Handing Your Child Over To Strangers

It’s against everything we’ve ever been told not to do, and everything that a Mother feels is right.  But there we all are, handing our children over to someone we’ve hardly met.

The only reason I have met Curly Headed Boy’s new primary school teacher is because her son was at his nursery in a younger class, but it’s only been a fleeting ‘hello’.  We have no idea what they do all day, apart from the fact that we have provided them with a packed lunch and snack (no hot dinners available, because the council won’t let them build a dining room, arrrgh!).  So far, there is no class list and no time table.  There was a letter inviting us to a 30min meeting next week, where I assume that some of this will be dealt with, and an evening get-together the week after (very difficult to go to when you have a young baby).  So we are meant to be patient parents and wait.  I suspect that if we ask beforehand, we will be considered ‘one of those parents’, and labelled as difficult.

But seriously, where is the respect?  For us as parents, handing over our kids, and for our kids?  Yesterday, in the distance I saw the last child literally being picked up screaming and kicking by a teacher and dragged into class.  I so felt for his Mum, it made me want to cry, god knows what she felt like.  Surely it doesn’t have to be like that with a little more forethought?  No one likes walking into a situation where they don’t know what the hell is going on.  I have no idea whether curly headed boy will end up academically bright, but I am a bit freaky in that I talk to him like a normal human being, so he is used to being told what’s going on and being treated like someone with some rights (not too many of course!!).

Now I see why I was so upset the other day, this school is not matching my values at the moment.  However, then realism sets in.  The whole process of finding a school last year was a nightmare, and in the end he might not have ended up at the one I would have picked that was less traditional, he is very happy to be walking in with so many friends.  Thank god for that, as curly headed boy has 3 mates in his class and I reckon another 10 in the other 2 classes.  Friends are extremely high on his priorities, so this is definitely better than one of the private options I looked at, and both potential state options (our state schools locally are bad, so as we had a choice, we chose not to go for them).

So, I’ll suck it up, wait patiently until next week, and then if by then I don’t have more information I’ll kick off.  But at some point, I think it is only fair to mention that if other schools managed to send out class lists in the summer holidays so that kids could meet, and they are already getting ‘parent mail’ by text/email, then clearly this school is not showing that it values keeping us in the loop or reducing the anxiety of the kids.  They need to be aware of the fact that they compete heavily with a local boys school that doesn’t take kids until next year.  I have NEVER considered it as an option before, but today I’m wondering whether it might not hurt to go and have a look.  In this time of recession it is wise for all of us to remember to consider how our clients/customers feel and reconsider a position of arrogance/strength that could easily disappear.  More updates next week, arggh!

7 comments

  1. I hated my first daughter starting school and the whole ‘system’. I too have always talked to my children as little adults, in a way. Basically, respect is earned in my book and that goes both ways between an adult and a child. I really thought about home schooling, but in the end stuck it out and my daughter mostly enjoys school – though I still have reservations. I hope things get easier for you x

  2. This is a really hard one, but M’s happiness must come first and so I think you need to just ride with the wave for a while.

    There are some good state schools which you could investigate if it doesn’t improve. There are some good ones locally which are actually under subscribed because they are not in the popular areas (eg Sandridge).

    The whole school system in the UK is ridiculous, at the moment Toddler Boy has to watch as all his friends trot into nursery and then go and pick them up with the childminder, he gets to stay at Playgroup until January when he can go to nursery. Its not helping him or doing his confidence any good being considered a ‘baby’. I am very annoyed about the system.

    I hope things improve 🙂 x

  3. So hard. Boy starts ‘big school’ in January. He’s been in daycare 10 till 2, 2 days a week for the past two and a half years at a small childcare where they absolutely know him inside out, from his food dislikes to his favourite colour. Am so worried about the change…

    1. Also, looking at your quote on your site, I think that one of my worries was the responsibility, and was I giving him the best start in life. I’m feeling much clearer now on what I would love to give him.

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