I have had my first public school experience tonight after loads of weighing of home/private/public school options and wheeeewww…I’m still recovering (almost?) and feeling a bit raw.
My experience is either telling me:
1.) I need to chill, I must have insanely high expectations that may never be met and perhaps I should start taking some kind of a happy sedative drug while my girls are in school.
2.) I have my work cut out for me…clearly basic “Leadership” “Communication” and perhaps even “Management” or “Parenting 101” requirements are non-existent in public schools, not to mention basic self care (health/diet/exercise), is it my imagination or are 90% of the teachers overweight? Maybe this comment should be in my first thought but if someone is teaching about healthy habits…shouldn’t they be practicing them too? I see this as “work” that I need to do advocacy and whistle blower-wise.
3.) I might need to just let her try it out, be diligent about providing ample learning opportunities at home and volunteer a lot. I feel like this is maybe what the school would like to see? It is difficult because as a non-paid problem fixer (how I see it) shows me a list about a mile long starting with things like:
*Get them a microphone that works or offer to help as a MC for their next meeting
*Offer to teach a course in public speaking that will show them a few techniques to quiet a noisy room of side talkers
*Explain the relevance of a “schedule” and recommend that part of encouraging adherence to one requires basic when/where/how information being communicated (ideally in advance and upon arriving to said events)
*Set up a parent email list for them/parents to communicate with
*Create a simple 8 item list (similar in style but shorter than the *to-do list I am writing here) that gives the outline for the content being discussed quietly in front of the parents so that we could have a slight bit of understanding, and for the ESL parents at least have something that someone can translate for them (I saw one table where a little bit of translation was happening and was a tad jealous they got the one on one information!)
*Creating an actual “Red” sign for the “Red Table” (it has a red dot that is barely visible that is red…nothing else)
*Repeat for other tables
*Print and laminate multiple copies of the kindergarten schedule to post around the room or at least by the sink for parents to see and take note of
*Print and laminate copies of the class lists so that parents can learn their child’s friend’s names, maybe offer to compile a communication list
*Send along any awesome dietitian or personal trainer groupon deals that come along
4.) Focus on finding a good private school (I have a few in mind) and get the applications in…holding her back a year to enroll next year if I need to.
6.) Move to a snobby (rich?) neighborhood (outside Seattle?) where standards are being upheld
So yes number one might be the most accurate, which I am bummed about. Doesn’t everyone want to nourish the future? Are we really working to turn our children into clones who don’t think and either fail or excel (or both) when it bores them?