Monday, February 4, 2008

High School!!! OMG

I had, yet another, meeting with Eldest's teacher, poor man. Though he said I could meet with him anytime and reassured me that he wanted me to come to him with any questions or concerns. (Better than nattering with the parents outside.)

This meeting was about next year at the new school. The system here is that after grade six they move into high school.

Parents panic.

I cannot say I am panicking, Eldest is very intelligent, if I do say so myself, and has a strong sense of herself, is confident and very capable. I cannot say it will be smooth or easy, but I am not ultimately too worried. However, I had some concerns when the teacher told me about the curriculum design. All the students study Math, Catalan, Castillian, and English all year. These are mandatory. The students have social science, physical science, art, music and gym; each for two out of the three trimesters. Not great, but manageable because they have two optional credits so they can do more of a subject they like.

This is all OK...

But.... he said that they have to use their optional credits for subjects that are difficult for them. For Eldest, that would be Catalan and Castillian.

Her schedule for next year could consist of two Catalan, two Castillian, Math and English, the part time extras and no optionals.

Not a happy set-up. A little narrow, no? Training for a polyglot with nothing inside to say.


I wanted to see if we could drop English, have her sit an exam, get a grade and use that time for extra studies in Catalan and Castillian and have both of her optionals for a wider education. I would rather she wasn't doomed to a horrifically boring and narrow education from the start.

The teacher - who is fantastic - said he doubts there will be any problem at all with that plan...even if the school chooses not to mention it to the inspector...

He also said, interestingly, that the principal and the head of studies are both young, and therefore open, creative and reasonable. He actually said that the older teachers are a problem. They came in as Francoists, and it is still reflected in their attitudes and behaviour; seems once a tyrant, always a tyrant. There are still some of those teachers there, whom Eldest will simply have to put up with, but the department heads are more open.

The challenges never end.

My other goal for the meeting was also achieved, he said that he arrange for her to get more help with Castillian this year.

N.B. This just failed Catalan speaker conducted the entire meeting, relatively easily, in Catalan.

So there.


Nomad said...



kate said...

Hmm, it sounds like your idea is a good one, and also that it was well-received. And great job on the Catalan-- a real-life, important situation like that is so much more meaningful than a grade on an exam!

Beth said...

I love your line - "Training for a polyglot with nothing inside to say."

And you have proved (yet again!) that you are not a "failed Catalan speaker."

elPadawan said...

that's pretty challenging, and congrats on the Catalan meeting ;)

Anonymous said...

Three cheers for you!
I'm looking forward to hearing about the nitty gritty of how this plan will be put into action!
Particularly nice move getting the teacher on your side of the wall.GM

Lynda said...

Oh you clever chick! Sounds like you have the language gig totally in hand. After a mere 3 lessons I am annoying the hell out of the baawaa and the driver by subjecting them to my (I am sure) nails down the blackboard pronunciation in Arabic. Your kids are lucky to have someone so wonderful to go into battle for them when required.

oreneta said...

Nomad, thankyouverymuch....

Kate, says a woman frantically stuggling through school and exams, hope you do better than I did.

Beth, it is especialy bitter because it is so true!

Elpadawan, we all have our with the bank.

GM, I am also looking forward to learning how the nitty gritty of this plan will be put into action, but the wheels have started to churn anyway.

Lynda, that is our role as ex-pats, to provide entertainment for others, and to be the butt of an infinate number of knew that didn't you?

Anonymous said...

Must be fun trying to get through school in a country other than your home country. I'm glad they can do something about her not taking English. She could probably teach the course?

Funny about the Francoists. Sounds pretty familiar eh?

Anonymous said...

Wow, that is a different system. I hope it works out with not taking English. It is nice to get a well rounded education.