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Meet Becky Baird, Xavier Charter Teacher and Founder
posted by: Cindy Omlin | May 15, 2015, 06:58 PM   

Becky's teaching career began in Arkansas where she taught her first graders to read with a mid-western accent. In addition to teaching in the public schools, Becky operated a private tutoring business for 7 years and home-educated her own children.  In 2006 Becky invested her passion into establishing Xavier Charter School in Twin Falls, ID.  She gives her insights on charter schools and what motivates her as an educator below.

 

becky bairdQ. What do you like about teaching in a charter school?

A. One of the best things about teaching in a charter school is having the freedom to be a master teacher through innovation, high expectations, and a level of autonomy teachers in conventional education only dream about. Charter schools allow teachers the freedom to teach using their ingenuity, creativity and energy to focus on content rather than preparing for standardized tests. It’s why people go into education in the first place– to teach, teach, teach!


Q. What sets your school apart?

A. Xavier is a classical education charter school which was established through its original charter petition. Xavier offers the community a classical, academically rigorous, content-rich, liberal arts education which prepares its students to excel in every duty, guiding them toward wisdom and virtue. In the end, a classical education’s greatest challenge and hope is to produce good human beings who are prepared to take their place in a free society.


Q. What motivates you as an educator?

A. John Steinbeck once said, “Teaching might be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit.” Investing in the mind and spirit of students is my unending passion.


Q. What are the misconceptions you face as a charter school educator?

A. One of the misconceptions our charter school has faced is that we accept only the best and brightest. State law dictates that charter schools accept any student who applies. Each year a lottery is held for any open seats in the school. However, it should be noted that at times the best and brightest students may “self-select” themselves for charter schools. Motivated students – and especially motivated parents – are sometimes drawn to the rigor and high expectations of charter schools.


Q. How is your school different from other schools you’ve taught in?

A. There are many ways that Xavier is different from other schools, but one that particularly stands out is the intimate atmosphere which is palpable in our school of over 640 students. The teachers know ALL of the students, mostly by name and greet them every morning at the classroom door. Teachers follow their students’ progress to graduation day. Each year our graduates make a point of saying how much relationship with their teachers has contributed to their educational and emotional success.

Another big difference is that we thoroughly immerse our students in what we call the “Great Conversation.” The Great Conversation is the name given to the exchange of ideas that has been going on for thousands of years. The dialogue has to do with our world, relationships, truth, knowledge, existence, hope, despair, and purpose - in short, who we are and why we live. It is our desire and hope that Xavier students leave the Rhetoric School (9-12) more equipped to answer the question, “How should I then live?” rather than “What job will I have?”


Q. What would you like to tell teachers in other environments about teaching in a charter school?

A. I certainly can’t speak for other charter schools, but if teachers once had a chance to teach at Xavier Charter School they would never want to teach in another school environment again. It’s hard work to teach here, but it’s that rewarding!

 

AAE and NWPE support the public charter school movement and the heroic educators who make these innovative schools possible.

 

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Parent
written by S. May, May 19, 2015

Mrs. Baird is truely passionate about her teaching and so skillfuly infuses her passion of life long learning into her students. She is a master in the classroom yet makes it look so effortless, as it is where she loves to be. She enstills the love of learning to each of her students and challenges them to be their personal best each day, for the rest of their lives. We at Xavier are so fortunate and grateful for her endless dedication to shaping the future of our children. Thank you Mrs. Baird!

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