“So, what’s going on over at Shadle?” is a question I’ve been receiving a lot lately, especially from friends who will be deciding to which high school they will be sending their own kids.
And, I admit, I have to pause before I answer. This year will be my 11th year at Shadle and my 22nd year teaching high school English, so I can appreciate parents coming to me for advice. And I want to be honest with them, for I know that Shadle has had a few “issues” over the last few years – some of which have made the news; others of which have not.
But that statement can literally be said about any school in the district, in the state, and in our country. So, although I can appreciate the natural trepidation from well-intentioned parents when they hear something (whatever that “something” may be), I also want to make sure that they understand all parts of the story.
And the other parts of that story are twofold: (1) My own son has attended Shadle for two years now, and I have never had a single qualm about his attending there (in fact, I’m particularly proud that he’s a Highlander); moreover, he is flourishing in all areas there; and (2) I personally know what goes on inside a Shadle classroom regularly. Therefore, I can appreciate firsthand how positive of an experience Shadle Park High School can be.
Again, that previous statement can literally be said by some other parent about any other school in our district, in our state, and in our country, so I want to use my and my son’s experiences at Shadle to extrapolate some useful advice for all parents to help their children write their own positive, enriching success stories at whatever school they attend.
Robert Archer is an English teacher at Shadle Park High School.
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