Hello, my name is Teresa Velasco, and I went to Keystone for eleven years.
From pre-school through the Adolescents program, Keystone has always been an amazing school. I had not had one bad teacher, I made the most amazing friends in the world, with whom I still keep correspondence. My mother, Ann Velasco, was a teacher there for twelve years, and is now working towards becoming a Montessori teacher trainer.
I could go on about how wonderful and inspiring and amazing Keystone is, but I am sure plenty of people have already assured you of those good qualities. What I want to share with you is something Keystone imparted to me that was totally unexpected, but for which I am eternally grateful for. Keystone showed me the value of a good, *quality* education.
I am going into my Junior year of High School at Mountain Pointe right now, so the shock of transferring from this brilliant, close-knit, individualized kind of environment, to this mass-production way of approaching education that public school offers has worn off (but it certainly is not ignored).
At Keystone, you expect an intimate teacher-student relationship. The student gets to know the teacher extremely well, and vice versa. The teacher understands the student, can tailor teaching techniques to their needs, and helps them better adjust to the class environment. Not in public school.
At my school, you are just another student. You have six to seven new teachers each year. Each teacher has upwards of at least 100 students to see and deal with each day. The fact that one does not get any individualized attention is not the fault of the teacher, it just cannot be done. You are just another student, who will move on after this year, and so teachers either do not or cannot take the time to form close bonds with the student, learn about them, talk about their troubles, or what they are not understanding in class, etc.
The motivation of every individual confined within school walls is a miniscule fraction of what it is at Keystone. Children at Keystone are self-directed, the study what they have an interest it, they are intrinsically motivated. That is certainly not the case in a public school.
Basically what you are taught is to do the least amount of work with the least amount of effort put into that work, and try to get the best grade. You do not have time apart from your regular homework (if you have multiple Honors/AP classes) to study things that you are interested on your own. Teachers here are quicker to write off students as lost causes, or helpless, or just plain stupid. T
hat is most certainly not the case at Keystone, and I really, really miss the motivation of both students and teachers at Keystone. I know this sounds pessimistic and harsh on the school I go to, and relative to a lot of other schools, it is pretty darn good. I have had some really good teachers here, who genuinely care about their students, and wish they could get to know them better and do more for them. I have some truly amazing friends, and I would give the world for them. Mountian Pointe has its perks, but it can never compare to the quality of education and environment that Keystone has.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is really appreciate all the things that the staff and teachers at Keystone do for their students. Appreciate the environment that you or your child will be growing up in. Appreciate their motivation to learn, to discover, to explore, because that goes away all too quickly as we get older. It took me leaving this wonderful school to really appreciate what it gave me. I am just here to let you know ahead of time that this school is the best there is.