Ambition

When we moved here, we pretty much automatically chose the school around the corner for Tristan. Word of mouth had it that it was a pretty good school, and come on, it's literally just around the corner!
We've had some regrets since. Tristan is a smart kiddo and was doing some extra work at his old school with other smart kids. The school here doesn't have any extra programs and seems to think that being average is quite good enough thank you.
Take tonight for example. We were getting information about different school options after elementary school. (Middle school and high school here are seperated into different levels of education, depending on grades, study habits, intelligence and child personality). There was a ton of explanation about the average level of education, and very very little about the options for smart kids.
And that bothers me. Because I think Tristan should be ambitious, and I think we should be ambitious with him. I don't think it's ok for him to chose to go to an easy school where he won't have to do anything to get good grades. I want him to be challenged, to want to learn, to aim high. And that is seemingly not done here. Being average is quite good enough. Which means we'll have to get a bit stubborn and search a bit further to find the school that will encourage him and not endorse averageness.

So what am I grateful for? For my smart kid. Because I really do realize that that is a gift and not something to be taken for granted. And I'm grateful for a school system which creates room for kids with all kinds of capabilities, making it possible for practically any child to find the niche that he or she will fit into. Even if that niche then means you can settle into being average :-)

4 reacties:

canadianinclogs said...

Hi there, Breigh showed me your blog and funny enough I'm in the middle of 3 fights with 2 different schools for my 3 stepdaughters. The 3 of them attend the MKS type of schools in the city and not only do they NOT challange the children, but they basically just push them through to get them out of the way. Last night proved that to me even more so, when the teacher actually said to me that my 17 year old had problems and I need to "accept" that so they aren't going to teach her basic math skills, instead they are going to prepare her for the "real world". I was spitting mad last night about such a flippant attitude from the teachers. Plus they said this in front of her. My youngest one's teacher didn't want to correct her DUTCH mistakes on her Dutch/English homework because it was English class and not Dutch class. How do you allow a child to make mistakes in her native language and say that's Ok? To be honest, none of my 3 have any drive to do homework or learn beyond what they are given because that is what the schools have taught them. I do a lot of home school stuff with the three of them, because I would like for them to at least have a fighting chance in this world and not have to settle with the job their schools deemed fit for their level of ability. As for the middle one, she's having an easy time in Math, so she told her teacher that she was done all the pages in her book and the teacher got mad at her and told her not to do that becuase she wasn't going to give her more.
Good luck on everything, and I hope you have a better fight then what I'm going through.

Elise said...

Oh my Melissa! That is a tough battle, and one that is certainly worth fighting for!
I'll be checking out your blog, saw that you live in Amersfoort. My sister lives there too, so I know the city pretty well!
I hope you find good school options for all your kids. And if you want to do some more ranting, please feel free to do so :-)

A Touch of Dutch said...

My husband recently re-explained this system to me, coincedentally. I've heard the schooling here is great, so I am sad to hear it is proving to be a disappointment in this area.. Seriously, children who are gifted in learning ought to be given the full opportunity to go full speed ahead. Just my opinion.. I side with you :-) Maybe after middle school/high school level there will be greater diversity in this for your child. I hope for this for you!

canadianinclogs said...

Well we went to the youngest one's school and I think I would have gotten further if I talked to the dog. At least he pretends like he listens. We have been asking for a weekly journal so I can keep track of what is going on in the class room with her. Her attitude, homework, participation... etc. They said no... they wouldn't do that. Here is the reason why... Because they don't want to stress the teacher out by having her write a few lines in a book on weekly basis. Because if they have to do it for one student then they have to do it for all. She has 16 kids in total.. yes... 16. AND she has a helper!! I nearly started smacking my head off the table when I heard this. I know I can't compare North American schools to Dutch, but hell, my mother who was a teacher fo 38 had on average 35+ students and she managed to teach them all with out becoming "stressed". Needless to say, I'm not impressed and I'm really bitter with this whole thing. I guess I'm going to have to do their job and teach her myself. I hope you can get Tristan in to a higher school, not an easy one. Once you are in these types of schools, you can't get them out. Good luck!

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