WordPress seems to be acting up so be patient with this post.
I am not a happy Momma. I decided it would be best to take some time before sitting down and writing this post. The time seems to have helped my temper a little however it is likely to flare up while writing.
My kids happiness is my #1 job. I am not here to be their best friend and give them whatever they want. I am here to ensure they are happy and well cared for and make good decisions and many other things.
Isabelle is happy for the most part. She loves just about everything, except for school. She doesn’t hate school, yet. I do worry that hating school isn’t far off in her future. We decided it was time to make a change.
The husband and I have been talking for some time about changing Isabelle to the English track of the school. Thankfully our school is a dual track so if we needed to change anyone they would at least be at the same school. The time has finally come. Isabelle brought home her report card and there were quite a few good parts to it. However there was a lot of parts that weren’t so good.
Isabelle is struggling. We feel and Isabelle agrees, that French Immersion is just not for her. I was never set on sending the kids to French Immersion. Depending on where we bought our house and the schools in the area was a huge deciding factor on whether or not we put them in French Immersion. Also the husband felt that they should be in it and I couldn’t really come up with a good argument against it. Really, there is no harm in having a second language. I am TERRIBLE in French. I have most of the basics down but that’s about it. Isabelle has started bringing homework home. I have to use Google Translate to help us both figure out what is being asked. The screwy part is that even Google Translate can’t seem to translate some of the french being used!!
To make our part of the story short, we feel it’s best for Isabelle to move to the English track and if she feels the need to get back into French when she’s older we will help her as best we can to make that happen. Here’s where I get frustrated and disappointed.
Last year we dropped a hint that we were thinking of moving kids from FI to ENG. That afternoon I had all the kids teachers raving about how well they were doing in class. All of a sudden Aidan went from refusing to speak any french to apparently speaking full sentences in french. I feel sad that the teachers are being told to keep parents sold on the idea that their child is doing well in something when they are clearly having a hard time.
After being told to just give it one more year, that kids really start to “click” with french in Grade 2, or that we will see such a difference in Grade 1, we kept them in Immersion. Here we are nearly half way through Grade 2 and Isabelle is angry, frustrated, embarrassed, hard on her self because she doesn’t understand what the teacher is expecting of her. She brings homework home and can’t tell me how she managed to do the work in class. She can’t read, her spelling is terrible among other things. I feel like trying to have a second language is holding her back from even learning English. It’s hard as a parent too because you feel like you are failing them. We try to work with her after school and we read together often and at bedtime. I still feel like despite all this she’s suffering because we wanted her to learn french at the same time. It’s just not working.
Time for a change. I knew it was not going to be as simple as calling up, meeting with the principal and boom she’s in an English class the next day. However, I did NOT expect it would take nearly 3 days, phone calls from both myself and my husband. A parent teacher interview with a very nervous teacher who was pressuring us to keep her in the class. The principal also applied a heavy dose of pressure and kept stalling us to try to get us to change our minds.
I fully understand that they get funding for every FI student. However at some point my children need to stop being dollar signs!! She is a person. She is frustrated. Keeping her in French is not the solution. I felt so bad for the teacher. She was clearly nervous to talk to us. She was basically fed all the same shit the principal said to us and it was clear that they told her to try her damn best to keep us from switching Isabelle. The poor teacher seemed so defeated when we just stood up and said our decision was final. Isabelle will be changing. We tried our best to explain to her that she is a great teacher, Isabelle always talks about her and says wonderful things about her. It is very likely the twins could have her next year and we are okay with that.
We were told that Isabelle is going to feel like she isn’t smart enough to be in French Immersion if we move her to English.
Also that the French Immersion kids score much higher on the provincial testing.
She will never see the friends she has made in FI if we move her to English.
She will have a hard time being welcome by the English students because she was in FI.
They did however offer her an high school tutor for after school, what they fail to mention is that there is a waiting list for this.
They wanted us to wait until after March Break to move her and they would make sure that she had one on one time with a teacher to help her.
The teacher told us that Isabelle is able to read in French with no problems. She is able to understand the directions the teacher gives the class and is able to respond. This is not what we see and hear from her at home. She tells us that she constantly feels embarrassed when the teacher calls on her to answer because she does not know what the teacher said and is afraid to answer for fear of saying something wrong.
Having my child come home from school upset and unable to sit down and calmly work on homework is a sign there is something wrong. This is not the sign of a child who is understanding what is expected of her.
If it weren’t for the fact that it is a dual track and that the twins are both doing quite well in French, after this experience we would likely be removing all three from the school and sending them to another school in the area.
This is a really good school. I will still tell friends and others to send their children to this school. However, I will strongly caution them about which track they choose. French Immersion is a great idea if you child can succeed in it. Just be warned should you decided to move them. Your child goes from being a person to a monetary figure. This is not what education is supposed to be. Money should not come before a students ability to succeed at learning.