Last night I spent nearly two hours at my daughter’s middle school, getting an intro to each of her six classes. Of course there is some useful information shared at these things, but a lot of it just wastes my time. I don’t need to know how many years each teacher has been teaching. I don’t need to know what district (s) each has taught in. The best things I heard was the math teacher stating that a dad had asked her to assign less homework during football season. She replied, “Why don’t you ask the coach to practice 20 minutes less each night?”. Amen!!!! It’s seventh grade, not the pros.
Next week I get to sit through the third grade curriculum night – for the third time. I doubt I’ll hear anything new, the teacher usually reads the handout verbatim, as if we are illiterate. I can’t skip it or I’ll look like an uncaring parent. If you’ve read previous entries, you’ll remember that I withdrew my middle child from the fifth grade last year due to the teacher’s actions. However, I know that the event was related with the teacher’s own slant and I get some wary looks from the teachers now.
We made a run to the store today to finish the list of supplies for my third grader. We had most of the list (which arrived today) already, but of course the teacher has her own request which was hard to find. She had to have a top spiral steno pad. Why not a 70 page one subject notebook? They go on sale for 20 cents every July in our town and I always buy a few more than I think we need. (Blank notebooks are right up there with candy in my kid’s books!) Fortunately we found the steno for a dollar, but it was only one of three left – and we bought it within two hours of receiving the list.
Sometimes the supply lists feel never ending. I realize we’re in a wealthier district than many and the teachers feel free to ask. One teacher even had a basket for cash contributions one year. The cash request from the PTO will come the first week of school. I don’t send a check because they are so kind as to tell us how much we ought to give. That hacks me off. Near Christmas and the end of the year, room moms will be asking for us to give gift cards to put on a tree for the teacher. I always decline and my child gives the teacher something they made for her. I’m not saying the teacher isn’t worth a nice gift, just that once again I feel like someone has their hand in my pocket telling me how much they’re going to take. Besides, my kids are awfully proud to give gifts which they’ve made.
This year I feel the added benefit of homeschooling my middle child. We don’t need much to have rich resources (library and internet supply a lot) and can accomplish a lot of learning without the splashy stuff. It’s one less two hour curriculum meet and greet, six less supply lists (she would have been in the middle school this year), six fewer binders needed, and less headache to deal with.
Wow! I really opened the crab box. Every now and then I need to air my annoyances with the public schools.