Friday, April 23, 2010

Trying it, and

I'm not sure I like it.

Yesterday and today, Musical Daddy and I both went to work, him to his normal long-term sub job, and me to teach music at the middle school down the street. So close that I walked and even came home for lunch.

The problem with both of us working is very simple--neither of us is home to take care of the children. Not that anything went horribly wrong, mind you, but yesterday and today the boys were kinda passed back and forth over the course of the day and it's sometimes hard to keep track. Grandma was mostly in charge, but she had help. While I don't have anything but nice things to say about my mother or the lovely people that help us around the house, it gets confusing when the children are being cared for by multiple people and little things get lost. Point being, we LIKE it when one of us is with the children more often.

Grandma did a wonderful thing for The Boy and took him to the Shabbat program at the JCC. It was definitely difficult for her, since she worked before and had a lunch date with cousins after.

The talk is also about starting The Boy in preschool in the fall. I don't know if I want to do it. I don't know how important it is, and I don't know if he's ready. Sure, he needs to learn how to socialize eventually, but I'm just not in such a rush to put him in school of any sort...let him just do his own learning for awhile, considering how much he likes it. Also, if both Musical Daddy and I are working, the money goes toward child care for both boys. If only one of us is working, it is probably not financially possible for us to spend the money on preschool. We may be better off sticking with activities at the JCC and things like that, now that we know that we'll be able to get out of the house.

I guess I'm down on school right now. Sad, considering that I'm a teacher. Yesterday and today, I subbed for a music teacher who left music material for the kids but nothing that involved singing or performing and barely involved listening. The students read little magazine articles and answered questions, and the majority of the kids looked for the wording of the question directly from the text so as not to actually have to spend the time doing the reading. Not a single question asked involved any sort of actual critical thinking or creative thinking...just low-level repetition (Bloom's fans: knowledge level only!). Granted, this is middle school, and middle school is terrible, but elementary school isn't much better.

I just don't want to ruin his enthusiasm by sending him to school just yet. I dread the first day that one of my sons (probably both) comes home sad because a teacher shamed him for failing to conform. I understand that schools need to be run a certain way for safety purposes and that, unfortunately, there are a lot of kids who require more direction. I know a great number of teachers who are wonderful, who are compassionate and caring and also encourage kids to enjoy learning, not just for the sake of doing their work but because the subject matter is interesting. I have also seen a lot of teachers whose bluster and silver steam seem to lack substance, and the bluster is all that they have.

So I don't know...it is possible that Musical Daddy and I will both find wonderful jobs in the fall that we just can't pass up, in which case we find a stable care situation where the kids are following a predictable weekly schedule. It would probably be our ideal for one of us to find a full-time job and for the other to do some other side work.

I used to be so passionate about the work that I did, but to tell the truth, I don't think that I'll ever get that back, so I'm not really itching to get back in the classroom.

2 comments:

The Reluctant Crunchy Mama said...

Just lost my longest comment ever! Here is my second attempt!

Growing up, it was often the case that subs were not teachers and that they did nothing to engage the students. I wonder how common that is and if that might be why the music teacher did not leave an engaging lesson plan for you.

The preschool decision feels big and dunting. Is he ready? Are you? What school? Cost? The Boy's reactions at social settings might help you decide if he is ready or not. I've been learning that they can really surprise you, though! When we took my daughter in for her first visit, I assumed she would not leave my side. Wrong! She was with the teacher, away from me, engaged, and even interacted with one child in the classroom. She looked at us from a distance a few times.

One of my main questions was what procedure is in place to facilitate the transition for little ones like yours and mine, kids that have been with mom/dad their entire lives thus far? Most schools told me that I could stay for the first 15 minutes if I felt it was necessary. The Montessori school we ended up choosing told me that one of us would stay in the classroom the entire day the first three days, longer if necessary, until my daughter felt comfortable and she has developed a sense of trust with the teachers. They spoke my language; it was a huge sense of relief.

You know your son best so you and Musical Daddy will know what is right for you, regardless of what other people tell you to do.

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