Tag Archives: School Rules

Public School or Private School – York Region

Standard

Hello everyone,

It has been a while since I wrote something but I thought for this purpose it would be a good idea because I have noticed that many people that I know are now looking into whether or not private school is something that they can afford or look into. Understand that I write this post based solely as my experience as an OCT qualified teacher with more than a decade of teaching experience and as a parent.

In Vaughan there are quite a few public schools and to be honest they aren’t great. They have entirely too large class sizes in my area with 20+ students to 1 teacher. They may say that there will be a teachers aid in the smaller classes but what about when there isn’t? Also why is an aide at the same level as the teacher? In addition to that in York region the sheer lack of diversity in the teaching staff is almost laughable. There is very little diversity and it certainly doesn’t match up with the student population. When I initially went into the school that my son was supposed to go to it was unbelievable the way I was dismissed, I didn’t once mention that it was my field, because I wanted to see if they treated me well or not. In fact they treated me poorly from the very first person I spoke to, to the very last. So I said forget it.

I was ready to homeschool my child, because he was 2 at the time of this, and he could already read. So I discussed this with my spouse and he flat out refused, and said I had to look for another alternative. Since marriage is about compromise I had to find a middle ground so I looked into private schools.

In Vaughan there are three private schools that are somewhat affordable; King heights, North Hill Private and Woodbridge Private School (formerly Woodbridge Montessori)

King Heights: They have an IB program, and personally I found quite a few problems with this school as a parent and an educator. ¬†Any school activity whether it is Gym or going to the library or something like that has to be done off campus at another place. So the children have to be bussed there. That means a lot of time is given to transportation and my kids would be in a bus without car seats regularly when they could be learning. I won’t even let my mother drive my kids to school, they have to have their winter clothes off when in the car, so this wouldn’t have worked one bit for me. On top of it when I asked why the school was IB in elementary since in my professional opinion it isn’t necessary at the primary level, I was given the lame excuse that all work should tie back to world and global studies. I wanted to say all GOOD curriculum already does that but I hadn’t told her that I was a teacher, so I made note of the BS answer she gave me. I personally didn’t like the vibe of this school nor the fact that I didn’t get a straight answer as to whether or not all the teachers were OCT certified.

North Hill Private School: Food is included with this program and it only goes up until a lower elementary level and I wanted to put my children in a school once and not have to change them for a while to a different school. The problem with food being included is that my children have allergies and I wouldn’t trust any other source than mine.

Woodbridge Private School: This turned out to be my winner for many reasons. First the school recently went through a complete overhaul. I am very happy with it as a parent. The religious aspect was removed from the everyday school curriculum, which was beginning to be a problem for my kids.

Secondly they have brought in a music and piano teacher to teach both of my children, on site, which is great for them to get the basics of music being taught at such a young age. They have physical education on site and extra curricular activities such as Mandarin, Italian, French, Taekwondo, and Tennis, so that we as parents don’t have to schlep our children around to this activity or that activity on the weekends.

The staff work with each individual kid and they truly make them feel safe and happy which creates a great learning environment for learning. My younger son, literally cried every day going to school for the first 3 months, and they never made him feel bad for it, nor me, they just encouraged me to continue on and that he was in good hands. I would come in some days just to check in, and there he would be happily playing and learning.

The kids are in split classes JK & SK, 1-3, 4-6 are all grouped as such to have plenty of peer learning and the ability for children to gain social skills and understanding from each other, which has been proven to be the most effective learning tool for primary aged children.

Here is the best thing they have recently implemented tutorial from 3:30-4pm so all children will have a chance to complete their homework on site at school, so that we as parents can just have a good time at home discussing their day at school instead of struggling to complete endless mind numbing tasks of trying to get a tired kid to complete a bunch of busy work homework at home when all you want to do is talk to them.

Even when you have a concern about children not getting along or every day concerns the principal is so quick to figure out a solution, and sure you can say it is because you are paying for it, but truthfully I don’t think that is the case here. I ask my kids every day and even when there have been conflicts how they feel about school and they both love it and love seeing each other in school too.

They do offer a hot lunch program too, with great food options, the school is also a nut free school. I know that because my youngest son has an egg allergy they also accommodate for that and various other allergies too based on other students needs.

As a visible minority, I find it very important to add that the school population is very diverse and much more diverse than I have seen of other schools. This is very important to me and to my children so that they aren’t constantly surrounded by one type of person, and you can truly see the diversity of Canada in the school’s population.

If you are looking for an affordable private school I highly suggest looking into Woodbridge Private. A certain percentage of tuition can also be written off as child care expenses also. For me my children are my greatest investment, of my love and work. I give them the best car seats for their safety and even though it meant I had to go back to work to pay for them to be in private school, I was more than willing to put that income entirely towards this school.

I know I had a hard time trying to find any information on this topic so if I have helped you I am very happy!

 

Advertisements

I Get why you Hate my kid’s allergies

Standard

So as parents prepare to send their children back to school, the dreaded list of allergic children and what allergies are present in your kid’s classroom will be sent home.

Here is one thing I want you to know, I GET WHY YOU HATE MY KID’S ALLERGIES! I Really, Really do! As a teacher I remember having to keep track of all the kids in my class and make sure there wasn’t any cross contamination, because I certainly didn’t want to have to use an epi-Pen on anyone (I have had to on many students in the past) it is a terrible and scary situation, especially in a class of 30+ kids. As a teacher I worried non-stop, and shook for the rest of the day, after having administered one, this was prior to having children with allergies myself, so maybe, it was a little easier for me to accept, when not one, but both of my children with diagnosed with severe allergies, requiring me to carry an Epi-Pen at all times.

I have suffered with allergies all my life, I’m allergic to the standard seasonal crap, but I also have food allergies. My food allergies have been with me forever! They aren’t something I developed, but my parents didn’t know I had allergies and instead labeled me as a picky eater, who was a hypochondriac. It was really hard to deal with that as a child, no one believing you, when you said you didn’t like a food because it made your tummy hurt. The thing is, people are still just as ignorant today. When I have to explain to people, that my child cannot eat their kid’s birthday cake or ask too many questions about what is in the food that they are offering me or worse if I feed my kids before we go somewhere, I get my favourite ignorant response: “Well back in my day we didn’t have all this allergy stuff, people are just so sensitive.” These are usually the same people who say things like “Oh well we didn’t have carseats back when I was small and I survived.” Not everyone is this ridiculous, I’ve been around so many really cool and understanding family and friends and I cannot tell you how much relief I feel because of this. To you I say thank you with all my heart.

Here is some information I would like to pass on to you, if you are one of these judgemental or super annoyed parent, when it comes to my child’s allergies:

1. PLEASE don’t shove food in my child’s face and say have a bite.

My older son is 5 and he knows now not to eat food unless he asks me first, mostly because he’s had quite a few reactions and he has seen the Epi-Pen is a needle and doesn’t want it. My younger son, is a foodie, and he will not say no to your food, if you shove it in his face, but when he Projectile Vomit’s on top of you and everyone else at your party, I will be sure to say, I told you so!

2. Please don’t say, well what am I supposed to make my child for lunch?!

This is a call of the selfish, and lazy parent. So you want to send your child to school with an allergen such as peanut butter, at the expense of the LIFE of another child, because you a) don’t want to buy a nut butter alternative, and b) too lazy to make a lunch that simply doesn’t require a spread? Wow, you my friend as the worst kind of person. As a parent of a kid with an allergy, why not go on pintrest, or google nut free or egg free school lunches? The possibilities are TRULY ENDLESS! My child’s favourite lunch sandwich is cream cheese and jelly, they are still spreadable, and easy, and taste like a freaking danish for lunch if you choose the right bread! There are also Vietnamese rice paper wraps that you can literally shove any leftover food into and it tastes divine. If you want Protien, make burritos, bean spread or whole, with sauce, cheese and sour cream or greek yogurt to dip. I mean it isn’t that hard. It isn’t Hard, but it is VERY considerate that you are taking some stress off of me, because I don’t have to worry that I’m going to get that call at home that my child is in hospital because someone’s kid shared their lunch with my kid, or didn’t wash their hands and sat at his desk…he could literally DIE because of your child’s lunch…would it be worth it to you?

3. Please don’t say we didn’t have all this stuff back in my day.

Just because you didn’t see it, it didn’t mean that it wasn’t there. I’m over 30, and I’ve had allergies all my life, so it was there back in your day, you sound like an ignorant troglodyte when you say crap like that. I mean how conscious were you anyway when you were say, 7-17 years old? my guess is, not so much! Also did you never watch the Movie My Girl, where Macaulay Culkin dies from a bee sting trying to save Vada? It Very much was around during your day!

The other reason that people don’t seem to realize is that there are so many more preservatives, pollution, chemicals, and pesticides in food now than there were back in your day. Most of my allergies come from tree sap, due to pesticides being absorbed more into the fruit and nuts that trees produce.

4. Do you give your kids take out?

I do give my kids take out, but from very few places, and sparingly so. I’ve had to learn the hard way, that everything that says Nut-Free etc., isn’t actually nut free. I will give  you an example, my son used to get the McFlurry, when they used to be made with Smarties, because they are the Canadian version of m&ms which aren’t nut free. When mcdonald’s recently switched, I also had to switch, and I started letting them only have an ice cream plain in a cup, because the cones don’t guarantee being nut-free, and i know that the soft serve machine doesn’t actually come into contact with any allergens. These are all things I had to go in and check and ask the employees about, as that annoying customer. So imagine, how ever much you hate my kid’s allergies, I probably hate them more, because I am the one who has to do all this stuff, instead of just being that carefree parent who says, “ya kid, go have some of that junk food, enjoy yourself, you only live once.” Nope, not me, I’m the parent who says “hold on let me check and ask first what is in it.” Sometimes they get happily surprised and sometimes they don’t. Even my 2 year old now seems to understand that there are certain foods he cannot eat, and to me that is sad.

5. Shaking your head and calling me too overprotective.

This simply makes me want to punch you. THEY ARE MY CHILDREN, THAT I CARRIED FOR 9 MONTHS A PIECE, I WILL ALWAYS BE THEIR PROTECTOR AND CHAMPION, ESPECIALLY IN THE FACE OF IGNORANCE!

I’ve changed my whole way of life in order to protect them at home, they feel safe to eat that anything that I give them, to know that I will Never ignore the cry of their tummy hurting due to something not agreeing with them, is my job.

When I was pregnant people used to tell me to eat a lot of this allergen or that, so that my child got used to it in the womb, I ate as much as I could and it didn’t work.

My job is to get them to adulthood, with the tools that they need to survive and that goes for their allergies too, along with morals and values. I always am very clear when ordering food, in restaurants etc. I am even attempting to get my children used to small quantities of the things that they are allergic too, slowly, so that they are safer in the case of accidental ingestion. But it is my Choice to do it in a CONTROLLED environment, when I am prepared to take them to hospital if the need arises. It shouldn’t be because someone just wasn’t careful, it shouldn’t be his teacher’s job to give him an Epi-Pen shot because you as a parent gave Zero Fucks about the life of a child, so that your life could be easier.

 

Have you been faced with Allergy Intolerance (as I like to call it) ?