Anna’s Answers: Northwest vs. Bishop Carroll

Anna’s sixth entry on her experience at Northwest

More stories from Anna Schmidt

This week I went to Northwest High School for a day of shadowing as part of the Teaching Academy program here at Carroll. The goal of the day was to get a look at what teaching in a high school is like, as well as what teaching in a public school is like, as both are things we have yet to be exposed to as teaching academy students. 

So I spent the day hopping from English class to English class, observing teachers and their teaching styles, as well as students, and their ways of learning. Halfway through the day we met with the school’s assistant principal and talked about what we had observed so far, and the conversation was something that really opened my eyes. 

We talked about the obvious differences between Bishop Carroll and Northwest, like block scheduling, dress code, and open lunch, but we also talked about some of the differences that people don’t like to mention. One being that Northwest has a LOT more students below the poverty line than Bishop Carroll. They also have several kids in jail who get dropped off and picked up there by the government, so that they can still get an education. They also have a large amount of special needs students, and teenagers with learning disabilities. So I realized that a lot more kids here were going home to hard lives. One’s where they didn’t have food for dinner, or didn’t have good parents around, or ones where they really struggled with school work, or whatever their struggle was. They were students JUST like me in regards to age and grade and classes, but SO different from me in regards to their personal lives. And I have to admit, that was pretty hard for me to see. 

I think sometimes when I’m in my little Bishop Carroll bubble I forget that there is a world out there that is different than mine. I think we all do that a little bit. We forget that there is a world full of struggles and hardship way beyond what we are focused on. And I love my little world I have at Bishop Carroll, but now I also think that, at the very least, some awareness is important. 

I don’t mean to say that we should feel guilty for having school pride or for going to a private school, but I am saying that maybe it doesn’t hurt to see how other people live. Maybe it could even help us in becoming more aware, and accepting young adults who are about to step out into the real world, full of people who are wildly different than us. Different in how they look, in how they act, in where they come from, and in what they believe. And maybe by becoming more aware and accepting of these different people, we will be able to open doors up to different those kinds of people, and let knew, and interesting ideas into our lives that weren’t there before. And maybe in doing that, we can become more full people, with knowledge and understanding towards SO MANY ways of life that are different from our own. WOW! 

So that’s what I took from my day. I know it was supposed to be more about teaching and learning and all of that, but this was just as important to me. Today, at Northwest I realized that there is a whole other world of different kinds of people out there, and being aware of that is important because it can help me to live a more accepting and full life as I step into my own. And even if nothing else, I am so glad I learned that today.