My 9th Grade Booby Trap: My Mom Fought for A Better School Choice

I am a high school senior and I just finished my college application process. I’m now waiting for my college acceptance letters and best financial aid offers. I will be able to sleep better at night when I know where I will spend the next four years of my life. This was not the mindset I had as a ninth grader. Major changes took place early in high school which led me to the path I am on now.

About a month ago, my AP Spanish teacher assigned me a question for our weekly “Charla” assignment which I found quite personal. For the first time I would be writing and talking to my fellow classmates about the things I would have done different in high school. The prompt was overwhelming in itself and having to do it all in Spanish was a whole other comical story only because it can be a bit tongue twisting for me. The assignment was fun and reflective.

I’m sharing my story in hopes that you take a courageous stand for your children as my mom did for me.  

 

“If I had the opportunity to start high school over, would I do something different?”

I think for the majority of the students at my school this question would be a bit easier to answer, just because most of them have been at our school since the 9th grade. For me, this question is personal because I didn’t. I attended a different high school during the 9th grade. I have thought many times, how my life would be if I would’ve continued at a traditional public school for the rest of my high school years.

I do not regret anything, not even the bad decisions I made in the 9th grade. I am thankful that my mom found courage to make a firm and final decision to find me a better environment and school after the 9th grade.

From preschool till my freshman year of high school my grandma and I would commute about 30-40 minutes each day to a different city so I would be able to attend better schools. This is where I learned and practiced my Spanish, as we listened to Spanish radio: El Cucuy de la mañana.

In middle school, I was a Five Semester Scholar, being a Five Semester Scholar means starting the second semester of 6th grade with a gpa of 3.7 or above, but I managed to keep a 4.0 throughout the 5 semesters. Being a Five Semester Scholar was one of my biggest achievements, it was better than just being on Honor Roll. I told myself during 6th grade that in 8th grade I would be on the stage giving my Five Semester speech, and I did it.

The 9th Grade Booby Trap in Large Public Schools 

Entering the ninth grade was an overwhelming change, the classes were too large and I was embarrassed to ask for help. I didn’t want to be made fun of. I didn’t pay attention in my honors geometry class and I remember my teacher told us we could have two missing assignments and it would not affect our grades. I didn’t understand the material so I stopped doing the homework. I was afraid to ask for help, this was the first time I struggled. I felt a sense of shame. I failed the exams. My final grade suffered and I lost the motivation I once had in middle school. I think if I would’ve had help before it was too late I could’ve passed the class. The teacher did not show she cared, she actually suggested I transferred out of Honors. I was reluctant to do this. I had never given up on anything before.  Instead, I earned  an “F”;  it was my first and the last.

There was also a change in my motivation. I didn’t go to school to learn anymore, I went to look cute and socialize. I focused on other things and less on my studies. In middle school I wasn’t like that. I didn’t feel as intelligent as I felt in middle school.  I also didn’t feel like school was important.

My Mom Fought for A Better School Choice for Me

I didn’t feel important at school.  Fortunately, I was important to my mom! She continuously tried talking to me and got me a tutor but my motivation was not there. She then did the thing many parents fear to do. She told me we would find a new school for me to attend. I was angry with my mom for transferring me. We looked at different schools and I was not able to get into charter schools because there weren’t seats available for me. Although we discussed  why moving me out of a large public school was better for my future, I was still angry. I was angry until I witnessed the commitment my new school gave me.

My new school prepared me, guided me and motivated me to succeed. They give all the students equal attention; not only the selective few who are shining students.  It’s a small school who truly cares about their students success.

Today, I am grateful for being blessed with a courageous mother who has been my number one supporter. I also thankful for my Godmothers who have been there when I needed to vent.  It was because of strong women in my life that overcame hurdles in my high school years. Having no regrets is something I also consider a blessing, for if I would have stayed at a large public school perhaps my path would not be as bright.

As of today, I have received a few College acceptance letters and I feel I am prepared to leave to a university this year. Going to a small school has helped me so much because I am given the attention I deserve. I urge you to give your children the best opportunity they deserve too.

 

“Si yo tuviera la oportunidad de comenzar la secundaria de Nuevo, haría algo diferente?”

Yo pienso que para la mayoría de los estudiantes en mi escuela, la pregunta sería un poco más fácil de contestar, solo porque la mayoría han estado en nuestra escuela desde el grado nueve. Para mi es una pregunta un poco más personal porque yo no asiste a esta escuela en el primer año de la secundaria. Yo he pensado acerca de cómo sería mi vida si hubiera seguido asistiendo una escuela pública/tradicional los cuatro años de la segundaria.

Al momento no me arrepiento de nada, ni siquiera las malas decisiones que tomé en el noveno grado. Le doy gracias mi mamá hacer una decisión firme. Ella fue la que tomo la decisión final en cambiar me dé ambiente y escuela después del noveno grado.

Desde preescolar hasta mi primer año de la escuela secundaria de mi abuela y yo conmutar unos 30-40 minutos cada día a una ciudad diferente, para que yo pudiera asistir a escuelas mejores. Aquí es donde aprendí y practique mi español, mientras escuchábamos español de radio: El Cucuy de la Mañana.  

En la intermedia, yo era una estudiante ejemplar como Cinco Semestre Escolar Académico, siendo un Cinco Semestre Escolar Académico significa comenzar y terminar todos los semestres de middle school con un GPA de 3.7 o superior. Yo mantuve un 4.0 a través de los 5 semestres. Ser una Cinco Semestre Escolar Académico fue uno de mis mayores logros, era mejor que sólo estar en la Lista de Honor.  Me dije a mí misma durante el 6to grado de que en octavo grado que estaría en el escenario dando mi Cinco discurso Semestre, y lo logre!

La Trampa del 9 grado en escuelas publicas grandes

Entrando en el noveno grado fue un cambio abrumador, las clases eran demasiado grandes y yo estaba avergonzada de pedir ayuda.; Yo no quiera que los demás se burlaran de mi. No le presté atención en mi clase de geometría honores y me acuerdo de mi profesor nos dijo que podríamos tener dos tareas faltantes y que no afectaría a nuestras calificaciones. Yo no entendía el material así que dejé de hacer la tarea. Tenía miedo de pedir ayuda, esta fue la primera vez que me esforcé; Sentí una sensación de vergüenza. Fallé los exámenes. Mi nota final sufrió y perdí la motivación que tuve una vez en la escuela media. Si me hubiera tenido ayuda antes de que fuera demasiado tarde creo que podría haber pasado la clase. No le importaba a la maestra, ella sugirió que me transfería de la clase de honores. Yo no tome su sugerencia, yo no soy una persona que se da por vencida.  Fue la primera y última “F” en mi vida.  También hubo un cambio en mi motivación.

Ya no iba a la escuela para aprender, iba para que los demás mirara que vestía bien y socializar. Me he centrado en otras cosas y menos en mis estudios. En la escuela media yo no era asi.  Hubo cambios en la secundaria donde ya no me sentía tan inteligente como yo estaba en la escuela media. Yo no sienta que la escuela era importante.

Mi Mama lucho por una mejor opción escolar para mi

Aunque no lo sentía, yo era importante, era importante para mi mamá!  Ella continuamente intentó hablar conmigo y me consiguió un tutor pero la motivación no estaba allí. Ella entonces hizo lo que muchos padres temen que hacer. Ella me dijo que íbamos a encontrar una nueva escuela para mí. Buscamos escuelas charter pero no habia espacio disponible para mi y me pusieron en lista de espera. Yo estaba enojada con mi mamá. Yo no quería cambiar de escuela.  Apesar de que hablamos y yo entendí que era mejor para mi futuro. Permanecí enojada por un buen tiempo, hasta que empecé a ver la gran diferencia en mi nueva escuela.

Mi escuela me ha preparado, me guió y me motivó para tener éxito. Nos dan a los estudiantes la misma atención; no sólo los pocos selectivos que son estudiantes brillantes. Es una pequeña escuela que realmente se preocupa por su éxito de los estudiantes.

Hoy estoy agradecida por haber sido bendecido con una madre valiente que ha sido mi apoyo principal. Yo también agradecida por mis madrinas que han estado allí cuando necesitaba desahogarme. Fue a causa de fuertes mujeres en mi vida que superaron obstáculos en mis años de escuela secundaria. No tener arrepientes es una victoria porque si me hubiera quedado en la primera escuela, ala mejor mi situacion no seria igual.

El día de hoy he recibido algunas cartas de aceptación de la universidad y yo siento que estoy preparada para asistir una universidad este año.

Ir a una escuela pequeña me ha ayudado mucho, porque me da la atención que merezco. Les insto que le den a sus hijos la mejor oportunidad que se merecen también.

What do you think?

The following two tabs change content below.

Mariah Diaz

Mariah Diaz

Mariah A. Diaz is currently a freshman at San Jose State University. For the first 9 years of her education, her mother and grandmother drove her 7 miles away to another school district because LAUSD didn’t provide high quality options were she lived. She was a stellar student until her first year in high school when she was falling through the cracks. Her mother pulled her out of that school and found a high quality private high school. In her 2nd high school, she thrived. She was involved with several clubs and was a student athlete team member in Volleyball, Softball and Swim team. She has joined the blog community to provide a student’s perspective for parents and motivate students to strive for their dreams and never give up.

More Comments