I have finally realized what are some major differences between working in my private academy versus a public school. It seems to be regarding the purposes of the institution and the expectations I am obliged to uphold.
During my practicum, I strove to provide a classroom environment that was safe for every student. In all my teaching subjects I aimed to open up the discipline and invite the students into a fun, curious exploration of the subject. My main goal was to make learning fun and enjoyable for my students. I valued their every musing, and I wanted them to look forward to coming to school everyday.
In my role as a course instructor, I have created a curriculum for each class, and I still strive to make my classroom and materials as accessible and enjoyable by every student. However, there is a slight shift in emphasis in my delivery. It is goal-driven, and academic-centered. The parents have very high expectations for their children who study here, and they are not as concerned about how much their child enjoys coming to our academy as much as they worry about their test score.
I am still processing whether or not this is because they have lost sight of what education means, whether or not it is a cultural difference in the value of education, or whether it is my commitment to continue making my classroom all about the love of learning and not always about test scores. Of course I understand that as an instructor I have committed to produce certain results, where my students must improve in quantifiable ways. Still, I care about each student and it feels wrong to always be expected to justify my teaching and their learning by percentage scores.