Friday, November 18, 2011

Different is Different (part 2)

(I meant to have this finished sooner but happened!)

Ella's School...I am so glad that Ella spent a couple years in American schools because it gave her a basis for education. However, it also has worked against us in Polish schools in some ways but there are also things I like better. Ella is currently in a private Christian school here. The director (principal) is precious. (Imagine a cross between Mrs. Doubtfire and Julia Childs.) She loves the Lord and started this school about 6 year ago. Ella has 2 teachers. Her main teacher, Pani Agnieszka, is super sweet, and there is an aid who sits with Ella, Kaleb (another MK) and Igor who is autistic. She is so patient with them. Ella adores her! She also spend an hour a day M-Th with Ella teaching her Polish.

Pros: I love that here the teachers stay with the same students for 1-3 class. Ella has the same teachers she had last year and if we were staying, she would have them again next year. I love that her class size is smaller...mainly because we are in a private school setting. She has 15 in her class and it may one of the biggest if not the biggest in her class. I love that they still play dodge ball and the kids can be kids. There isn't a lot of concern for them as far as ultra protecting them or anything goes. Like we were up there a couple weeks ago and the girls were jumping the corridor of course...and then the boys got the ropes and were laying on the ground holding one end while their buddy was pulling them across the floor. I actually saw one get pulled into a wall. But hey, they were having a blast! I love that kids seem to get to be kids longer. A 7 or 8 year old seems young still here. I love that after school classes there is a class called (I don't know how to spell it so I am going to spell how it sounds) SHFIET-LEETSA. This is a class where the kids go when they are done with school but parents haven't come to get them yet. They are supposed to do their homework in this time...Ella hasn't grasped this concept yet. I love that their classes are 45min each and then there is a 10 min break to run around before the next one starts.

Not so much pros: (Negatives sounds so...negative) There is such a lack of structure in the school. Oh my! I am sure the kids love it but it is stressful to me and I think to Ella too...although I am not sure she could put it into words. Her main teacher comes to school only during the time of the classes she teaches. Only on Fridays is she there for the first class of the day and she is never there until the end of the school day. We have language everyday and this prevents me from being able to see her teacher and connect. Apparently in Poland, though, this is normal. No one else seems concerned about not seeing the teacher. I am just used to seeing Ella's teachers when I drop her off and when I pick her up. I am able to ask questions about progress and behavior and other activities going on. This has been the hardest thing for me to deal with. And Ella's lack of language along with a strong lack of focus warrants a need to meet with the teachers more my opinion. But this is life right now. Homework is also different. A few weeks ago, her teacher was having them all do catch up work (finish all the pages in 3 different work books) after they had taken the test over these books. HW is for us is not like HW in the states. HW includes Google translate and a lot of thinking. She spent 2-5 hours a night on work and would not finish everything. It is exhausting on Mommy and Daddy...who still have their own HW to do when the girls go to bed. The good thing is that Ella is good at math and math is a universal language. It may be taught differently, but 1+1 always equals 2 no matter what language you use. I like math homework.

Running and playing in the halls

This is Ella's classroom. 
These are just a few differences we have...again, not necessarily bad just different.

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