Thursday, August 23, 2007

Back to School Frustration


LO started school on Monday. The entire week leading up to it, she was super-excited. She has always loved school and has always done very well at school. Much to our surprise that changed rather quickly.

To put it nicely, it has not been an easy week. Her school has decided to institute something called "departmentalization". That basically means that each teacher will be teaching the subject that they are strongest in. In theory it sounds like a great idea. After all, why not have someone who loves math teach math and someone who loves science tech science, right?

The problem with this theory is that they didn't think about the kids. They have the kids going from one classroom to another classroom all day. That sounds great if you're a high school kid or even a middle school kid...but ELEMENTARY school kids? These kids are used to having a desk with their names on them where they can keep all their stuff. But instead the kids (most of who probably don't weigh must more than 50 pounds) are walking down the hall in the 90+ degree heat several times a day schlepping bags of books and supplies that probably weigh about 20 pounds each. (Oh, did I mention that they are not allowed to use book bags with wheels?) No teacher walks with them when they go from classroom to classroom. It is just assumed that they will make it to their next destination. Some kids don't have books because they didn't order enough. The kids that got books have homework. The kids that didn't get books don't have homework. Nice, huh?

I could go on and on. The frustration level is at maximum capacity for not only me but LO as well. We had a parent meeting with the principal and the vice-principal yesterday. I don't think there was one parent who didn't have several complaints. I guess it's very apparent to me now why the Florida public schools are some of the worst in the country. And I guess taking out a loan for Hebrew Day School is looking better and better every minute.

6 comments:

Barbi said...

They do the same thing here for years now. I hated it then. I still hate it. They kids are like ping pong balls. and little really gets done. the teachers have homework wars. It used to be there was a chair who oversaw the homework burden. Then that postion was taken out of the budget. Now the teachers vie for who is more important by who gives the most homework. private school is my answer

Marli said...

They did it when I was in elementary school, too (starting with the fourth grade). I rather liked it because it made me feel like one of the big kids!

I think in the long run it's definitely a good thing. It teaches the kids how to be responsible for their own belongings -- keep track of stuff so that they aren't leaving them behind all the time -- and how to be organized and responsible for their homework, writing it down, etc. That took me years to learn.

You can try sitting down with LO and coming up with a fun way for her to keep track of her homework -- maybe visit a scrapbooking/craft store and making a cute wall calendar for her together; stuff like that. It'll be fun!

Jack's Shack said...

That does sound frustrating. But bear in mind there is a stiff price (no pun intended) for day school. It has its moments in which I wonder what the hell I was thinking.

torontopearl said...

Believe me, private Jewish day school, has its problems too...ASIDE from paying astronomical amounts for tuition.

LO's school setup sounds simply NUTS. The constant moving around doesn't sound so conducive to learning.

Hope that things will iron themselves out somehow...

orieyenta said...

Well apparently the 40 or so angry parents kvetching meant something because we just received an e-mail stating that the whole class changing idea has been abandoned.

Sweettooth120 said...

They just started that at my husband's school. Too soon to tell if he will like it or not. He's teaching fifth grade science.