I’ve attended an interview with my 14 y.o. daughter today. The interview was at her Secondary college and it was about subject choices for Year 10.
I did not know what to expect. Being Russian, rather Soviet, kid and having finished school over there, I’ve expected something important, stiff-backed and proper. My daughter was a bit worried as well. We were apprehensive and anxious. It was an important interview and an important choice to make.
Now, after I came home, had my dinner, finished my work, I am sitting in front of the computer clicking away at the keyboard, thinking what…
It, the interview I mean, was nothing like I expected. Moreover, this interview, once again, brought me to thinking and comparing two schooling types: mine and my daughter’s, two attitudes, two worlds. And to tell you the truth, I do not think this 21st century public secondary schooling of my daughter’s compares positively with mine soviet socialist school of the 80s.
Here are few reasons why:
- My school Principal knew all her students by face and name. She knew who was who and what and where and why at any given time or day. My Principal remembered all her former students for all the years to come. I could talk to her, thanks to the internet, after so many years, and she would tell me all the news about my classmates. And our school population was over 1000 each year.
- My teachers always knew how I did at school in any subject in any term. It was a matter of professional pride for them to keep an eye, to keep ‘a finger on the pulse’. We could meet a teacher in town somewhere and she or he would run a whole speech to me and my parents about my progress or lack thereof…
- My teachers knew my strengths and weaknesses
- My teachers were annoyingly attentive and curious. They were my second family as the school was my second home
- Some of us, who stayed in the same school the whole 10 years, had the same classmates from Year 1 to Graduation. We formed life-long relationships. We knew each other so well. We grew up together. It was the rule. It was the point
Sometimes I feel really bad for my daughter. She is missing out on so much.
Sometimes I feel really bad for myself. I do not understand anything when it comes to my daughter’s school. I am lost. I am confused. And pending (tomorrow’s) Parents-Teachers interviews are like a big grey cloud is hanging over my head.
What do I ask? Do I ask at all? Am I to be sweet and nice ‘it’s ok woman’ or am I to be a tough over-protective mother from hell who wants to know absolutely everything? What am I to do…