Choosing the right High School


My daughter A. is now 13 years old and facing already an important choice. What kind of school career is she going to choose. As parents we have been regularly reminding A. of this imminent choice, we spoke about it on many occasions and eventually managed to have A. to make a choice. The date we have to hand in the subscription form is closing and we started doing some pressing on A. when she suddenly decided that she had not made the right choice.

We would have been OK with any choice as long as we could establish A. made this choice based on honesty. We had some doubts on the argumentation she was using and also we saw that she was struggling with the decision a lot. So much that we saw she was postponing it systematically without taking any action. At a certain point as parents we decided to force the dialogue and we sat down to review the matter.

By systematically addressing all the points that caused fears and emotions we managed to filter out there was a lack of overview. Doing the necessary research we managed to draw a picture of how the school system in Italy works, the options A. had on this stage of her school career and the consequences of each type of school option she could choose from. We found out there were  not that many options and a final choice was readily made. Not surprisingly it was the same as we had some time ago with the difference A. is now understanding better why this is the best possible options based on A’s interests and needs.

It is funny to see how at school the teachers are doing their best to influence the choice of their students based on what they think or even belief is best for them. Sometimes you clearly see that the teacher is doing a safe choice as if they want to prevent deception of the student at a later stage and clear themselves from any responsibility that they may think to have in regards of their students. I could conclude that a teacher might give a ‘safe’ school advise not because it is the best option for the student but because they are less reliable if something is not working as it should. Self interest is the drive again. Today another episode wherein a teacher, having heard A’s grade for English (do not forget we are in Italy) was advising her to go to the Tourism High School.

The same applies for us parents, we have to be very careful not to act out of fear, pride or self interest although the motivations are quite different compared to the teachers’ ones. And that might explain why parents and teachers might have opposite opinions.

Anyway, the choice is final since yesterday. A. will go to the Liceo Scientifico (High School for Scientific Studies). Until today we thought she was gong to the Scientifico in the town of Urbania but since  this afternoon A. is considering a Scientific High School in Città di Castello. The travel time to these cities is almost an hour in both cases, so no difference there. The program seems a little more attractive with the option to have a second foreign language and even a third one in the afternoon.

Next week we will go to an open day of this school to have a look, after that time is up and we will have to officially register A. for the selected High School.

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