We are going public.
After nearly ten years of private institutions, from nido to asilo to scuola primaria, we have enrolled our pre-teen in a local public Italian middle school for next year.
Just a little anxiety about that in our family.
Just a little.
The kind that comes even with in-depth research that leads to confident decision making.
It's just how we roll. All of us.
We expect some changes...the first and most obvious striking contrast is the facility. She is moving from marble staircases and welcoming corridors filled with student art in an historic building to graffiti-stained parking spaces and grey, empty walls in a more "modern" space. Secondly, we expect to encounter restricted access, a move from daily opportunities to chat with teachers to closed doors and strict conference schedules. A third obvious change is diversity...as in, there will finally be some. I am hoping that this diversity will be a positive experience as it is one major drive of our choice. I fear it as much as I welcome it. I like controlling the environments she encounters and homogeneous settings often allow me to do so; I hope we are not headed down the wrong path.
I should probably mention that she, along with twenty-three classmates, was selected to be part of a class that engages in music at a more intense level than the other classes for the three years of middle school, essentially a special class within the school. As you might imagine, I like that...that little bit of homogeneity within the walls of diversity.
Really, maybe I AM the only one with anxiety over the type of institution. The kiddo is just worried about making friends in a new school...the same as any normal sixth grader.
I'm taking lots of deep breaths.
Disclaimer: I hate generalizations as much as you do, probably more. This is my limited experience at my fifth grader's tiny primary school lost in Northern Italy. If you have a different experience with this, please share!