Monday, June 08, 2009

Where I Failed As A Mother

Most of you already know K is on her way to one of the Specialized High Schools in New York City. She took the test, scored well and gained admission. It wasn't her first choice but she's happy with the outcome. She's not a conscientious student (she gets it from both me AND her dad) but she's very intelligent.

However, I hate to even think about where she'd be going to school next year if she weren't naturally smart. Not just because her study habits suck ass, but because I am convinced her junior high school did a piss-poor job of academically preparing her for what comes next.

Let me give you the backstory...

When I moved back to NYC in 2005, K started 5th grade at a school in Jamaica, Queens because I was still living with my mom at the time. In January of 2006 we moved into our own place in Brooklyn and she switched to the local school, the one that N attends now (which, by the way, I ADORE).

K's guidance counselor approached me in the spring about where we should send her for JHS, and mentioned this new charter school that he felt would be a good fit for her. We (me, my ex and Mari) went to an info session, K interviewed and was accepted. I was excited for her and thought we'd hit the jackpot.

Until she started going there.

My grievances with them are too many to itemize, but they range from sloppy administrative practices to downright wasting my kids time in the classroom. If you remember this post, I had to complain about their atrocious disciplinary methods and most recently, a bogus "class trip" had my panties in such a bunch that I had to write another "stern letter to corporate."

And while it is easy to sit here and tell you about how bad this school is and how I'll NEVER EVER send my kids to a new school ever again (sorry, but I'm going to need to see at least a decade of successful graduates before you get a hold of MY child!) I have to take ownership on my part in all this.

I never transferred her out.

I've loathed this school since K was in the 6th grade but didn't do anything except complain to my friends, family, blog readers and anyone else who would listen. And for that I'm a bad mommy.

Next year, K is in for an eye opener because the HS she's attending is no joke with the academics: it will challenge her until she curls up into a ball and cries herself to sleep. How do I know? Because it's my alma mater, and I experienced the same thing. My JHS, a parochial school that wasn't concerned with whether or not you could count as long as you loved Jesus, did not prepare me for the rigors of a specialized high school. I feel as though I did K a disservice by not pulling her out of her school in the 6th grade and transferring her elsewhere and now it's June.

All I can do now is hope for the best and stay on her ass about homework even more than I do now.

*smooches...wondering if this ruins my chances at mother of the year*
or- wait- I WAS in the running, right? RIGHT? Hello? Is this thing on???