Saturday, May 12, 2012
Fiona was among a couple of dozen students who chose to read some writing to the assembled crowd of parents and community members. She was strangely comfortable, perhaps even eager, in the spotlight. She introduced her piece casually with a couple of leading comments, and then read it clearly and expressively, pausing perfectly before the last line which brought closure and more than a few appreciative chuckles.
She was with the school kids for about three full days this week. Except for the last day with the high schoolers she was with the combined Grade 2/3/4/5 classrooms. She really enjoyed herself, but mostly for the reasons that had little to do with the other kids or the sense of being "in school." She connected beautifully with the adult mentors, and loved many of the activities. She loved the feeling of having a schedule and being busy, juggling a variety of activities, being a little independent person not part of a herd, who could get herself places and look after herself without adult shepherding. On the other side she was able to see some of the challenges of school: the early nights and mornings of tired rushing, the disruptive immature behaviour that cropped up repeatedly even amongst kids considerably older than herself, the brusqueness and judgmentalism of a couple of the adults at the school, the weird pseudo-maturity of young children trying to emulate teenagers, and the fact that school is a haven for contagious viruses, resulting in an inevitable nasty cold for her by day 5.
I think Fiona would really enjoy attending a school that suited her. For this past week, our local school with its flexible multi-age enrichment activities has suited her well. But I think it also became clear to her from this little glimpse that "regular school" here would not be a good fit for her. And I agree, so it's all good.