I went to a girls' boarding school between ages thirteen and eighteen. The girls' school taught me not to be afraid to compete. I would have been one of those girls who was so interested in boys, I would have put my personal interests on the shelf and not done anything that guys didn't like. Girls' schools made a positive difference in my life.
Lesley Seymour, Editor-In-Chief,
My seventh-grade English teacher was Mrs. Hardy. Her expectations were
very high. We used proper English, and we knew that we had to accomplish high goals. She
introduced me to poetry, to speaking grammatically, and to striving to do more. I felt so
accomplished, empowered, and strong coming out of her class. A rough coach makes you feel
like you are capable of everything; to this day, I remember her.
Although most of the successful women in our study attended public schools (79 percent), twice as many attended parochial or independent schools as did children in the overall population. Attendance at all-girl middle schools, high schools, and colleges was considerably higher too. Whether these women attended public, parochial, or independent schools, they often described specific teachers as having great positive, life-changing, influences on them.
Family economics and your own personality should be important factors to consider in making decisions about schools and colleges. If you are particularly shy or quiet, an all-female environment may encourage you to speak out. It may also provide you with more opportunity to accept leadership. Be honest with yourself about the effect of boys or men in your environment. They may or may not be a distraction, and only you can make that determination.
You can always search for good teachers as mentors in whatever school you attend. You'll have to do your share. Teachers are more likely to direct their energies toward students who are engaged and interested.
©2001 by Sylvia B. Rimm. All rights reserved. This publication, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without written permission of the author.
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