12 Sep
2016
Posted in: parenting
By    Comments Off on Dear Teachers: It’s Not You, It’s Me

Dear Teachers: It’s Not You, It’s Me

Teachers, I’m asking for some grace. We’re in our first full week of the new school year. We’ve done the back-to-school nights and signed all the papers. We’re almost in the groove, heavy emphasis on almost. Give me time to acclimate to the four varying schedules and demands of our children. Half our kids don’t have homework. The other half will, one far more than the other. There are reading logs to keep and behavior ladders to memorize.

When I send you an email or talk to you face-to-face concerning something you’ve already sent a letter home about, it’s not you, it’s me. I read all the papers our four children bring home. I’ve seen your note, or Remind, or email.  I’ve received the same piece of paper from our school district 12 times…four kids, three separate times. I still looked at it every single time even when they tried to trick me into believing it was new information presented on a different color of paper. I read a paper, dutifully put information on the calendar and file it away in my tidy accordion file setup specifically for school papers. Then the next child gives me a piece of paper and by the end of the evening, everything is a jumbled mess in my head.

girl sitting at school desk

There are 11 core subject teachers to get to know and eight more teachers on top of that. Some of the teachers are available before school, others after. Several use the Remind app. One group updates a website regularly. Some rely on old-school paper notes stuffed in folders. There are a few new apps I haven’t heard of before this year and homework schedules to decipher.

boy sitting at school desk

Then there’s Google Classroom which was taught to me by my children, so there’s probably some holes in my understanding. I’m fairly tech savvy, and it seems pretty straight forward, but educators teaching parents how to use the technology their kids education is shaped by might be a good idea. I’m just saying. I typed papers on a typewriter in high school. I didn’t have an email address until college and no cell phone until after college graduation. The public school system my children know is worlds different than the school of my youth. Each passing year adds something new to the technology landscape. Don’t get me started on the ridiculous amount of new policies implemented by the district, only adding to cloud my paperwork-cluttered mind.

brothers standing in front of a middle school

Teachers, I’ll get there. I will. The kids help, mostly. They know how to navigate the technology and are 80% of the time crystal clear on when things are due. I have an almost 14-year-old son, which means he pretty much has life figured out. This is the year we’re backing off and letting him take more control over organization and time management. We’re eight days into the year, and I can already tell you it’s going to be a long, stressful year with that one. I blame the hormones. I swear he’s been taught several different methods to organize assignments and keep track of due dates. Currently his favorite system is to keep everything in his head, which I think looks a lot like his haphazard room based on the results we’re getting.

Give me a little grace when I ask AGAIN what time lunch is because I keep telling myself to put it in my phone and can’t bring myself to pull the sheet out of the accordion file. I’ll offer grace when our last name is pronounced wrong, again, or the same email arrives four times in quick succession. We’ll fall into a rhythm. Fingers crossed it’s before the end of first quarter.

 

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