Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My Teachable Moment

I have not checked the wait lists, but the absence of a phone call to congratulate Grace and Lilah on acceptance to Six to Six Magnet is a sure sign we did not get picked in the lottery. I have also learned that a high placement on the waiting list is not a reassurance either since I have it on good authority that #1 on the waiting list does not mean you will get in come September. Families that are accepted, stay accepted.

Because only 6 Stratford students are accepted per grade level and I had no idea how many were already in grades 1 and 3, I looked at Catholic Schools as well. I found one I liked and thought would be a great fit for the girls. The catch is that in order to afford tuition without a change in our lifestyle, I need to go back to work at least part time. I began to search for a job.

Back to my title of this blog – teachable moments. A teachable moment is a moment of opportunity, a chance to take a situation or event and learn something from it, or teach something through it. I was fortunate to find a job in a short period of time that seemed to fit my family’s needs as well as my own. But things are rarely what they seem. Despite the best circumstances, one sick child is all it takes to throw things off balance. My teachable moment is to question the reality of what life will become and weigh it against the perceived benefit of private education…..is the grass really greener? Is a different location really “better”? Is the stress of having Mom work when Dad is gone all week worth it? What is the true price of education? Is a happy balanced home life worth more than the ability to relinquish the once-a-year hassle of CMT testing in favor of smaller class sizes, values I believe in and a K-8 placement? If getting children used to me working is so difficult, how challenging will it be when I add before and after school care (in a school setting rather than a home setting) and add that they must be there at 8:00 to allow me to be at work for 8:30 and stay at school until approximately 4:30? How upset will they be when their lessons must be scaled back and scheduled on Saturdays? At what point is it worth paying for a private, elementary school experience? These are the issues I ponder and reflect on and ultimately will have to act on. Do I accept a permanent position or do I accept the status quo of public education and re-examine when they are ready for Middle School?

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