Thursday, October 11, 2012

A little bit about kindergarten

Little G ran off to kindergarten that first day and never looked back.  No tears, no clinging.  It was sort of anti-climactic. 

She loves her friends and lunch and recess and especially gym class.  The actual learning part is a different story.  Mostly because so far it has been all behavior management (there is punching and biting in this kindergarten!) and no learning.  So she comes home crying about how bored and frustrated she is all day.  When they do get a little quiet and focus the lessons are things like tracing letters and making paper chains (this is considered math in the public schools here).

I'm not one of those people who doesn't think play is valuable and I'm not some crazy flash-card mom but when my child has repeated meltdowns about how her desire to learn is being thwarted I get upset.  And then I go see the teacher and she tells me that my kind of kid is not a priority and I start to feel ill and anxious.  I want Little G to love school, not think of it as a holding tank where all she learns is how to tolerate difficult people at the expense of her own needs (not that this is not a valuable skill but it shouldn't be the only thing they teach her).

Now we're looking at a meeting with the principal, which terrifies me.  In fact, this entire process scares me to death, a reaction I found strange because I'm usually good at navigating bureaucracy and advocating for a cause.  Mr. G solved the mystery by pointing out that my powers tend to fail me when there is no decipherable structure and he is exactly right.

And so begins my education on how to use the public school system.  Rule number one: be squeaky.  Rule number two: tbd.


katem said...

Strength to you - I'll be following your journey as we're a bit behind you.

Molly said...

Good luck! Glad she is happy going to school though!
We are trying to stay out of the house as much as possible, per your advice!

bre said...

wait the teacher really told you she wasn't a priority? No kidding you're seeing the principal! Oye. Good luck.

shisomama said...

good luck on navigating the system. you can tell we've had our own school struggles...

i'm surprised that your teacher was so honest with you, but i really do think it's true. not to defend your school or the system, but i do think it takes a little while for the teachers to get a handle on the class, and for a lot of the kids - especially the ones who didn't go to preschool - to get used to being at school. they need to work out some kind of structure for everyone, and in the meantime, rely on kids and families like yours to kind of give them some leeway. it's unfortunate, especially since your kid so wants to be doing great things.

hope you'll get some satisfying answers from your talk with the principal. fingers crossed for you!