the local park.
"What's this 'gymnasium' I keep hearing about?"
2. You’re the oldest person on your staff. And you’re 33.
One of these things is not like the other....
1. People in your office idly say things like, “I think my teaching license expired last year. Do you suppose I should get that renewed?”
It's not THAT kind of license.