Written by Stephanie English
I will never forget the day I knew my children belonged at Tattnall Square Academy. On one of my many visits to lower school chapel, I looked over at Mrs. Fran Shaw’s K3 class, and one single moment changed my entire perspective on our teachers and our school. Now, don’t get the wrong idea. After working at Tattnall for over 11 years, my love and respect for my colleagues has always been incredibly significant. So, what changed on this ordinary day?
Our students (and faculty/staff for that matter) have the opportunity to hear testimonials from a wide variety of chapel speakers throughout the school year. I happened to be in chapel that day because a local author was telling her story to our elementary students, and one of my jobs is to document daily student life. As this particular author spoke of God’s role in her new career, I peered over at that little class of three year old students. Two little feet walked over to Mrs. Shaw. Without a word or hesitation, she reached over to pick up her student, and hugged him as sweetly as a mother would hug her own child. Mrs. Shaw leaned him back on to her chest, and this sweet little boy snuggled into the comfort of his teacher’s arms. Tears filled my eyes as I pictured my then two year old son being cared for and nurtured by my very own colleagues while I was away at work. The love was apparent, and it was natural. It wasn’t there out of obligation or duty. It was there because it was genuine. But that wasn’t the “aha” moment.
The whole experience is what sealed the deal for me. Yes, I’ve known for years that our school is extraordinarily successful in and out of the classroom. I’ve known our students benefit from opportunities that most will never even know about. It’s no secret that they are taught by the absolute best faculty in this area. But to finally experience the thought of my own children being taught in a classroom where God is glorified while being loved when they needed it most, well that was everything. That was real.
The truth is, my reasons for choosing private school will change as often as my children grow. And, I’m not naive enough to think that love, nurturing, and safety will be the only experiences my children will ever need from Tattnall. However, you can believe me when I tell you I am thankful those aren’t the only things we do best!