After being on the 'inside' for so many years and having worked at a much sought after public charter school in Oakland, it was rough to be on the other side. To endure the platitudes from well meaning administration and teacher, to really get at the meat of what a school was going to look like on a daily basis, to navigate different deadlines, lotteries, etc. Mind boggling. Oh, I could write a whole post about the drama and horror that is the lottery system, but others have done much better on that (watch Waiting for Superman). We chose Nate's school largely because it was the closest thing to 'good enough' that I could find. I'm sad to write that here. I absolutely adore Nate's teacher and have no doubt that she is going to do a phenomenal job this year, it's more what the schools are missing that troubles me. I really struggled to find a public school that was rethinking the way education could look- less seat work and more real work, less 'teaching' and more learning, less academics and more socialization. So, now I'll work on that at home. This school has a full home school option and there are a couple other full home school charters in our area. I really never thought I would be home schooling Nate but, as I have heard from countless parents when I was the teacher, it's different when it's your own child.
I'm actually really open to where this whole adventure leads us.
In the meantime, Nate's first day has come and gone. Today is is second day at school. Tomorrow will be his second home school day. So far, he is nothing but jubilation. He loves school. Proclaiming it the the very most fun thing that has happened in his whole life. And isn't that what education is truly supposed to be about?
I was able to get through his first full day away with no tears. Took it all in stride, had a great drop off, pick up, etc. That all came crashing down when I took this paper out of Nate's backpack when we got home:
Oh my, the tears just flowed. Seriously? These kinder teachers know how to get a mama going. I still can't get through it without tearing up. So I just tucked it away in a folder and will check back in with it in a few years...surely the waterworks will be held in check by then ;)
|Nate told me that he's reading in the picture on the left, eating lunch on the right, and sitting at his desk in the middle ("We sit at our desks a lot in kindergarten mommy, like for hours and all day!")|
|Nate and his friend Bailey before they went into their classrooms.|