Ok, not exactly, but by the way that everyone has been making it out to be, the Primary School search and registration was going to be hell on wheels. I was gearing up for a fight. I brushed up on my Tai Chi, Muay Thai, Capoeira and even some Wing Chun; nothing was going to stop me!!
So, I did my due diligence and some months ago (2017), I got the long list of Primary schools in the area, got numbers and addresses and made my short list. This year, I had a discussion with L’s teacher and asked her opinion on the schools on my list. She was super helpful; I scratched off one and added two because of her advice. I value her advice because she has been the light for us during L’s time at preschool.
You see, L did not transition as well as some of the other children. He cried often, he wet himself often (yes he was potty trained before since this was a requirement for entry), he barely spoke, he was bullied and he did not have friends. It was hard for us hearing the stories he told, and the stories she told us. But she kept us in the loop at every turn, even giving us tips on how to continue the guidance at home and over time she has managed to bring L out of his shell, nurture his very introverted nature, and now he is the talkative, helpful and fun loving 4 year old we know. Ms. K used her knowledge of Child Development Psychology, as well as her own intimate experience with her daughter to help our son. She did not dismiss him as a problem child, or simply a child with ‘issues’ to be put into a box. She made the effort (while supervising 11 other children with their varying personalities in her group as well as managing the school) to make my son feel comfortable enough to open up to her.
So, I took Ms. K’s advice and we went to each school and the procedure was easy-peasy. Collect form on a particular date and drop off form on another date. at one of the schools we went to, we saw a line stretching down the street, but we later discovered this was due to the parents’ own anxiety and not a school policy. We have already dropped off one form and this week we will drop off the other three. I believe that L will get into a school and he will thrive there. I do not put stock into a process that will make us flustered to the point of wanting to sell our souls for a space for L in the ‘top school’. Like me, he will bloom where he is planted because his father and I believe wholeheartedly in parental involvement. There is so much a teacher can be expected to do. There is a lot to be said about internal motivation, as well as parental involvement. DON’T DISCOUNT EITHER!!
If you believe the top school is going to magically make your child a genius, then go right ahead and get on bended knee in front of as many administrators as you can and exercise that tongue; or stuff that envelope with as many blue notes as you are willing to part with…I, We, will be just fine. My L will be just fine.