I have no idea what to write today so I'm jumping on Steph's offer of talking about how Eve's doing in the Big School. When I was in elementary school, they went to grade eight and then high school started in grade nine. Some people apparently went to middle school. Here in Ottawa I think some schools are still K-8, but my kids' elementary school only went to grade six, and then they go to a 7-12. I wasn't crazy about this model, but the seven/eights are on a different schedule from the nine-to-twelves and have their own wing, and it's worked out fine for Angus.
I went with both grade six classes when they walked over to the high school for the field trip that introduced them. The grade eight WEB (Where Everyone Belongs) Leaders meet them at the doors and clap and cheer for them on their way in. Angus thought this was cool enough. Eve found it totally overwhelming and wanted to run and hide under something. I had assumed she would be excited about the new school, which has gorgeous facilities for drama and cooking, but she spent most of the summer feeling apprehensive about the first day.
On the whole, it's been great. She only has a couple of people from her old school in her class, but she's made new friends. At the old school they had to eat lunch in their classroom, but now they go to the cafeteria, and they eat in a big group. She's doing well in music (learning the clarinet). She loves her English teacher and her art teacher, and likes most of her other teachers. Except one.
This is the same teacher Angus had for homeroom in grade seven. Eve doesn't have her for as much of the day, fortunately. From what I gather, she's not a great teacher OR a very nice human being. She doesn't teach effectively, and then periodically flies off the handle when students don't have a good grasp on the material. She singles out certain kids for constant insults and punishment, whether their behaviour warrants it or not. She's told kids they're going to end up working at Wal-Mart. She used to threaten to give punitive tests or call parents to report on students' wrongdoing when Angus was in her class (the one time she said she was going to call me it never happened, and the tests usually didn't either).
I couldn't decide what to do when Angus had her. I really try not to be a helicopter parent, and for the most part he wasn't targeted by her. I thought maybe I'd let him finish the year and then email the principal, not in a white-hot rage or anything, just to suggest that someone should take a look at her methods and make her aware that people were paying attention.
And then the year finished, and inertia kicked in, and I just hoped we'd never have to deal with her again.
Karma. It's a bitch.
So, throw some opinions at me. I'm torn about the fact that her awfulness isn't impacting Eve terribly. Does this mean I SHOULD contact the principal, because it wouldn't, in fact, be helicopter parenting, it would be acting on behalf of the students that she IS impacting? (Because my feeling about this is, if there are kids who are at risk of becoming seriously disenchanted with school and eventually dropping out, her bullshit is going to give them a serious push in the wrong direction). Or does it mean I shouldn't, because it's not really my business? Angus had a drama teacher last year that seemed to peg him as a dumb jock from the beginning and then he couldn't do anything right - I didn't do anything except tell him that I agreed it was unfair, but sometimes in life you have to deal with people who are in a position of authority over you and aren't nice, and it sucks. I could do the same thing here. I just honestly don't know whether I should.
What do you think?