Action and reaction, ebb and flow, trial and error, change – this is the rhythm of living. Out of our over-confidence, fear; out of our fear, clearer vision, fresh hope. And out of hope, progress. ~ Bruce Barton
I met a few mommies recently who told me they changed their kids’ school. Some changed at pre-school level, some at secondary. I argued. Why? Not all schools are perfect, eh! Every school has its strengths and drawbacks. And then aren’t we supposed to teach our kids how to ‘adapt’? Adapt to teaching methods, growing pressure, different cultures, and so on? I shrugged until it happened to me.
I loved my son’s school. The quirky sunshine uniform, love for music, and abundance of general knowledge thrown at kids at such a young age. One day my son said he didn’t want to go to school. And I thought it was one of those days. I let it pass, till it happened day after day. He would cry. He would be quiet, which is very unlike him. I still thought may be an odd incident in class triggered this. But the saga continued and I set up an appointment with his teacher. She insisted nothing happened in class. Only issue was in the last couple of months my son had been very enthusiastic – he would excitedly want to talk about subjects he was really well versed with. And that disturbed other children. So they would make him sit on a separate bench and ask him not to talk! And if I haven’t mentioned earlier, he was and still is the only child in class who can talk, and how!
What a revelation! I could not believe what she said. My heart skipped a beat. How can you stop children from expressing themselves? How can you call this an ‘only issue’? Discipline is one thing but he’s just two! I asked the teacher, ‘what’s wrong with this’? It’s not that he is being aggressive with other kids or causing any harm to them. The only effect I saw was that other kids would follow suite. And that’s great! But the teacher continued to think otherwise. I decided at that very instant my son needed a change. This kind of reprimand had adversely affected his psyche and I couldn’t dent it further. It didn’t take me too long to seek admission at another school, which I believe is like a place where teachers are extremely passionate about children and take care of them like mothers do. They encourage kids to talk. If my son wants to sing and dance, they turn it into a party and encourage every child in class to participate. If he doesn’t eat, they feed him with so much love! I could write a whole new story on that. But what is more important is that my child is happy when he goes to school and is happier when he is back home.
If you know that there’s something about your school, teachers, or other students that bothers your child, it’s important to not assume things and look into the matter. Perhaps, a change would do you and your child good. We must teach them to adapt. But if you strongly believe that there is no compromise on certain aspects of your child’s growth, you need to talk to the teachers, find a workaround together. In the end if nothing good comes out of it, considering a change is not a bad option.
Having said that, it’s not that easy as the child grows and gets more and more attached to new friends and teachers. And we can never find a perfect school for our children. But at least we can try to ensure that it’s the ‘right’ school.
My son’s old school was good, but just not good for him. I’m glad I changed.
Vaishali Shroff is a freelance writer, editor, columnist, and runs a reading club (www.eikthirani.wordpress.com) for children in Pune. Her work has been published in over 10 titles of the Chicken Soup India Series, her children’s stories can be read at smories (http://www.smories.com/author/vaishali-shroff/) and she can’t wait for her first children’s book to be out.