The school that my daughter Madeline attends first grade at here in Saigon assigns all students into "houses", just like at Hogwarts in the Harry Potter novels. When Chris and I toured the school prior to enrolling her, we thought that the house system looked like a lot of fun. Because the students at Hogwarts seemed to enjoy it, you know.
I walked past the point count boards on my way to her classroom at pick-up today, and noticed that once again, her house is at the bottom, by a wide margin. Her school's "Gryffindor" and "Slytherin" have nearly twice the points (30 and 28, respectively) than her house has (15), and I wonder if this doesn't bring Madeline down, sometimes. The lead seems insurmountable. I've asked Madeline a few times how students earn house points, and she seems rather clueless about the procedure. Argh.
My jury of one is still out on this school, if I can be honest. Madeline's teachers seem very nice and likeable, and she is often enthusiastic about the things that her class is learning, but there are some things about the place that I feel really weird about. For example (since you asked, you know), the atmosphere of the schoolyard in the morning, during the drop-off.
The students don't seem to be allowed to play on the field, so they are all crowded onto the concrete, and it is almost wall-to-wall students/parents/teachers/siblings. We nearly trip on backpacks that are strewn about the ground. The students who try to actually run around the school yard scare me, frankly, as it's hard to see them coming through the crowd and I know it's just a matter of time before my toddler is knocked down onto the concrete as we try to inch our way to where Madeline's class lines up. I just wish that the kids were having more fun in the morning before class and that they were allowed the space to have fun. There is playground equipment, but it's only for the preschool classes. Um, what about the other 80% of the school population?
Anyway, that's enough grumbling for this Friday ...