I am not good at confrontation.
In fact, my own mother calls me a doormat (with all the love in the world). I can’t tell you how many times I can remember her saying to me, “God gave you a backbone, use it!”
After 35 years of trying, I’ve got a bit better, but I still hate any form of confrontation.
Lucky for me, God or fate or whatever you want to call it, sent me a husband who THRIVES on confrontation. In fact, his job is ‘Contracts Manager’ for one of the top 5 construction companies in South Africa. He is literally paid to ‘confront’ everyone on his project at all times to ensure his ship is running smoothly!
As the one who hates confrontation, it’s lucky that all I have to do is pass a few comments “I don’t like this … “, “This isn’t ideal …”, “Did you know …” and he will jump in feet first and sort it out for me. I’m not a complete ‘woos’, but like I said I hate confrontation, especially with authoritarian figures, or my elders.
And now my point:
At the end of last year, the school informed us that they would NOT be telling parents which teacher their child would be assigned to until the first day of term (2 classes per year). Their reasoning was that they spend a lot of time juggling pieces together to make a class of children fit just right and one interfering parent can throw the whole plan out.
Then I heard from my daughter’s bff’s mom that they were splitting the year by date of birth, Jan to June in one class and a July to Dec in the other. This didn’t really compute with me unless they had a perfect number of kids per 6 month grouping – hard to believe, but I left it to fate, or the teachers … whoever, hoping that the girls would be get what was best for them.
My biggest worry was that my eldest was going to be separated from her bff because her bff is born in June, and she is born in July, not even 2 weeks apart though. They are incredibly close, the kind of friendship where they are basically two lost souls who found each other and no one else can infiltrate the bond they have. I love it and am so glad she found someone who loves her back as much as she loves her.
So anyway, the first day of school rolls around and the worst thing, they were in separate classes. I actually cried in the car after dropping them off. Not because my youngest was in her first year of proper pre-school but because my eldest was separated from her bff.
Anyway, I was determined not to let it get to me. Then I found out that of the ‘pack’ of 6 girls who are all friends, my child is the only one who was in a different class, so now I want to know WHY!?
Not only that, but my youngest is the ONLY one from her pre-preschool class that was separated from her ‘pack’ and put in a different class too!
Now I may be over-reacting, and over sensitive but when I mentioned it to my husband (who wouldn’t know if it wasn’t for me passing comments), he also got upset, in fact he was angry.
We have an appointment tomorrow with the principal where I want to ask her why? I want to understand what ‘careful planning and reasoning’ went in to separating BOTH my daughters from their ‘pack’s’.
- Are they naughty
- Are they disruptive
- Are they ‘slower’ – I know that’s not it!
- Are they a distraction to the other kids.
Now the non-confrontation side of me is dying inside at the (potential) confrontation with an older person who is in a position of authority, but fortunately I can rely on my husband to see this through.
What outcome am I looking for here?
- I want my youngest daughter moved so she is with her previous classmates. This will be sad because I really like her teacher, but my child is very alone and lonely apart from playtime where she goes and finds her old mates.
- I want to know why my eldest was excluded. I am happy with her teacher etc, but why was she separated? Is there a problem I have not been made aware of? What was the careful planning and thought that they put into their decision to place her where they did.
I don’t want to be an interfering mom – one of those parents that the school administrators hate, but if we don’t fight their corner who will?
Wish me luck, hopefully I won’t cry!
The school confirm that they did separate my daughter and her bff on purpose. Their reasoning is that they are both very dominating characters and they think it’s best that the two girls have some time apart during lessons to figure things out on their own without each other’s influence, but that they still get to play together during breaktime and after class activities. I get it. I was half expecting that to be the answer.
I did ask if my child was a trouble maker or causing the problem and they denied this saying that they literally just put her bff in one class with majority older kids, and my child in the younger class because of their date of birth. Same principle applied to the other two girls who were separated.
With regards to my youngest, they have agree to consult with the teachers of the two classes, and headmaster of the whole school group about moving my youngest based on the fact that the placement of my child doesn’t fit with what is normally the case (i.e the kids moving up from the pre-preschool class should all stay together). The problem is both classes have an equal number of kids and are full, but I am hopeful of a positive solution.
Overall I am really glad we did go speak to them. As with any situation, it’s better to try to resolve an issue than to leave it, be unhappy and ultimately resent the institution.
Thanks to those who read, liked, messaged and commented on this post.