Lessons I learned from putting my girls in private school for two weeks
So I hadn't said anything on my blog because, I hadn’t processed the whole thing emotionally myself. And I try not to blog about stuff I’m still pretty angry or upset about. I figure that’s generally not a great idea. But we actually pulled the girls out of their private school. Like after two weeks.
Long story short, it sucked. I felt like the whip lash of starting the girls at a new school and quitting that school nine school days later was probably weird for them. Not to mention, the up-front costs of starting private school are pretty big. I mean, the whole thing was pretty disappointing, all around. And then there was the whole incident that led to us leaving, which I don’t even want to get into.
But I learned some really important lessons.
First, listen to your gut. Even though the school was awesome on paper (IB school, bilingual, Reggio Emilia daycare, certified by all the top daycare certifying groups), their website and handouts were full of grammar errors, statements that were logical disaster, and educational theories that were long discredited. But I was like, look away. Just look away. I mean. Whatever. I’m always going to be hyper critical of those things, it is my background. I felt like I needed to chill out. I thought I was just being the princess and the pea and nothing would ever make me happy. And then when I emailed to ask if the reading and writing instruction in the school (K-5) was in just English or in English and Spanish (because a common complaint about kids who graduate from elementary bilingual programs is that they are fluent speakers but not readers or writers), the response I got was that half the day was spent in English and half in Spanish. What, huh? I honestly couldn’t tell if they didn’t understand my question or what. Seriously. So. Many. Red. Flags.
Second, follow up. When stuff doesn’t feel right, when you don’t get the answer you need, when stories aren’t matching up, don’t blow it off. Call people out. You’re spending too much money to get some crap answer. And even if you aren’t spending money? This is your kid’s education! I mean, you deserve to know what is going on. I just felt like, I should lay off. this lady is doing the best she can, it is hard when English isn’t your first language. And that is true. I don’t have to be rude. But somebody needs to answer my damn questions. If she can’t do it, she can find someone who can.
Third, proceed with caution. I lucked out because the girls were still in the preschool part of the private school. And preschool is governed by state law. When the school started doing sketchy stuff, I could quote Texas Administrative Code and loop in the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (who oversees daycare programs in Texas). If I had waited until Hannah was in Kinder instead of the PreK program? I would have been out of luck. The state doesn’t oversee private schools like they do public schools (and even then, the actual oversight is mostly relegated to the board of trustees, aka school board. BUT there are laws they are obligated to follow). Basically private schools totally oversee themselves. Which means you can accuse them of wrong doing and they will be like, oh really? you think so? let me think about it and check. Yeah, nope. I think we’re fine, actually. But thanks, anyway. I don’t know about you, but that makes me all sorts of nervous.
Anyway. Bygones. Lessons learned. Now we have lots of really great Lands End navy blue dresses. Whatevs.