Thursday, February 17, 2011

It's the school that nobody wants

There's something to be said about registering for kindergarten at a school without having to sleep overnight or line up at 5 am or have your child on a waitlist from the time she was born; where you know you could just bring her in that first day in September and there'd be a spot available.

Maybe it's saying... This is not a popular school, not special in any way, parents don't want their kids to go to this school, it isn't providing your kid with the best. Or, as I've heard said about our school before....'this is an inner-city school'.  Which makes me shake my head, and want to send their ignorant, small-town asses into the city. The 'real' city, that is.  Where inner-city truly means something. Not our rural town of 5000, where inner-city seems to mean that the odd parent might still be wearing her pyjama bottoms to pick up her kids at the end of the day or that a Grade 5 student might tell a younger student the different names of the weed his dad smokes or, God Forbid, because there are a row of townhouses across the street!! Townhouses!!! Yegads!!! A sure sign of inner-city.....

I did my teaching practicum at an inner-city school in Toronto one year; a school deep in the heart of the downtown core.  In a class where only 5 of the 22 kids could speak English, where there wasn't breakfast that morning or dinner to come home to, where seeing big bags under the kids' eyes was common-place, as was them falling asleep at their desks, where their moms, dads, uncles and grandparents have all been incarcerated at one time or another, where the 6-year-olds know the street names of all the drugs available in their building and where to get them, mainly because their moms and dads use them, and oftentimes sell them, where one little girl's mom jumped off the 30-story balcony to her death while we were gone for the Christmas holidays.

Don't talk to me about our Aldergrove school being inner-city. I've sat in the bathroom at recess and lunchtimes and cried real tears for the kids who are truly in survival mode.

So, I'm grateful to have our little school. And I'm happy there was no waitlist I had to be prepared for years ago. And I'm glad that I could pick up the necessary paperwork this morning but just bring it back in whenever I get around to it. And I am more than prepared to help teach my kids understanding, compassion and respect for the differences in people, to help them know that they are no better or worse than the next person because it is not our place to judge in the first place, and to build and celebrate their sense of self and strength of character.

1 comment:

Yoli said...

Well said J! I must admit that I was one of those people who looked down on Aldergrove. Now that I have lived here nearly 3 years and am planning to upgrade from my townhouse to a house in the next year or so, I am planning on staying in Aldergrove!
And I LOVE our little school!!!
:)

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