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Monday, September 25, 2006
And We're Off....

...the new school year is in full swing, as is the new fall television season. Almost. After all, "Lost" hasn't premiered yet, and can you really call it fall when that hasn't started?

I'm not here to talk about television yet. I'm here to talk school. I'm qualified to talk about school - I've got two students for daughters, and I've been to school. I think I can talk about it with some authority and knowledge.

A started school first - she beat her sister by a full week and didn't hate it immediately. It took a couple of days before she realized that she truly resented being in school. This from the child who actually looks forward to the first day every year. This year, however, I presented a drastic change. She wasn't only going to go to a new school (which was going to happen since the one that she was in only went to 4th grade), but she was going to be away from her friends because I wasn't going to foot the bill for her to go to this other private middle school. For the money that I paid the elementary school I could have already had that brand new Forester that I've been drooling over for the last 3 years instead of the great education and sub-standard administration that I did get. I really hated being patted on the head when I walked in and needed something from the office unless I raised my voice and got their attention.

Sheesh, is there ever such a thing as a parent and a school administrator being able to have a calm and reasonable conversation that doesn't involve one party being patronizing and the other needing to raise their voice?

Anyway, I removed A from that situation much to her dismay. She was looking forward to it initially, but then she turned into a normal child. She hated school. Well, maybe hate is too strong a word. Perhaps apathy is a better description because she just didn't care. She claimed to have no friends, she claimed to be very lonely, she would cry because she missed her friends so very much. And she still does, but she's adjusting and making new friends. She joined the cross country team and hated that too initially (don't we all when we start something like that and aren't used to the practices), but now she's into the groove of it.

Thank goodness. I don't think I could take her mopey sullen 'hating on the mommy' vibes much longer.

B is a whole 'nother story. She's in the highest grade in the school and she doesn't have to be referred to as A's little sister any more, not that she really was all that much in the first place. She does, however, have to live under the shadow that her sister provided to the 4th grade teacher she has. That teacher had A for 3 years (1st, 2nd and 4th) - the school kept moving her grade to grade, and poor B missed out on her twice. She almost missed out on her this year too because they put her in another class until I went into the office and raised a fuss - first off, I didn't want the new and untried teacher and secondly B was upset that she would be put in a class with a child that had been harassing her for the last year and a half.

Now, it wasn't harassment in the traditional bullying sense, but more of a control issue and a 'hey you have to help me' issue. He would get up from his chair in class, walk across the class, and try and bother B while she was working on her assignments. His behavior was generally written off as a younger child not behaving the way he should because he was moved up a grade higher when he was in first grade (so, technically, he should be in 3rd now and not 4th). Her behavior at telling him to go away and let her do her work was not rewarded. She was usually told to be helpful and that didn't work for B. Neither did the advice to learn to work with people she doesn't like. Therein lies a problem - she was fine with him on the playground for th most part (except when he tried to push her around) but the classroom drove her nuts and her work showed the results - she did fine in 3rd grade, but not to the levels that she performed to previously. Now she's back in that groove and seems to be a pretty content kid when I pick her up at the end of the day because he's in the class with the new teacher and I managed to get her moved.

That's all I ask - happy, content kids who are learning things. I know this is just one long ramble today, and there's really no real point to it, other than the school year has started and we're back in a mess of homework, back to school nights, and fundraising (yuck).

Anyway, that's all for today.