There have been teachers over the years who absolutely changed our lives for the better. Those who love the kids, care about helping them to succeed, and are willing to go above and beyond to teach them.
This is tough because some of the teachers are so extraordinary committed and effective, and just like anywhere there are the lazy teachers who just don't seem to care about the kids. Overall I imagine the teachers at Vista Verde are better than at most schools and it just makes the poor ones stand out.
I do think there's a lot of homework but it doesn't seem inappropriate to review what they have done in class. For some kids it takes a few minutes each day and others can spend hours. I have both kinds of kids and can see the big picture.
I think the work is challenging and kids are expected to work through it, but the bare truth is that most of the work is being done by their parents and the kids who are doing their own work look pathetic in comparison. I would say that the parents are very determined.
Respect for what? Respect for authority, yes, I strongly agree. Self-respect, not so much. These kids are working to hard to be excellent that I don't think they have much energy left to love themselves.
There is a strong and positive culture of honesty and integrity here. I would trust the staff to handle a bullying problem if it were to arise and I believe kids are held accountable for mistakes in a positive way... until it gets to the vice principal who I sincerely hope is replaced after this year. She has no balance or control of her anger.