June 22, 2015

Onto Upper School for the Prince

My son started Upper School last June 15, still in Acacia Waldorf School. He planned to leave the school because he was determined to expand his social circle, try new curriculum, basically explore a new world in a traditional school.

He crammed studying for the entrance exam and after a week we were notified that he didn't make the cut. His grade school teachers were shocked when they learned he didn't pass because they were all confident he would. Now they're saying it's probably because of the limited slots (he was the very last one to apply). I am thinking he failed the exam. I really don't know. Because the school didn't even bother to elaborate why he wasn't accepted. It was just those two cold words, high-technologically albeit impersonally stated on the computer screen: 'Not accepted'. I am not kidding you, it was only those two words. Nothing else.

I am sad for him but quite re-assured that I don't like traditional schools. I e-mailed them asking if they care to expound and all I got was a computer-generated unrelated response. When my son first tried to enter grade school, he took an exam in this progressive school in Quezon City. He wasn't accepted but I was given a thorough and comprehensive analysis as to why he didn't make it and even got a good recommendation to enter Builders School, a then-up and coming non-traditional school that specializes in teaching children to read love reading. That is how you help people learn. In fact, when we left Builders (because we have to move to Tagaytay), his kind and capable teachers expressed their hopes and fears for my son. We felt the love and concern. That is how a school should be: teachers are more than just people who robotically shove information in our heads. They're our mentors, our guide, our friends.

Alas, I guess my son is just a number to them. A faceless, character-less entity who has to reach certain points arranged by them. I am not mad, bitter, or even disappointed. That's just how it is in their world and, apparently, it works for a lot of people. Some might point out that it is just how the "real world" works but in my opinion, our world should be about helping one another, reaching out to one another in our own best ways. It is totally okay to be denied acceptance but at least explain why and, if possible, point out the necessary steps one has to take to improve. It's not "baby-ing", it's called improving the society.

Well, like I said before, it all boils down to how you personally define what education means. My top priority is to teach my children compassion and during the admission process of the traditional school he tried entering I didn't feel or see a tinge of it. I am now sure, more than ever, that it isn't for me*.

*"Isn't for me" doesn't mean it isn't right for him. He will try again come next school year and we'll be here to support him no matter what.

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