I started drafting this post last winter… when I sill pregnant with Meena and overwhelmed with teaching full-time and juggling family life… as a result it sat in my drafts folder, but our recent decision to apply to an independent/private school sent me back here to finally complete this post!
Things with my son’s school came to a head recently…I want to preface this my adding that I am currently 35 weeks pregnant… so the stress is not needed… after an awful situation regarding physically restraining my 5-year-old ( after he refused to take a time out), I had enough and pulled him out of that disorganized brand new charter and put him in our local public school. Nothing unsafe has happened in the public schools and im grateful for the public oversight required of a public institution our taxes already pay for.
The world of education has always felt contentious to me, but I never would have guessed that Kindergarten would feel like such a war! There has been a palpable difference between my teacher training and classroom experiences before and after the “no child left behind” nonsense.
The problem is that it’s policy makers and corporations making changes to education as opposed to the educators and professionals that studied human development and have experience with pedagogy.
As a result of our family’s experiences, I have become morally opposed to the way charter schools become approved in Rhode Island and I have always been opposed to “mayoral academies” and didn’t know we were stepping into that in the summer.
I am confident in my son’s resilience and flexibility and know he will be fine in most places. It’s not so much about what’s best for just my son, but now with baby #2 coming, for the whole family. I don’t want to continue to feel this level of frantic confusion and stress so our local public school might be our best option for now. I have resigned myself to the notion that I (not alone anyways) can’t demand that a school stop using crap common core and bring back imaginative play, creative learning and recess. I cant on my own- force the public schools to stop teaching to the test and pushing screen time on students before they are ready. I can’t force my own ideas about education on a system that puts business over what’s right for children. This type of fight requires a collective of organized parents and citizens, one that will take time, will send us flaying and might falter, but might also ultimately win the type of education for our children that we can all be proud of.
Through this experience I have learned much- most importantly, I came out of this trusting my instinct even more ( a precious commodity these days I’ve learned) , being on my son’s side is really important being his voice and advocate, as my husband pointed out- we are his main source of support.
great piece on importance of recess:
Where we are now is out of survival mode but back in “where is recess mode”. I reached out to the PTO about the crazy amount of homework for st grades and only 15 minutes of recess but I feel like by the time we get enough parents on board my poor child will be in highschool! So he will be off to an independent school for 2nd grade… to be continued!
READ the 1st part of my Kindergarden Freakout HERE: https://nowapproachingprovidence.wordpress.com/2014/05/22/hey-where-did-childhood-go-my-kindergarten-freak-out/