Monday, November 03, 2008

It Takes a Village

If you've ever spent any time reading my blog, you will know I am an involved parent. I may lament how tired I am or complain abt how many things that are going on that keep me so busy, but in all reality, I wouldn't have it any other way. I like helping out at the school. I like knowing the kids in my kid's class. I like the fact that the principal knows me. And while it may be unfair, my child has a slight advantage over the other students. They are still graded fairly, but if there are issues, I find out abt them sooner. When there are field trips with limited chaperones, I get in. When there are limited spaces in the Dolphin area for a Sea World field trip, my kid gets in. As I said, it may not be fair, but nothing is fair in this life and if I can give my kid an advantage, I will do what I can to get it for them.

This explains why I spend some mornings in the classroom, or help out during parties, or hand out sno-cones during a walk-a-thon. And it also explains why I own so many school t-shirts. And as long as I'm wanted and needed, I will be there for them both.

That being said, it makes me feel bad for kids that don't have involved parents. I know I'm fortunate that I can do what I do at the school. I have a work schedule that allows me to be at school for my kids. I know there are parents that would LOVE to be more active at the school. These are not the parents I'm talking abt. Being an involved parent means spending time with your kids. Finding out how their day went. Looking over their homework at night. Helping them with a project. Letting them read to you (I'm even allowed to knit during this). There are things you can do any time of day. These are involved parents.

No, the ones I'm talking abt are the ones that call their kids stupid for not being able to read and yet wont take the time to help them out. The ones that want to sit in front of the tv instead of listening to them recite their alphabet or have them count to 100. I know they are tired. I get that. *I'm* tired at the end of the day. Being a stay at home mom is so much harder than when I worked in advertising or banking. There are times I can't listen to another story or look at one more piece of homework or do anything more that requires a mom hat. That's when I tell them I'm wiped out and I need them in their rooms to find something to do. Or I put on a video or the TV to watch Sponge Bob or Hannah Montana or any other Disney/Nick channel.

I'm talking abt the kids in class who bloom when you spend just 10 min with them listening to them read and telling them they did a great job. Those that beam with pride when they get some math problem that you've helped them with. The same ones that break your heart when they don't have books at home to read or crayons to use to color with (crayons are $.25 at the beginning of the school year at WalMart; beer starts at $2.50 for a 4 pack).

Where is all this coming from? Helping 3 boys who are struggling with reading in class today. Making them show respect for themselves along with their classmates (no talking was allowed) when they were reading out loud. Spending just 10 min of my time to help them read 5 sentences on their own. Seeing the pride in one little boy's face for actually getting thru it.

I know that as a parent I can't do it all on my own. I need the help of friends and relatives and teachers and teacher assistants. But I also know that the teachers are not the only ones responsible for teaching my child. They have too much on their plates as it is. And if I can help that teacher out just a bit by being in the classroom during the day or going over their schoolwork with them at night, I'm going to do it. My kids' education depends on it.

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WOW!!!! See what happens when I have to blog about something everyday?? You just don't know what you're gonna get! And if you got thru all that, here is some yarn candy to look at!!!!

It's some malabrigo I bought on eBay. This yarn is so in demand right now I didn't get much of a deal on the price, but OOOOH is it nice!!! I think it will be for me, maybe a nice scarf to drape over my jacket. Granted I live in Florida and don't NEED a thick wool scarf, but this is one time I will make an exception.

4 comments:

SusieH said...

Amen, sister! Lovely, lovely post. It is so sad to see kids with parents who are totally uninterested in their education. One of the things I LOVE about my guys' school is that everyone seems to care. It's so unlike many places...

Kathleen in Germany said...

If last week was any indication, then we definitely need warm malabrigo scarves down here. Knit on!

June said...

I agree with you 100%. Enjoy helping out while they still want you there. I did, too, but it came to a point (teenage years) that they didn't want/need me there anymore. Both are now teachers at the Comm.Coll.!! (Maybe I did something right?) Love that blue yarn!

Diane said...

If you think it's sad now just wait until you hit high school. Open house with 3 kids in the same school and my hubby and I split their schedules and made every class except gym. For my senior daughter there were times I was the only parent in the classroom with the teacher. One mom sat there texting on her blackberry the entire time (and I was with her in 3 different classrooms).

You can use that yummy malabrigo to knit up a nice warm scarf for someone else ... like maybe someone in CT who's weather will be getting awfully cold soon.