Mexican school begins

Scout has survived her first two days of Mexican school.

How did it go?

Really well.

But before I get into all that, let me say how much I LOVE the security at this school.

The place is a fortress. It’s surrounded by 15-ft concrete walls. You cannot see inside from the sidewalk. The only access is through big iron gates. If you knock, a tiny speak-easy window slides open and you better start talking FAST to explain your business. Got an appointment? Fine, but you can cool your heels outside on the curb until the person you’re meeting comes outside to get you.

When the kids arrive in the morning, several teachers are waiting at the door to welcome them by name. It’s warm and friendly.

At the end of the day, kid are not allowed out until their parent arrives. Then one of the teachers will call the child’s name on a bullhorn, and out they come. There’s no milling about on the street while waiting for parents. From what I can see, NO kids are released on their own.

It’s super safe.

OK, so back to Scout’s experience.

DAY 1

After the first day she popped out all smiley and high energy. The teachers said she did well and seemed happy with her. Phew!

In geography, which is taught in English, the kids had been assigned papers to write. Scout couldn’t stand to be left out so she asked the teacher to assign her one too, which he did. Topic: The Falkland Islands. She’s very excited to write her first school paper. I’ve had her write them at home, of course, but apparently a class assignment is more fun.

She told me the kids were nice to her.

DAY 2

Scout was EXTREMELY tired at the end of the 2nd day, way more than the first day. The Spanish homeroom is long and a bit overwhelming. At this point, Scout doesn’t understand much of what’s going on. She received school books for Math, Mexican History, Geography, and Natural Science. One more is coming on Monday.

I flipped through them, and could see they were all light years behind her homeschool level in all subjects. That’s good, because the Spanish is challenging enough. Knowing the material should make thing easier. Hopefully.

The school is putting together a Christmas performance, so the 6th-grade class worked on a complicated dance routine. Scout thought it was difficult, but she loved it.

Apparently twice a week the kids can do after-school sports. Scout asked me if she could participate in that. Also the mum of one of her classmates invited her to her first Mexican birthday party. A pool party, Scout’s favorite. Nice!

Then on the way home we passed a brass band belting out music on the sidewalk. I love Mexico!

Scout was so exhausted she didn’t want to go to her private Spanish class afterward, which is really saying something. She loves her teacher, so I knew she wasn’t kidding. I didn’t want to cancel on the teacher at the last minute, so I made her go anyway and she actually emerged more energetic than when she went in. That’s a tribute to her teacher, who recognized that Scout was exhausted and couldn’t do a regular class. So instead all they did was visit and look for a lost cat while chatting in Spanish.

DAY 3

There’s no school on the last Friday of the month, which meant she had today off. I was relieved, because we’re heading off to an Indian village this weekend, which means getting up at 5 am tomorrow. We won’t be back until late Sunday, and then Scout will be back to school Monday, so having today free was nice and relaxing.

So that’s it. Scout liked it and wants to continue. I’m thrilled about that, though I think dealing with the long Spanish homeroom will be a big challenge for her. Especially a few weeks from now, once the novelty has worn off. Fortunately Scout LOVES all the social stuff, so hopefully that will keep her going in the short term, until her Spanish picks up.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tom Medsger December 1, 2012 at 11:48 am

Greetings to the D’Antonis,

Another terrific blog entry! I love reading these and I put myself in Scout’s shoes, because if I move to Mexico and go to school to learn Spanish, I’m sure it would be overwhelming too at first.
Can’t wait to hear about the Indian village trip. And I hope you will write about Querétaro when we meet there in February. I love that place.

Thanks again, and continue having fun and growing,
Tom

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2 Mark December 1, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Our Scout is so brave and Renee and I are so proud of her. As you probably know, it’s not easy to go into an environment where you don’t really speak the language. But we both feel immersion is the best way really learn the language. Even though it can be overwhelming, one just chips away and you find yourself getting better every day. You’ll enjoy learning Spanish. Cheers!

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3 Clelie December 1, 2012 at 7:27 pm

Wow, good for her. I can understand the tiredness — huge groups always wear me down. Hope the Indian village is good, too. Love to all.

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4 Amy @worldschoolAdventures December 3, 2012 at 9:46 am

So why all the security at the school? Is that just a normal thing there?
Amy @worldschoolAdventures recently posted..Our Loi Kratong ExperienceMy Profile

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5 Renee December 3, 2012 at 10:33 am

Amy, yes, that’s typical in Mexico. Private homes and schools all have big walls, often with razor wire, pieces of broken glass or other deterrents on top. For the schools (especially private ones) I presume this is to prevent kidnapping. For the private homes, I think burglary is also a big concern.

We feel very safe here where we are, but it does make me feel better knowing that the school takes student safety so seriously.

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