How can I put this most delicately? Sorely disappointing? Almost but doesn't quite hit the mark. Aggravating, oh most definitely in my opinion. Enough to make a Mom want to shake the hell out of them and bitch slap them? YES that's it! That's how I feel about it!
I have been disgruntled with the public school system since my son started school. I had told his deadbeat, lazy sperm donor to leave and not ever return the previous February, and both of my kids were/are really attached to him. Not a big surprise since he's about as mature as they are (and at this point, they are far more mature than he is but I will relent on that point...for now). There were some major issues that arose surrounding visitation and such and for a 5 and 3 yr old they were big deals. So when my son started school, I went in to talk to his kindergarten teacher (which I knew and was NOT impressed with from our previous run ins), and told her about what was going on. What kind of answer did I get? "Eh kids are tougher than you think, he'll be fine. We have kids all the time that their parents are getting divorced." WTF kind of answer is that to give to a 23 yr old Mom that her first child is starting school in the midst of his parent's getting divorced? Needless to say, I was NOT pleased. I bit my tongue as I thought maybe I was being a bit overprotective, and stepped to the sidelines. Then my middle daughter started school, and we had moved and she was not handling it very well. I went in and talked to her teacher and I basically got the same kind of response. NOT what I'm after here people! While I didn't expect the teacher to dote over either of my children, it would have been quite pleasant if they would have said "Ok we understand your concerns, and will keep an eye open for any potential problems we see.". I would have been content with that. Was that REALLY too much to ask? I don't think so. With the 2nd child and the same "UGH ANOTHER overprotective Mommy I have to deal with" attitude I got, I was severely pissed and I went to the principal and superintendent of the school and raised cane. Didn't get very far other than they assured me they would talk to their staff about being more sensitive to what us "parents felt was important" when it came to our kids. Probably didn't help that really TICKED me off and I went off on them for being so damned patronizing in order to get me outta their offices.
Time went on and we got into a school routine which included me being happy to be kidless in the daytime so I could pursue interests I'd had to put on the back burner when the kids were home all the time with me. Then homework started...in 1st grade. Another "WTF" for me, since homework seemed to eat up 2 hrs a night. Wasn't teaching my kids how to properly write their letters, sounds of the letters, numerals and such what I sent my kids to school for? Patience may be a virtue, but it's not a virtue I come by naturally. Hence I am NOT a school teacher for that very reason (plus I'm positive duct taping children's mouths that get out of hand is against the law, and assaulting the parents when they come in to crab about me treating their children like that when it's THEIR fault for letting their kids be mouthy little heathens). I held my tongue again for awhile but when I started hearing BOTH of my kids say "But Mommy, we don't understand HOW to do this, they didn't explain it very well" to me every stinking evening, I got miffed again. Yet again I went up to the school and got some garbage about how they had sooooo much they had to cover in the course of a school year, how parents that are involved had more successful students/kids, and a whole hockey pot of excuses. Then it got kicked up a notch...they informed me they thought that my son had ADD or ADHD. Ok fine I went and got him tested. Yes he had ADD/ADHD. We put him on meds and after some research I figured out that I didn't like the possible side effects they knew about (and when I asked about long term side effects, they couldn't tell me, they didn't know) I pulled him off of them. O.M.G. You'd have thought I walked into the school with an Uzi for the reaction I got when I did that. They raised all kinds of hell with me. I didn't care, I didn't like the zombie my child had become, and the possibilities of what long term side effects the meds could have I didn't like either. They could shove it up their nose for all I cared, I have to take care of these kids as I see fit, not as it makes their lives easier. Yes it put additional strain on me as well, but that was far better than what *could* happen. If you learn what it takes to deal with the child, it's not that bad in reality. The key is just finding that magic combo that works with that child. Well had a repeat of it with Destiny and caught hell for not medicating her as well.
Now that's some (but not all) of my negative experiences/battles with the public school system. Here is the latest one...
Evie (our youngest child, 5 yrs old) started school this year. She's very bright, very active, very opinionated, and VERY tenacious to say the least. Keep in mind this last year has barraged us with bad luck. My uncle died a year ago in September, my beloved Gramma broke her hip, and then passed away in March, our house burnt at the end of March, we've moved 3 times this summer, and Daniel had that ruptured disk in his neck/spine and had his surgery a week and a half ago. To say the least, it's been very stressful on all of us. Now like I said, she started kindergarten and the first couple of days went fine. She loved school and all seemed well. Then all hell broke loose...she didn't want to go to school, I would have to literally drag the child into the building and 2 or 3 teachers would have to drag her to her classroom, daily she was informing everyone how "stupid and boring" school is and how she hates it. Well I just chalked it up to how poorly she sometimes can transition so I kept an eye on it but just let it ride. Then the calls started. Seems our darling youngest child is/was noshing on ANYTHING she can get into her mouth. UUUUGGGGGHHHHHH This is something she's always had a propensity for since she had been able to coordinate her hand to her mouth. I've talked to our Dr about it but it's not that unusual for kids to do that sort of thing, and we ruled out a nutritional deficiency so it came down to us taking extra precautions and keeping an eagle eye on her. In time it seemed to pass, until now. the school nurse called halfway freaking out and I tried explaining to her Evie has always been a chewer, stress seems to make it worse, ect. Apparently since I wasn't freaking out, she kept on her lil soapbox trying to get me to freak out. Didn't work, but I did tell her that I would get ahold of our Dr and speak to him about it. Well a few days later Daniel got a call....Evie couldn't come back to school until she was seen by a Dr about this. WTFH? I was LIVID! He was slated to go into surgery the following Wednesday and I was in the middle of moving. I don't need this shit right now. I was working on Dr's appts and such, and they knew that. Oh I'm still pissed about it in fact. Not to mention that she still hates school saying it's stupid and boring...now is it me or is that just a tad weird for kindergarten? She's already bored a quarter of the way through the school year...her FIRST school year?!? Something is not right with this picture, as it's not right them strong arming me to do something faster I was already doing. The excuse I got for them not wanting her in school? "We're scared she's going to choke or eat something that's going to perforate her insides" OH WTF EVER....First of all, working with kids, they ought to know pediatric basic first aid procedures. Second of all, ok the kid has a problem, keep an eye on her and make concessions about it, they can do it for everybody else's kid that smoked/shot up dope and drank like fish while that child was in uetro, why not mine? Third of all, they are a branch of a governmental agency...they of all people should know, things don't get fixed overnight, it takes some time. Fourth of all, kids are kids and some kids just do this kind of stuff for whatever reason. Needless to say, I'm really put out with them and have been for a very long time.
My middle daughter dislikes school as well. She's what I term an "old soul". Her interests don't lie in things that most 13 yr old girls like. She's not into sports, could careless about lots of the trendy clothes and stuff. She's more into practical stuff, she's kind, likes helping out, just an overall good kid. Which means she catches alot of crap at school. I've talked to the school about it and they don't seem to take me very seriously about it. I just try to encourage her to be who she is and convince her that what other's think doesn't matter. Which is a lie in 6th grade, what people think does matter cos if they don't think well of you, your tormented every single day.
All in all I'm sick and tired of the schools bullshit. I realize they have alot of mandates floating over them they have to adhere to, and they have to teach to the test or risk loosing their jobs. They don't have an easy job that's for sure, but on the other hand, my job isn't easy either. I have to deal with crap that they would flee bawling from. I'm a police/fire dispatcher for Pete's sake. Do I go in whining and crying to them how rough my job is? NO. There's no point in it. Sorry if you call and wake me up at 11am to tell me Evie just tried to eat a crayon again and I don't get all fired up about it. I'm frickin exhaused from working 6pm to 6am, and dealing with drunks, dopeheads, idiots in general to ensure you and your families safety. So EXCUSE ME if I'm not overly excited about my child chewing up a purple crayon. They pay their taxes to ensure they have police/fire protection, which in turn provides me with a job and them with peace of mind we have their backs in the event of an emergency. I pay my taxes, I support the school in anyway I can, so ya know what? I expect the same respect. Not the condesending attitude I get for not getting all fired up about what they think I ought to get all hyped up about. It's for that very reason I've pretty well decided to pull my girls out of public school. I'm fed up with the bullshit. I am educated and intelligent and capable of teaching my children. Now I'm catching flack for wanting to pull them out. Not only from the school (which I expected, I pull my kids out, they loose state $$) but from people in general. Everything from them not getting socialized to they won't have a well rounded education. Excuse me, but it's not like they will be living in a bubble, and who says I want them socialized like they are getting? Ya I want my girls to learn it's ok to be mean and catty to people that aren't like them, that it's cool to be irresponsible, backtalking smartass lil punks. Ooooooo ya that's what I want MY girls picking up. NOT! As for a well rounded education hmpfh. These people wouldn't know a linear equation from a compound fraction so they can bite me. I think I'm more than qualified to teach my children what they need to know. I'm more concerned they learn how to learn and research things, and formulate an educated opinion than them memorizing a bunch of dates and useless information to make them "look" smart. I mean c'mon, when was the last time you needed to know what year Columbus landed in North America? On the other hand, when was the last time you needed to know how to look up a zip code, or telephone number? I rest my case and will step of my soapbox for the time being...