Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Momma bear, control your growl.

On the last day of school, Lisa was told that she would be entering Mrs. K.’s class next year; she’ll be one of only 5 kids in grade 3 in a grade 2/3 split class (there will be 12 gade 2’s).

When I first found out, I was fuming. I mean, walking around talking to myself as if I were talking to the idiot who made the decision. My main concern, of course, is that she won’t be challenged enough. She’s a bright girl who does extremely well in school and I’m afraid that being in a class with younger kids will somehow kill her motivation to perform at her academic peak.

Homer was trying to calm me down, but I was having none of it. My plan was to call the school the next day (the teachers had to work) and get her changed into the straight grade 3 class, which only has 17 kids in it.

I should mention that Lisa is thrilled with her placement. The two girls who are joining her in the split class are good friends and also good students. She’s happy that she won’t be the youngest in the class this year. She is friends with many of the kids in the grade 2 side already.

On the way to soccer that night in the car, Homer and I were still talking about the subject. He asked if I knew Mrs. K. I said I knew the name, but not which one she was. I turned around and asked Lisa what Mrs. K looks like and she said, in a deadpan voice, “Why? What are you going to do to her?” Hee. I stopped my bitching at that point.

Anyway, I couldn’t get through to the school the next day, but I did call my mom (a retired primary teacher) and dad (a retired elementary school principal). And guess what? They think it will be GREAT for her! Their reasoning:

- Lisa is really quiet in school, so being in a small group like that will do wonders for her confidence in speaking up and participating

- With such a small number in her side of the split, the teacher will be able to offer more enrichment opportunities and challenges on an individual level than with a larger group

And so, I’ve dropped it. I’m going to wait until September, talk to the teacher then and figure out the plan. I’m sure it will be fine.

13 comments:

Welcome to our World said...

Another thought is that being a class with younger kids may give her a sense of importance in a nice way. When I say that I mean she can take kids under her wing and "teach" them in some ways - again sort of confidence building thing. She might love that environment for just that reason! You know your kiddo best of course. I hope it works out!

Chantal said...

Split classes always made me nervous. Maybe I need to relax about it too. So far D hasn't been in one, but they haven't told us the class allocations for next year yet. There was this incident with a parent last year, who got enraged when her kid was unexpectedly shuffled to a different class, now they refuse to tell us which teachers our kids have till the week before classes start. **sigh**

Nowheymama said...

If it makes you feel any better, one of my good friends taught a split class and was so concerned about this very issue. She made separate lesson plans for everything. It nearly killed her, but the kids and their parents had no complaints.

Fiona Picklebottom said...

What is the rationale behind the split class? Are they extremely bright 2nd graders, who would do better with more of a 3rd grade curriculum? I think I would talk to the administration and get a better understanding of exactly what the differences are in the teaching style and the curricula of the split class and the regular class. It will probably make you feel better about having her in that class.

artemisia said...

Oy. I know you have Lisa's best interests at heart and you will make a good decision for her. Time over the summer will also give you some perspective. Lisa is lucky to have such an involved, passionate parent.

LoriD said...

FP - no official rationale, except that the provincial goal for class size in primary grades is less than 20 kids. There are a total of 29 grade 2's and 22 grade 3's in the school, so making a split grade gives each class 17 students. "Streaming" (putting putting all the smart/slow kids together) is prohibited.

Beck said...

Another plus for shyer kids is that being the older kid in a class is a real confidence booster.
My kids are never going to not be in a split class, class sizes being what they are here. There are only 15 kids in The Girl's whole grade, for example.

Tessie said...

This is so interesting; my gut would have told me to react the same way you did, but these are all great points in favor of staying in her current class!

I know she'll do great.

amreen said...

i totally understand your anxiety about this - i would for sure react exactly the same way. i was talking about this with my neighbour who's a teacher and she reassures me that it's good for kids to be with mixed ages. i'm interested to hear how it goes for your girl...

desperate housewife said...

I would have initially been upset, too, I think, but reading through your parents' reasons, now I think this is a good opportunity for her. And I have heard from lots of teachers that being the youngest person in your class can be kind of a disadvantage, esp. if you're a little shy to begin with. So maybe this will be her best year yet!

Marie Green said...

I'm really not liking the idea of giving up SO MUCH CONTROL when my kids start school next year. It's so hard to just "go with it"!

SLynnRo said...

This would make me nervous too. I mean, I don't know anything about this, but I can totally see where you are coming from.

Misty said...

I have never even heard of such a thing, but of course, I live in the educational toilet bowl of the US. Literally. We fight Mississippi for last place every year. (Gods, get me out of here.)

Anyway, so I would have been upset, too. Because it would seem they are almost holding her back for no good reason! But I guess it could work out just fine. I have just never heard of such thing...