Jie-jie’s teacher tracked us down to find out if we had finished thinking over moving Jie-jie down a level. When we told her that Jie-jie was staying where she was, the teacher was clearly shocked. I don’t know if she assumed that we would follow her expert opinion (I’m not being snarky, I really mean that she is the authority). Maybe that is how it happens here. She was clearly unprepared for our decision. She got a bit of an angry (not quite the word) look and said, as if absolving herself from all responsibility, that she had already explained that Jie-jie’s friends were in the other class and that it was a lot of pressure for Jie-jie to be in Class 1.
I felt bad for upsetting her. I could have just said that we had talked with Jie-jie and she feels fine about it but I didn’t want to make her feel like I had discounted her expertise, insight and concern for my daughter (even if that is sort of what happened). So, instead, I sold out the USA. I explained that Sweden does a very good job of taking care of people but in the US the school system is much more competitive and if you fall behind, even if you are as young as Jie-jie, that can have an effect on your whole educational career and, subsequently your job, income, etc. Therefore, we want Jie-jie to keep up with the work that her class at home is doing. All of this is true too, and was implicitly part of our decision, but I definitely milked it for all it was worth in this situation.
The teacher seemed somewhat mollified. Or at least she stopped looking at me like I was a cold, mean parent.