So we’re still settling into preschool life and have had to begin the work of kindergarten shopping. Oh wait. Make that shopping for the school where Abby will begin her career as a proper student and spend the next 6 years of her life and will determine which middle school she attends which influences which high school she goes to which supposedly influences what colleges she gets into, so basically affects the rest of her life. No pressure or anything.
I may be exaggerating a tad, but this is what it feels like. They did just change the assignment process so whatever elementary school we choose determines her middle school. We have a lot of schools in the city. It’s a lot to think about. Big school or small school. Traditional curriculum or progressive? Pay attention to standardized test score rankings or decide that they are stupid and arbitrary? What grade should homework begin? Should I choose a K-5 that I love which goes with a middle school that I’m unsure of or a K-8 that has a good middle school but I’m not as excited about the elementary portion? My head hurts.
In the summer of 1980 in the suburbs, my mother walked me up the street to the school on the corner. She explained that I was five and that we lived a block away. “You’ll be in Mrs. Patterson’s class” they told me. The end.
I have toured four schools this week. I take the bus to work and try to get something done before I have to get back on the bus (sometimes two busses) to get to the school. Then I take the bus back to work and try to get some work done but really just stare off into space trying to imagine Abby at the school I just visited and wondering what kind of kindergartener she will be, what kind of 1st grader she will be, and so on. Then I jump back on the bus and pick Abby up from school and go home. I love the bus. I don’t drive and it takes me where I need to go and I can read while I’m getting there. The bus is my BFF. But 3-4 hours a day on the bus is too much of a good thing. I’m tired and I have three more schools to tour next week and many more to schedule.
I really do like that I get some say in where she will attend school and I enjoy seeing the diversity of school this city has to offer. To be honest, I fell madly in love with the first school I saw. Now it is just a matter of ranking the runners up for the application process and convincing myself that I have chosen well. And did I mention that I’m tired? Oh, and there is no room in my brain for anything else. I am a kindergarten hunting machine right now but don’t ask me my name. I signed in to a school today with Abby’s name. Then I crossed it out and wrote my own. Then I signed it with my maiden name. No brain space.
This particular school, an artsy charter school, started the day with a school assembly wherein the music teacher, a grey haired, tattooed rocker dude in a tank top, played guitar and sang Lean on Me. It was pretty awesome.
Oh happy Friday!