I have the extraordinary privilege of teaching Drama and Musical Theatre at a private school for intelligent children who learn differently.
I was introduced to Pathway school in South Orange County a couple of years ago,
and I was curious why it was touted as THE hidden treasure in the highly competitive educational arena in which we live.
Sure, classroom size, with never more than 12 kids, is appealing. The accredited teachers and staff are impressive enough. However, it was not until I started working there that my eyes opened to the jewel it truly is.
Every child enrolled, k through 9th grade, is given the highest respect and individual care possible as an everyday occurrence. Each child comes with learning challenges that are treated no differently than any other personality variation one might possess.
Every class is surprisingly routine; yet, each student is treated as if he/she were being privately tutored in the subject.
I am most blown away by the respect and privilege the students are taught – honoring each other, as well as their teachers, of course.
I have taught in the public school system, and Christian school arena, for almost 30 years. I have never before witnessed classmates openly apologize to each other if someone’s feelings are hurt or if a fellow student is embarrassed in a situation on the playground or in the hallways.
What? Kids are expected to care about each other? Well, it works at Pathway.
I know I’m not supposed to have favorite students; so, I’ll just call him Tom.
It takes Tom twice as long to get a sentence out as it takes his classmates, and everyone waits politely. When he finishes, I hear, “Good job, Tom” from several of the other kids. He smiles and says, “Thanks, I’m getting better huh?” They agree with him. Be still my heart.
The students genuinely support each other, from assisting in pronouncing difficult words, to lifting backpacks and carrying lunches for another without being told.
You should have seen their musical theatre performance last week! Had I known it was going to blow my socks off, I would have invited the world.
Even I was stunned at the professionalism and talent to rival any mainstream school where I have previously taught.
The bar is intentionally set high.
However, I believe the teachers and staff are the genuine treasures in this school. They truly love their students and know them, instinctively, as each one faces new challenges daily. Make an appointment to chat with the founder, Susie Wenger.
If you know of any families in need of premier education for a special child, check out Pathway School, Laguna Hills, CA. for a five-star education.
There is an upcoming Celebration/fundraiser on May 16th at Pacific Hills Banquet Hall in Laguna Hills, 5:30 to 8:30pm. It will feature some of my students, and various graduates of Pathway. I am shamelessly bragging and encouraging any interested families to come see what I am saying is amazingly true.