Pursuing Education From Coast To Coast


Cesar Escalante, Staff Writer

    Elliott Barnett is a new middle school teacher starting his first year at Rancho Dominguez Preparatory School. He is currently teaching English 8 as well as creative writing, but had been teaching for four and a half years at Southern Vance High School in North Carolina. Although it may seem sudden, Mr. Barnett recently decided to move to the L.A. area in order to pursue greater possibilities in both his career and other aspects of his life.
    One of the bigger concerns Mr. Barnett faced whilst teaching in North Carolina was the lack of resources and protection for high school teachers as well as the general disregard for federal civil rights laws like Title IX.
    “North Carolina didn’t really take care of their teachers, there is no teacher union, no money for supplies,” said Barnett.
    He goes on to explain how he wanted to move to L.A. because he wanted to live in a community that was “more culturally rich and more diverse” with a many different people and more opportunities. The open-mindedness and diversity that California offers became something Mr. Barnett grew to enjoy.
    “I love how L.A. is spread out, every city has a different feeling and vibe. For example Culver City gives you more of a downtown vibe than somewhere like Costa Mesa. There are always things changing with the city and excited places to go. In California it is a lot more open minded, since North Carolina is a southern state where people are a lot  more closed minded to anything that is different.”
    Since Barnett is used to working in the high school area it is a big different experience for him to be teaching middle school here at Rancho instead.
    “I like how Rancho feels more like a family and everyone is closer together, the staff and administrators are very supportive and working in the middle is fun because most of the kids are really energetic they like to ask questions and be involved unlike some apathetic high schoolers I’ve had in the past. The high school I used to teach at was similar to Rancho when it came to size, it was a pretty small school and we used to have block schedule which meant I had four classes so I was used to having 60-95 kids a semester, meanwhile here at Rancho I am getting 150 kids all at once. Class sizes are a lot bigger than what I am used to, so that will take some adjusting but I’m excited to see how it’ll be more deep in the semester.”