I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

It Takes A Village

The trio go to what I would consider a very small school - from kindergarten to sixth grade, maybe a couple of hundred kids or less. The second grade has no boys, most of the grades have only one 'room', and in fourth grade there are only 12 kids. It is highly likely that the entirety of their kindergarten class will number less than 20. So, this blog is to ask - are smaller schools better? Now I have to admit my own bias here. I went to enormous primary, middle, and high school. Not as big as some, but still big. I think my high school graduating class had over 300 people in it, maybe more. At the trio's school, people I have never met before know my name, my DH's name, my kids' names. They know more about me than, frankly, I want them to know. There have been moments when this makes me uncomfortable. I'm not a hugely 'private' person - but I don't like people knowing things I haven't told them first. I want to have all of the 'telling them' power, you know? It just totally spins me out when people say things to me on the playground, in class, etc, and I've never clapped eyes on these people before. I'm not talking, "Oh, hi, you're J's Mom, nice to meet you." I'm talking, "So I heard your DH was ill recently, and you've got a new job, and you had lamb chops for dinner last night. How's things?"

There really is no need for me to feel uncomfortable about this. The reality of it is, by sheer virtue of BEING a trio in a small environment (read: the Melbourne Jewish community), we as a family are famous if we like it or not. Mostly I don't mind it. However in their school, it's an very small environment and everyone knows everyone else's business. It's like that proverbial village, only one where you have to pay to live there and also wear a uniform. I'm undecided if this is a good thing or not - for the children I think it is. They know everyone (teachers in other grades, kids in other grades) so for them it is a warm, friendly, familiar environment. Certainly they seem to like it, otherwise we wouldn't keep them there! I'm not so sure I am loving small towne-ness of it though...like I said, it just makes me feel kinda wierd sometimes. I worry about other parents or teachers judging me or the children based on what they may have heard. I wonder what preconceived notions teachers may get of my kids before they've even set foot in their classrooms. Similarly, though, what they may know of them from earlier interactions may help them to tailor their teaching to my kids' needs. I just don't know. How will this small, protective environment set them up for the big bad world of high school, where they perhaps will not get the same attention?

It does take a village to raise a child...just sometimes I wonder if a small city weren't better choice. I suppose only time will tell.

...and I find myself still wishing that parenthood came with a decent "For Dummies" book.

1 comment:

Poppets mum said...

You could always do what I do - use your maiden name then they won't always put you together with your kid!!! Still, let's face it, big school or small, the fact that you have 3 kidlets is a minor miracle that everyone marvels at and you would still be well known. Just think - if it weren't for the smallness of our school - we might not have gone on to become good friends!!!