Teaching in a charter school can be exciting and rewarding for educators who are looking for increased flexibility and growth opportunities in their careers.
At the same time, parents are increasingly moving their children to charter schools to take advantage of smaller class sizes and a more focused curriculum that is often hard to find in larger traditional public schools.
According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, the number of students enrolled in public charter schools quadrupled from 0.3 million to 1.6 million over the last 10 years. There are now more than 1.6 million American students attending a public charter school and this number continues to grow. Charter schools are getting noticed by parents, students and now educators more than ever before. Teaching in a charter school has so much to offer.
Flexibility, Smaller Classes and Committed Parents
- Flexibility. A charter school offers educators flexibility. Charter schools often offer convenient hours for educators so they can meet with parents and students who work or have other commitments. This allows the educator to create a schedule that works for their students and their own family. Teachers are able to make home visits, may be able to work from their own home, and can operate during the hours that coincide with their own personal needs. This is cutting edge education at its best for all involved.
- Committed Parents. Parents of students who are part of a charter school are often looking for an alternative education for their child. These parents tend to be very involved in the lives of their children. This is an educator’s dream.Charter school mathematics instructor, Karen Miller from Medford, Ore. says, “Students, parents and teachers are working together like I’ve never experienced in the traditional public school system.” Parents also have a say in the curriculum their child uses and they are part of the plan to help their child succeed. This is very exciting and the results are amazing. Teaching has no limits when parents are part of the plan.
- Change of Scenery. Many educators feel trapped within the traditional classroom. Charter schools are allowing educators to meet their students in many different venues. Charter school instructors may be found in a local library tutoring students, in their student’s home, or in a smaller building that houses the charter school itself.Many traditional schools lack funding for field trips and special activities. This means students are confined to the classroom, along with their teacher. This is not true for charter school students. Educators working in a charter school often create close ties within their community and can easily create programs for their students to get involved in. At charter schools there are usually funds available for field trips and activities that enhance learning. Learning takes on a whole new meaning when students are immersed in a real hands-on environment which can make education come to life.
- Smaller Environment. Classrooms across the nation are overflowing with students. The teacher-to-student ratio continues to widen as many schools face more and more budget cuts. And as classroom sizes grow, teaching becomes more of a challenge. Educators working in charter schools are as content as teachers in traditional schools, says Marissa Cannat, the associate director for the National Center for School Choice at Vanderbilt University. Charter school teachers say they feel safer working in a smaller environment, love their small class sizes and experience great morale among their colleagues.
- Customized education. Millions of children in America will not get the education they need and deserve. All too often, these students are among the children who will slip through the cracks. A charter school is a public school that is designed to meet the needs of all children.