Public School—I’ve Got Good News and Bad News

Last month I went to parent-teacher interviews for E—my first ever. When I arrived, the teacher, who just started this year, told me I was her first ever, too. So she, E, and I have something in common.

Anyway, I had awaited the interview eagerly so I could measure what the teacher said against the daily reports I’d been getting from E herself. You know the funny thing? Teacher spent most of the time justifying her own existence. I actually had to specifically ask questions about how E was fitting in, because her teacher had nothing exceptional to report.

That basically sums up my assessment of how school is going: nothing exceptional to report. Academically and socially she seems to have slid right in to what everyone else is up to.

So I’ve got bad news for all the kids who’ve been attending school since day one, and I’m just going to lay it on you straight: you’ve wasted your childhoods.

I know, it sounds harsh. It maybe is a bit harsh. No experience is truly wasted. But in terms of academic and social development, turns out you really could have stood to play for an extra six years—at least. And you may have been better off—especially socially.

So then, if school is so functionless, you may be asking yourself whether E is going to stick around. It is, of course, up to her. But I expect she probably will. Because she likes being where 90% of the rest of kids are. She’s just as social as her mama. And yeah, kids can be jerks sometimes, and school can be boring and hard sometimes, but for now it’s still worth it to her. This is a good life skill: weighing cost and benefit against your priorities and making a pragmatic choice.

This weekend, for instance, she has three birthday parties to attend. She’s eating it up. Hashtag WorthIt. Meanwhile, I’m taking a deep breath and just feeling grateful she’s my only kid in the system right now!

She sucks at waking up in the morning though. We’re working on it.

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