You may remember my post from September about how our daughter's teacher stated that November can be a bleak month for the students (she actually painted a much more frightening picture- don't look for the post, I've removed it for now). The days are short (except for the school day), the excitement of moving to a new city/school has worn off, and here they are facing the doldrums that we ourselves have to contend with as adults, except at school the kids have to deal with it in a new language with new kids.
We seemed to have gotten through November okay, but December has been a bit disturbing. Things have been getting a little rough at school. Maggie was knocked down at recess one day by a boy in Quinn's class. She didn't seem to mind, however. One boy was recently "expelled" (for only a day), for punching another child in the mouth (knocking a tooth out?). Another boy keeps ending up in the office for "strangling" other students. Again, my daughter doesn't seem to mind. This may be a bit disturbing, except for the fact that she is mighty tough herself. She fires fists of fury at her father when he pronounces the french word "sur" like sewer. The pronuciation is shocking, but she reacts a tad bit strongly.
I wonder what has become of me. Usually I would have inquired of the boy's mother who either had or didn't have his tooth knocked out (but was indeed socked in the mouth) as to whether the boy was okay, and did she feel okay with what the school was doing about it, etc. Perhaps it's the fact that as a whole we are really enjoying ourselves here, and I myself am totally loving living here, that I'm choosing not to get as involved as I usually do. There is a fine line between being a control freak or busy body and an advocate for the students, and sometimes the line is blurred with me. I did write a note to an administrator who told me basically it wasn't my business.
So there you have it. The teacher kind of was right about this time of year, but instead of hurting themselves to get out of school, they are turning on each other. Soon, we have a holiday break which the students can obviously use.
When I asked M's teacher in September about how the rest of the year unfolds (after the bleak NOvember discussion), she stated "they survive." Not the most positive of descriptions. I'm starting to understand exactly what she meant by that. This has been some sort of physical, psychological, social, cultural and academic bootcamp for the kids. And yes, siree, they are "surviving" quite well. I think.