03 September, 2010

Life is not easy sometimes

This has not been a good week. There have been lovely things about it - a wonderful weekend on the Russian River for starters. But it has been overshadowed by stuff at school. Specifically that E's new teacher has already resigned. Which is hard. It is hard watching a teacher struggle with their new assignment. It is hard watching your daughter get bored because so much of the work is below her level. It is hard worrying that this will continue to happen because this is a tough class with serious problems both in terms of behaviour and achievement. Problems which have led other families to leave the school over the years.

We got close enough to leaving to sit and look at schools and houses in Palo Alto, and to write a pros and cons list about the city and the 'burbs. And it hasn't changed a lot since we arrived. We love the city. And we can now add friends to the column that includes diversity, vibrancy, history. But there in the other column sits my daughter in her classroom, learning a little but not a lot. Not being stretched. And watching situations develop which shouldn't be.

We could move. We could escape to the 'burbs. We're not going to. I have no idea if this is right or wrong. I suspect that after a couple more years here the best I shall be able to say about E's experience of the American education system is that she survived it. I wish I could say more. She will be okay. Whether many of the other kids in her classroom will be too, I don't know. They don't have the same opportunities and they are already struggling.

The good news is that the school is aware of this. We have a new dynamic and experienced principal and I am trying to be optimistic about it all. But this is a cash-strapped school in a cash-strapped system. And this is my kid. Which makes it emotional and difficult and exhausting.

We shall see.


Suzanne@ Panteg Alpacas said...

but on the plus side you had a great trans atlantic skype call...

bopper pye said...

i am sorry to hear about problems in your daughter's school. i don't write about it that much,but i constantly worry about school stuff, too. my daughter is in private pre-k and i often look at her day full of freedom, projects, creativity, arts, and social-emotional support and compare it to my son's. his second grade day seems lacking and i think about moving him to creative arts charter. somehow i don't know if the burbs would be much better. i hear repeatedly from some parents at my son's school about how they grew up attending very challenged schools with very poor kids and they came out with a great education. it is all very very confusing and i feel for you. my son is in an immersion program with bright kids from mostly very educated families but there are behavior issues and difficulties with differentiated learning in his classes too.

let me know if you ever want to vent, i think we live pretty close to you.