Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The best schools

This is the inside of Allison's fourth grade classroom. The desks are probably circa-1960, all 33 of them. Heck, maybe one of them could be mine that somehow found it's way down here via divine flea market destiny. The kids are pretty packed in there, but somehow they manage. God bless their patient maestra.

Alllison is actually doing pretty well. Her Spanish is improving so she feels more confident. Her grades are good. She came home with an A in math this week, and it was the hard stuff--triple digit multiplication and fractions. She has plenty of friends, and a boy with a crush on her. Lunch continues to be a problem. There is no cafeteria, no hot lunches, no milk cart. I am burdened with the daily task of preparing something nutritious and interesting. I hate that.

The curriculum can't compare to what we'd get back home, but we're not there for that. For all that is lacking in resources and amenities there is so much on the side of good will. The children are so sweet and accepting, respectful and helpful. The don't have attitudes. I feel good about her being there.

Before we returned here I visited and pre-enrolled her in a private school in Kansas City where her cousins attend. The school has a Harry Potter aura to me as far as it's campus setting. It was founded at the turn of the 20th century and has the look of an ivy-league school that exudes prestige and good taste. I think I just like it for the architecture. My thinking was that we'd put her there this fall, you know, finally be serious parents and get her in a serious school. Yet, when I think about really settling down to it, I hesitate. As wonderful an education it will offer, there is much to be said about the one she's getting here at Colegio Calafia. Even with it's third world disadvantages, it is something uniquely special.

I hope she looks back on these days with fondness and gratitude. If nothing else, she will return to American schools with an appreciation, I hope, for all the abundance and high standards that money can buy. But then, even the poorest of U.S. schools has soap and paper towels in the bathrooms. Heck, any school in the U.S. will seem rich to her after this.


Wil said...

Kelli, I went to school in Guadalajara. I do believe your thinking is correct.

Keep her in Mexican schools as long as possible, until high school if practical. Plenty of time then, in an academically rigorous venue, to get the grades that the best colleges expect. Meanwhile, get her grounded in the basics in Collegia, learning language skills, mathematics, world history as well as the necessary social skills acquired when one is a minority. Supplement at home with English grammar, vocabulary, word useage and English literature via a reading list. She'll be a better person for it and that is the true responsibility of parenthood.

kelli said...

Thank you so much for your comment and advice. You "get it." We do believe we are doing right by our daughter to give her this unique opportunity. As far as supplementing her curriculum, we are doing that too and planning more of it.
We think she is a lucky little girl.