Thursday, January 15, 2009

choices

As parents, our main concern is to raise our children to be God~fearing, law abiding, respectful, loving adults. We make choices for them from the moment we find out we are pregnant. We continue making choices for them as we nurture and love them into adulthood.

Often, as parents, we second guess the choices we make for our children. Was the choice the best for the situation? Would another choice have taught them more or given a better outcome. On some occasions we realize that the choice we made was NOT the right one and apologies must be made and the wrong righted. And we hope that we all learn a lesson from the situation and grow more determined to 'stay the course' to maturity.

When we returned to the States, I was apprehensive about putting Michaela into the local middle school. She had been attending a 'state' school in England that we loved. It was large~~6th grade through what would be our Senior year in the US~~but she found her niche in her 'form' and excelled. The educational system was set up for more independence for the students. Emphasis was placed on learning rather than on national testing. I was quite apprehensive about putting her back into the public school system that I know stresses 'PASSING THE TEST'. I researched private schools. Steve and I considered a local, small Christian school. They were very helpful and genuine. Due to the lack of an income, and not knowing when a job would be found, we decided that that decision would not be the best choice at the time. Enrollment in GMS was inevitable.

Michaela began school a few weeks into the first semester~~due to the timing of our return to the States. She is not one for accepting change easily, so leaving the comfort of the school system she had become familiar with the previous 3 years was causing her a great deal of stress. She went in that first morning with little self~confidence and great apprehension. As the day went on, she realized her schedule was much simpler than the one in England. She met up with old friends from elementary school. She made new ones. She acclimated far better than I anticipated.

Her only 'hiccup' in this transition~~~her Math teacher

While Math has never been a strong subject for her, she had made great gains at Magdalen. Magdalen College School had received national recognition for it's Math and IT programs. Michaela's test scores for the two years she attended MCS were above the national average. She had gained so much confidence in her ability to understand math. Sadly, the confidence she had gained in those two years has been lost in the 4 months she has been in Mr. R's class at GMS. He has managed to take what she had begun to build and diminish it with disrespect, demeaning comments, and lack of care for his students.

Test scores are down. Frustration level is up. Math class has become a dreaded part of her day.

As a child, Michaela's job is school. It is her responsibility. Her schedule. Her socialization. Part of public school is learning how to not only deal with other children throughout the day, but also how to deal with a variety of adults~showing respect and working with them even when it is difficult. School is the introduction to dealing with society. And not everyone in society is a pleasure to deal with. We, being part of the world around us, must learn how to tolerate people with a variety of personalities. The workforce forces us to interact with many people that we would not CHOOSE to work with. We have to find ways to set aside our differences and complete the task at hand. School sets the groundwork for this.

As a parent I have the 'right' to request a change in her teacher. Michaela has asked me to make the request. I have gone back and forth about requesting a transfer. After MUCH soul~searching, I decided to have her complete the year in his class. Changing classes would certainly be easier. But easier is not always better.

We discussed how we were going to overcome this situation.
We talked bout what WE can do to succeed in spite of Mr. R.
We came up with a plan.
I want her to see that SHE can succeed even when others pose an obstacle.

Now I just have to hope that MY parental choice does not cause more harm to her.


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