So those of you that are regular readers will know that we decided to move the girls from the very large school they’ve spent the last 3 years at, to a much smaller school in September.
Baby girls struggles in school have been increasing. Middle girls behaviour at home has been becoming more angry and she seems frustrated a lot of the time. With no diagnosis for either girl yet, and no sign of teachers that really understood their needs, we were left with little choice but to move them. Our decision was made even more difficult though because big girl, after 3 years finally had teachers that understood her, I’ve no doubt that her ASD diagnosis went someway in helping with that, but still, I can’t deny that she was finally having a much easier time at school. So making a decision to move her, wasn’t one we took lightly.
We prepared the girls as best as we could with lots of talking about ‘moving schools’, what it would mean and how and when it would happen. We took them to the new school for an afternoon so that in September they would have some familiarity around them already, we’ve involved them in the decision as much as we could, given their ages. In a funny sort of way this move was their decision, they’ve shown us their struggles in their behaviour, and we’ve listened to them, and acted.
A few weeks passed and aside from a signature on a transfer form, no discussion with the school head or even class teachers about why the girls were leaving took place, I was surprised, I had expected at least a couple of questions, but nothing.
Their last day of school arrived. I’d arranged to collect them early as we had an appointment. Before I managed to get out of the car and in to the school office someone had already gone to collect the girls, I was disappointed by this as I would have liked to have collected them from their classrooms myself, like I often have, but more so because it was their last day and I felt they needed my support. It wasn’t to be.
Big girl came out of school smiling, clutching a lovely card made by one of her teachers and signed by all of her class mates. Baby girl also came out of school smiling with a money box although she was unsure who it was from. Middle girl came out of school smiling like she always does, with nothing.
Nothing! Middle girl has no card, no gift, nothing to remember her class, friend’s or teachers by. Baby girls money box, whilst it was a gift, it was nothing more than a money box to her,she didn’t know who it was from, she didn’t know why she had it, she didn’t treasure it and I doubt she ever will, it has no relevance to the school, her teachers or her friends, it’s just a Disney Princess Tin money box . Big girls thoughtfully made card with its many messages, has been looked at, read, shared, treasured. The lack of effort, thought, considerations for both baby girl and middle girl made my decision to move them feel even more right.
Incidentally I’ve volunteered twice a week at the school for 2 years, no one thanked me for my time either.
I did however receive a phone call from the deputy head a few days later. We were on holiday so a voicemail was left. Apparently she’d been unaware that the girls and I were leaving and was sorry to have missed the chance to say goodbye and wish us well. Whilst it warmed me to know our departure didn’t go completely unnoted by the management team at school, it surprised me to hear that she hadn’t known about our move before we left.
My girls all deserve to be cared about and valued, but more importantly, noticed!
I notice them!