Wednesday, April 30, 2008

RM colum April 4 - Picking the Leaving

RMcolumn April 4 - Picking the Leaving

has come for the Young Wan to pick her subjects for the Leaving Cert. As important as this is the preparations into it all feels a bit hit and miss to be honest. Aside from the fact that reaching this stage is urrghh, I can already feel the pressure of LEAVING CERT EXAMS starting to rear their ugly head.

I found the pressure of the Junior Cert dreadful and it was only once it was all over that I was able to give a half sigh of relief, the full sigh didn’t come until the results arrived in September. And the thought of two more years of constant fretting about how much work the Young Wan is or isn’t doing leaves me absolutely cold.

Of course the Young Wan was also under pressure but at times you wouldn’t have known it at all.

So now we are at the choosing the subjects stage and the proceedings were kicked off with a parents meeting in the school during the week.

Oh God don’t get me started on parents meetings; the fact that they are held during the day is one of the most ridiculous and lazy things I have ever heard in my life. I have the utmost respect for teachers, I think they have a very hard job, but take a fecking night and talk to parents, believe it or not some of us work and believe it or not it can be hard to get time off work to attend this things.

And in some cases I am quite sure if a parent can’t make it there would be some who think they are not interested in their child’s education.

The Young Wan’s parent teacher meeting this week started at 12.30, so I was in work a couple of hours before I had to leave. It was due to finish at 3.30pm so it is not even a full morning or a full afternoon, it was half and half meaning that I was only in work for about two hours that day as there seemed little point in trying to head through all the traffic to get back into work for the last hour/half-hour.

I am lucky that I am allowed the time to do this, flash back to a couple of years ago and another work place and that would not have been an option at all.

Anyhoo back to the meeting; we sat there as each teacher got up and in English and Irish and explained about each of the subjects.

“Biology is the study of living things…” When I heard that or something similar, I thought ‘shoot me now’ but I sat on and listened to all the different subject descriptions, how much work they have to do and then my ears pricked up at the mention of a lottery.

All the chosen subjects have been placed into three lines with about three subjects in each. Each student has to pick one from each line but nothing is guaranteed. So far two of her preferred subjects are on one line ruling one of them out. That in itself was bad enough, but I understand that.

However it turns out because so many kids are in her year there will be a lottery for some of the subjects. And most of the year seem to be leaning towards biology which is one of the Young Wan’s best subjects and now she will be competing in some nonsense lottery and may not be able to take her best subject!

I understand the school is understaffed and doesn’t have enough teachers to cover all the subjects but if she doesn’t get subjects she has more interest in and is better at I will seriously be re-evaluating whether or not she can stay at that school.

After all surely it is also in the school’s interests to have their students get the highest results they can, but maybe that just makes complete and utter sense to me. I’ll keep you posted…


stwidgie said...

Wow. I would feel very anxious if there were a chance I couldn't study my favorite subject. What would I have done in (US) high school if I couldn't have gotten into French class, or chemistry? Of course, I don't use either of those in my career, but still. Everyone should have their chance to shine. Best of luck to the Young Wan.

The Distant Rambler said...

Yeah this happened to me too Red Mum and I told them I was not staying if I could not do the 3 subjects I want. I fought for it. They wanted me to take things I had no interest in - its not the way to approach a leaving cert believe me. Keep us posted it is very important.

JC Skinner said...

If it comes to it, tell them to shove it, take out a car loan from the bank and pay for two years tuition at the Institute or some other private school where they will let your nipper do what she wants to study rather than what suits them.
You'll be down the money, but let's face it, this is her one shot at the LC.

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