Friday, October 1, 2010

It all becomes clear when you talk about it


Today was the first meeting at CD's new school.  Was I nervous?  A little.  Was I prepared?  Well I am feeling more motivated at the moment so I arrived with my list of points, but minus a pen.  I hadn't been back to the school since I enrolled him last term so it was good to see it again.

It's not like any other school I've come across in Dublin: there's a uniform yes, but the teachers do not mind if your child won't wear the jumper (too scratchy) or the tracksuit (too soft).  There's big classes and small classes (outreach units) and the children migrate between the two: so CD is now joining the big class for Maths and other boys are visiting his class to take part in science projects.

There's no Miss Brodie at this school: these teachers have names, and we all get to use them.  I didn't even know the surname of CD's teacher until this week!  I also have contact details for her and the principal.  And when I email them, they reply.  It's like an informal version of the home-school communication diary as promoted by Jazzygal.  But a face-to-face meeting with his teacher in September, is better than anything I have experienced before.

I'd forgotten how cheery and enthusiastic all the staff are at this school.  We met in the staff room, and people popped in and out, but somehow it was never a problem.  Our conversation meandered this way and that: we talked about CD's difficulties and how he is getting on in class. As a lone parent I can get bogged down by the day-to-day stuff -  and I get used to his behaviour!  So it's good to get a perspective from someone else who spends a lot of time with him.

He's doing pretty well, it seems: he listens to everything and is now earnestly advising the other boys on how to manage their behaviour - apparently this does not always go down too well...

My only niggle is on the academic side, but I understand that the boys need to learn to learn first.  There needs to be calm and concentration in the class, most of the time anyway.

I've also managed to persuade him to attend one extra-curricular activity: Football? No.  Hip hop? No.  My son is going to attend a course on 'Myths and Legends'.  Where did I get him from again?




19 comments:

  1. Just to say that I love this picture! It was only the only one I could find about 'talking' that I liked, just in case you're confused...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Another great post. You and my sister HAVE TO meet!

    ReplyDelete
  3. That's a good school. Marie's new school seems to be much better than her old one. She gets more homework but it's also more varied and the principal and teacher are very nice (although quite strict!). It's great that he is settling in well.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks, I need that. The photo explanation. ;)

    You do such a good job of holding the tension between past disappointments at school and real differences at this school.

    A "special" school (or classroom) is an important option on the continuum of educational placements in special education.

    Barbara

    ReplyDelete
  5. The course on myths and legends should be wonderful! :-)


    On a different note, I don't know blogger is doing this, but everyone I follow seems to be getting linkbacks to my blog. :) I'm not doing it, don't know why it's doing it, can't do anything about it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love that he wants to do myths and legends. I would have so loved to have studied that in school. Sounds like he has found his place.xxx

    ReplyDelete
  7. great post.....thank you

    ReplyDelete
  8. @Frances - I'd love to meet your sister :)

    @Foodie - glad the new school is working out for Marie as well

    @Therextras - not sure the tension bit was planned!

    @KWombles - hope so! And I don't mind the linkbacks

    @Helen - Seriously I would not have known that xxx

    @Anon - thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  9. So glad things are working out..that is always a good and wonderful relief kind of feeling..It does sound as though he is doing wonderfully...:)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Just mean that you tell a story well.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sounds like a good school. And it would be good to hear all about the 'Myths and Legends' - sounds great fun.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Myths and Legends sounds great! Had to laugh at CD giving advice to others on how to manage their behaviour but hey, that means he is listening to what he is being advised to do:) Sounds like it was a very successful move.

    ReplyDelete
  13. It's so good to hear that the change has been positive. Like Jen, I find the "info giving" is hilarious.
    I'd love to do myths and legends myself!
    XXX

    ReplyDelete
  14. "Myths and legends" is cool. Many a crossword was finished due to "myths and legends" having been my favourite read when I was 10. I hope his new school appreciates him as much as you appreciate them - it seems this far that they do.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Pleased you explained about the photo as I sat for a few moments longer than I actually have just pondering that one! That makes a good blog post in itself - is the art of real face to face conversation dead?! Sounds like little one is certainly settling down into a lovely new school, and it is hilarious that he is offering advice to others now! Shows how comfortable he is! :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. @kathleen - I hope so!

    @Therextras - thanks for the explanation and complement!

    @Madame - M&L starts tomorrow, I'm can't wait to find out what it's about too

    @Jen - I'd like to have been a fly on the wall as well

    @Jean - I think I'll have to start looking for an adult course: perhaps I should suggest it to them? Angel's Club has just started a course in adult gymnastics after all xx

    @Truf - yes I used to read them too

    @diney - I think the art of conversation is changing, as you say another blog post perhaps..

    ReplyDelete
  17. Sounds like a fantastic school! Can only hope that Myths and Legends delivered the goods.

    Thanks for Rewinding at the Fibro!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Wonderful post - thankyou for sharing :-)

    ReplyDelete
  19. @LIAPF - The school is looking good so far and yes he loved Myths and Legends!

    @Romina Garcia - thank you for dropping by and commenting, I always appreciate it :)

    ReplyDelete