Who's afraid of middle school and middle school kids?
As far as the kids, unless they're ours, they probably make many of us nervous. First of all, they're larger than we are. They have more hair. Or less hair that stands up in scary, pointy, sharp, colorful spikes. Girl's make-up is so thick, it's difficult to find their eyes, which makes them look even spookier. They mumble when they speak, and when you ask them to repeat what they said, they glare at you. Worst of all, they hang out in packs, so you're almost always outnumbered. Scary.
Then there is middle school itself. I remember Jr. High. Loud bells. Angry teachers who seemed to hate their lives. Rules. Threats if you didn't follow the rules. And today they've added psycho security guards that yell at you if you don't follow the rules or aren't afraid of the threats.
So, this summer when I made the decision to place my children in one of these hell-holes, I actually got sick to my stomach. I decided to do this, not becuase I stopped loving my kids, but because they no longer wanted to be home schooled and the charter they were going to had substandard education and it became unacceptable to return them to that school even if they were comfortable there.
This week was their first week at a public middle school, and Monday I toured the school and met the teachers. I told myself that if this middle school was anything like my Jr. High, I wouldn't follow through on my plan. I was pleasantly surprised to meet super nice teachers. They all had great educational plans for the school year. Something else that I loved was that I wasn't the only parent who showed up to the orientation day. Hundreds of parents and students were there. I can't ever remember seeing a parent at my Jr. High. This was a good sign. Good involved parents = good students. And the kids looked pretty cute : )
So, I won't say that I'm not still nervous and worried about my babies, but I end the week feeling happy about my decision. Like all parents, I want my children to learn, be happy, make some friends, and be safe. If this school can offer me this, I'll revise my ideas about middle school.
What difficult parent decisions have you had to make?