I am not sure if I have mentioned here before how much Lily dislikes school but she really does. Yes, she is in the gifted program and yes she is a straight A student but she absolutely hates school. This dilemma has been ongoing for a couple of years. She finds it boring and unnecessary, redundant and a waste of time. She finds some of her teachers dull and others mean. She has friends but not one special friend, she is more the friend of all kids. She is a popular kid but not one to kiss butt so she will never be , "a popular kid" if you know what I mean. Everyone, and I mean, everyone, knows who she is because of her personality.
Recently she has been letting me know more frequently how much she dislikes school and we have been counting down the months until she heads to her new school. This morning when I told her it won't be much longer she looked at me and said, I don't want to go there it won't be any different, it is still Florida they still teach for the FCAT, there still won't be a break, I still won't be allowed to be me, it will be the same. And with that the tears started.
Once she was in school I emailed her teacher and 2 seconds after I hit send the school called to say Lily had a stomach ache and needed to be picked up. I knew instantly this was utter B.S. and I was pissed. I jumped in the car and headed to school. Sumi met me at the clinic and was all sympathy and I looked at her and said, she doesn't have a stomach ache. Sumi left us alone to talk and Lily looked extremely sheepish.
WTH? She is 10 and she is playing hooky? Oh no I don't think so. I told her that I strongly suggested that she get herself back to class immediately and that we would talk about it all later. She then said, Dad said I could go home! Again, WTH?
I bought her home. We sat together on the couch and talked, really talked for over an hour. I gave her paper and a pen and she wrote words that came into her head to describe her feelings about school. Then we brainstormed possible solutions and then to her utter horror I rang her teacher and the guidance counsellor. Both were in shock. Both said the same ting....but Lily is a straight A student and she is soooooo smart.
Uh, no shit sherlock, I know that. It's not the work, it's the system. They were both very sad and immediately jumped into action. She loves her homeroom teacher. 3 conversations later and things are happening. Questions as to why I didn't do something sooner? Umm, well I didn't want to make Lily even more uncomfortable in school, retaliation is ugly.
The bottom line is this, certain things will never change. She has to go to school. She probably won't be challeneged enough because she is smart and she is already in gifted. Apparently it often happens that the smart kids get overlooked in classes because the teachers have to ask the other kids questions and can't just ask the smart ones but then they sort of forget about the smart ones. However there is now a plan of action in place and I am going to be spending a lot of time in the school in the next few weeks.
And as for playing hooky? Well lets just say I told her that if she ever, EVER, tries it again, I will be accompanying her to class and sitting next to her in the very next desk....for the whole freaking school year. The teacher and counsellor said not to punish her for it this time...I'm not so sure.
Lily feels so much better having got all of this off of her chest. She also now realises that she isn't the ony that feels this way amongst her peers but nothing can get resolved if she won't let me in. I went over her head today, not the first time of course, and she sees that I do know what is best. She knows Rome wasn't built in a day and things take time. Everyone is so shocked to hear that LILY feels like this. Maybe we opened some eyes on more than one level.
Just as in every profession there are good teachers and mediocre teachers and for the most part her school is filled with fantastic teachers but I think our county sends some the old elective teachers there before they reach retirement similar to how farmers send horses out to pasture.