Monday, February 10, 2014

Some days I want to cry

That is a lie. Some days I come back from an emotionally draining experience at my child's school to fall on my couch and sob uncontrollably.

I just wanted to be treated like a human being and like a parent, because I am both of these things.

Days like this almost make me want to give up. To just give in to the sadness and the sobbing and say "Alright, you win. I will sit my pathetic loser felon ass here on my couch and butt out and not come to the school unless it is absolutely necessary and required that I am there."

Today, it's not even my dividend status. And so it has me wondering if I even picked the right school. Luckily we get to choose from three schools so I'll probably look into some specific policies at the two schools I did not pick and see if they are more inviting to parents (regardless of dividend status) than the one we are at currently. Because I don't know if I want my child at a school that discourages parents from walking their child to class or running an item to the doorway of a classroom. I think that I am not okay with this. And as relieved as I was to learn that it was not MY specific dividend status that was the issue today, it kind of made me MORE concerned to hear it was a blanket policy that applied to everyone. I think I may have been less upset to hear this was just because it was me, the felon, the parent who is NOT an approved dividend.....

"Most parents bring them to lunch" they said. Ok, that's great, but I don't want my kid eating her cupcake for her lunch, and I don't know how happy the other parents would be about that either. The cupcakes I was dropping off were for their snack, later in the day, well after lunch. And yeah, I can and will approach it differently next year, but maybe if I write it down someone will eventually pay attention to these policies that don't really sound like they were written while thinking about kids and parents as human beings.  This is not my dog that I dropped off at a kennel for supervision, this is my child that is supposed to be coming to a place of learning. Only now I wonder, what IS she learning, exactly.....?

Shouldn't ANY parent feel like they can walk in to the school at any time and see their child IN the classroom setting? Even without a reason? Shouldn't ANY parent feel they have a right to walk to the classroom and hand snacks or supplies directly to the teacher? Should there ever be a time that a parent is prohibited from these things?  Is it really more disruptive for a parent to take a moment to give a teacher supplies at the doorway to their classroom than it is to remove two students from class entirely to go to the office to collect the item?  Should the office refuse to tell the teacher that a parent is waiting with the item, to ensure the parent is not left waiting for an exceptional amount of time? Should the school policy be to discourage parents from waiting with the item they are donating to the teacher and classroom and instead imply that they should just drop the item off? Should parents be encouraged to take a less personal and interactive approach with their gifts?

I may have been raised by wolves, but even *I* know it feels more polite to give a gift directly to a person than it is to deposit it with a third party.

Am I just overreacting? Should I just accept, as all the other parents have accepted, that I should just not expect to ever walk my child to class or deliver gifts or snacks unless it is before or after school hours? And that I should bring cupcakes during lunch to upset all the kids' nutrition for the day?  Should I basically adopt a hands off approach with my kid's school? That isn't why I picked this county for my child to GO to school in.
My child's teacher arrives just before the bell, and I personally don't think she should be expected to arrive early or stay late in order to have the added politeness and respect of me giving her the things directly. I cannot imagine the patience she must have to do what she does all day. Let the woman go HOME when her day is done. She doesn't want to sit around waiting for me, even if I have tons of hand sanitizer and tissues.
Perhaps I just have unrealistic expectations of what "parental involvement" is, but it certainly doesn't seem like it fits with this "discourage all parents from being on campus at all costs" approach that I seem to be experiencing. Because that makes me WANT to help less. It makes me LESS likely to donate items or money or my time, and I don't think that's a good overall policy to have if you want to keep parents involved. Having these realizations makes me sad, because I did all the "right" research before selecting our home and made sure to pick the "best" schools. Or did I? Because it is starting to look like maybe I didn't ask any of the right questions.....

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