It's a peculiar balance to be struck, isn't it.
Whilst I am in no way wanting to attack the teacher and I do, I do!, trust the school in general and especially its principal who we've now built a relationship with, I am also needing to stand up for my child who, at this very moment, is in a very delicate stage of his life.
As much as the move to Invercargill has been good to us in many ways, there are also parts of it that have been painful.
The Kid is counting days until he can leave the preschool. He does not want to go any more. I am not going to go into details, but although the staff are dedicated and the preschool is making a very honest effort in doing a good job, on this particular occasion it has been a misfit between the preschool environment and my child who has needed a different place to be, and we are going to leave it at that.
The Girlie's fine. Some mornings she couldn't care less if I go or not :)
So it's been a big thing for The Kid to look forward to going to school, and it's been a big thing for me, too.
I feel like I've done my due diligence. For over a year I've researched the schools, first from far away in Christchurch and then by talking to various people in Invercargill, trying to make sure that when we go, it is a place where my kid is going to be happy.
He needs a place where he feels safe. It's a seventh (!) house he lives in at a mere 5 years old, and he has been in the care of 4 different early childhood education environments so far, so after the 6 years of moving, moving, moving we've done in order to get our NZ work permits, then residence permits, then a house we can own, I am looking forward to us being able to settle down and him being able to build lasting relationships with friends and carers without us having to pull him out of places and settle into new ones again and again.
But last Friday I walked into a classroom and thought, jesus.
And I wasn't going to do much at first. I even said to our support person there that, look, I am going to go home and take a couple of days to think about it. See how I feel after the excitement has worn off.
But after sobbing for an hour at home, when the kids were in bed for an afternoon nap, I called her up and said that I'm sorry, I know I was going to let it sit, but I've spent the last hour sobbing. Please can you help me understand what it was that I saw, and how it makes sense.
And I won't try to quote what she said, because we've spent a lot of time talking and I haven't got a recording of it all - and it wouldn't be my place to quote her anyway - but in a nutshell, she said that it doesn't. What we saw on Friday doesn't make sense.
That in all her years of teaching and then being a support person, she has never seen a class like that.
And as much as it pained me to hear her say that, it also gave me confidence in knowing that I wasn't just making this stuff up in my head.
I've now talked more. I tracked down a teacher aide who practices at a different school and have discussed it with her at length. I've talked to the principal. I've e-mailed the teacher who, by the way, asked to be e-mailed if I have questions.
I've seen another school who, whilst the class assignments were almost identical - the same boards, the same greetings, the same cards - the rhythm and pace of the teaching was an opposite to what I saw on Friday.
It was, like I said to our support person, what I pictured a school being like.
And it's a peculiar situation to be in.
In an ideal world I would let it sit for a while longer and deal with it at a slower pace. After all, the teacher on Friday had two different support people attending the class, and a parent - me - so the teacher may have been anxious and not at the best performance.
But! I am in a sort of a stupid situation where, legally, when The Kid turns 6 years old this Saturday, he has to legally be enrolled somewhere.
I cannot take time. I have three more days to figure out what we're doing (term ends on Thursday), and then we have to make a decision, though after spending a bulk of the weekend trying to figure this situation out, I did end up saying to our support person that in the end, if need be, I am going to get the Ministry of Education to supply me with homeschooling materials, I am going to drop out of my school for a sabbatical and I am going to homeschool The Kid until I feel comfortable sending him to a learning environment I am happy with.
Meanwhile, today The Man is at the school with The Kid checking it out, seeing how he feels about it.
And guys, I know, from where you are sitting reading this it may look like some over-engineered emotional reaction to who-knows-what, but I haven't got the time or the mental capacity to keep covering all the details in my blog, and neither do I actually want to.
We are trying to do the best with what we have. Me, The Man. It's not pretty, but we're working on it.
And we hope for a good, decent end to all this.