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Indiebird and Lizzie and everyone else......discuss school system!

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indiebird wrote:
Lizzie wrote:arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrh, this is why you sound familiar...I am sure I followed that thread on expats, or was it one similar? You were pretty desperate about the situation, but didn't it turn out that your son was hiding his homework and being generally unco-operative at school, but that you hadn't realised this?... I may even have replied ,I can't remember. Matteo is nearly 9, he is in Terza. I am lucky, coz the teacher is quite sensible really, but she is Italian..therefore we are coming from completely different directions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Also Matteo started Italian school at 4 so he is more in tune with Italians than I am!!!! But the whole system is a nightmare....don't get me started!!!! Mad

Hmmm yes that would be me.... Embarassed Embarassed In our defence we did pull him out of UK school when he was 8 and plop him here in full Italian school without a word of Italian... he's doing much better recently!! Wink ... we might need our own thread to fully explore these 'issues!!! Twisted Evil

No need to feel defensive!!! You had a horrible situation going on, i felt sorry for all of you. The Italian school system is not very supportive of difficult situations....they do not seem to have the capacity to empathise, or understand that people have different experiences, expectations,needs etc. ..............grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrh! Evil or Very Mad

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oooh Lizzie, I missed this... I've been a bit lack-lustre and haphazard in my forum visiting recently... Embarassed

I will be totally honest here and say that I just about manage the School. If it were just my decision I would have had them out of school and either a) taken then back to the UK and put them back into school there or b) educated them at home myself. Luckily for me I have a partner who is a lot calmer and less reactive than me and thinks that I need to look at myself before deciding what is best for our children. He is probably right and I do hope that I (and the kids) will look back and see that we did a lot of learning about ourselves and another culture in this period of our life. I'm English and I suppose that one of those cultural things that gets you out running around a Hockey pitch in a p.e skirt in November is the basic 'truth' that 'whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger'. Laughing Laughing

We've had a lot of help from the School psychologist. My one piece of advice for anyone having problems with the school is to find out if you have one of these and go and see them and see if you can get them onside. They can be invaluable in putting your points across to the teachers in a diplomatic way. I was led to believe that my son was psychologically disturbed in some way by his teachers. They even once made discreet enquiries in the first year of him being in a class with them whether our friend and Italian teacher felt that we were abusing him in some way either sexually, physically or mentally. Such was their belief that there was something 'wrong' with him. They didn't seem to understand why we went to meetings, listened to them 'go on' and then said 'well he's learning a whole new language, making new friends, learning to be in a whole new culture'. This wasn't what they wanted and they did start to make me feel that perhaps they were right. I was learning the language too, I still am. I was not only having to decipher notes every night linguistically but having to decipher the Italians appalling 'cursivo' handwriting first... I couldn't really help with homework and I had no idea how the 'little things' worked. I didn't understand that I was supposed to sign all his quaderni when the teacher had marked his work to say that I had seen the marks. All the other parents knew this from the first year... he joined in the third year and noone told me! Even when I asked I was told that school here was the same as in the UK. I'm not sure how teachers who have never been to the UK seem to know this but they are wrong. Very wrong. A whole class of 32 don't go through as many gluesticks as my son does in a year... based on the fact that here the parents pay for them and in the UK the school budget pays for them. This is just one of many differences.

My daughter has had it a bit easier starting from the beginning with the school but still her teachers are insufferable in many ways too.... the one advantage I have (but it can also be a disadvantage too) is that my reputation supersedes me. I'm not going to 'let things be'. I have a degree myself in literature. I'm not 'maleducata'. I was a school Governor in the UK. If I see a problem I WILL voice it... and rather loudly AND in all the local shops too. The teachers don't like it as it's not the 'done' thing here but they accept that I will do it. It's not always easy for me. I'm not such a hard woman on the inside as I make myself appear on the outside. I am happiest when my kids are at home with me. I dread going to the school every afternoon and having to fight through the throngs to the gate to extract my kids and hear all the little comments made by other mums about me and my kids. I don't let on too much I understand. I do have friends but there are an awful lot of people who have decided that all problems with the school are down to my son and they will never speak to me.

I've got rather Zen about it all recently. My son finishes at the elementare this year and moves up to the Media. I hope he gets a Fresh start and they mix up the kids a bit so we get to meet some new people and have some new opportunities for him. He is such a kind, loving and intelligent boy really underneath all the railing against Authority. He also now after nearly 3years at school here speaks two languages and has better marks in Italian than many of his classmates. I try and remember that and stay grateful for that. Not easy though and my heart goes out to anyone going through what we have and do.

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