Pros and cons of teaching in different sized schools

I am blessed to have a very varied teaching experience. I have taught in public and private high schools (and middle schools), I have taught in big and small (and tiny) universities, even in a lower school! Today let’s focus on universities.

Of course, big universities have all the prestige and apparent endless budgets. You are spoilt for choice: dozens of libraries to study in with every resource imaginable, Nobel prize winning professors, infinite dining options, excellent gyms and recreation facilities, et cetera, et cetera. Having said that, there is also a dark side: thousands of students make it much harder to make connections, much higher bureaucracy, and the politics make Washington DC look like a children’s playground.

On the other hand, smaller schools although limited in budget and infrastructure offer a massive human plus. Things get done faster, smaller classes, more chances to connect with colleagues, staff, and students, and in my case, the opportunity to coach the soccer team! Something impossible in a big school.

St. Vincent de Paul has only around 120 students and 20 something teachers, so the community is much tighter, everybody knows everybody and this makes for more and mostly better relationships.

If you are deciding, at the end of the day, as usual, it is up to how much you are willing to invest in the people around you: your colleagues, your students, your staff. Then it does not matter so much where you teach, what is important is how willing you are to make connections!

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