I am considering sending my kids to a private school. In researching such places, we found the Nueva School. (nice site) We recently went to a little seminar they held explaining the school. It had teachers, administrators and students.
There are actually two different schools. The one we visited was a K-8 school in Hillsborough. However, the high school is being built in San Mateo at Bay Meadows. (They have a cool webcam of the construction site.)
The Hillsborough campus was beautiful. Lots of trees and walking space. The buildings had interesting architecture and were clearly designed and built with care. The internals of the buildings had student artwork everywhere. It had large soccer fields and nicely maintained tennis courts. Overall, it was gorgeous.
The Teachers and Administration
I’ve never seen such enthusiasm and energy from a faculty. They had a child-like zest for their jobs. They gesticulated wildly, like they couldn’t contain their love of learning and teaching. The principal was funny and smart, yet humble. He exuded confidence and devotion to the vision and mission of the school.
My oldest boy thought they were “super kids”. Like super heroes in child form. One kid was playing soccer while also playing violin in the San Francisco Orchestra. He is writing his own screenplay and saving the world from hunger apparently. All while loving every minute of their day at school.
One kid said that one of the teachers assigned a homework question. Just ONE question. He said to spend 20-30 min on it. The kid said, I was so interested in this one question, I spent an hour on it. I just wanted to know how it worked. No busy work, no rote memorization. Real learning.
I have come to the conclusion that most schools aren’t for education. They are for separating the students into tiers that can be used to send them to different colleges. The rules of the game are simple: Those who can follow the teachers instructions and pass the tests get the best grades. Their reward is a better college. The reward for a better college is that employers will think highly of your education and hire/promote you accordingly. My poor education has not helped my career. I know this very clearly.
Neuva completely changed my mind. There are places where learning is real. There are places where they inspire kids. I wish every school was like this, but that is just a fantasy. I hope my kids can gain admittance to the school. I think it would be a life-changing experience for them and for us, their parents.