You know how in the movies, when someone is on death row (in prison), and they’re on their way to whatever it is that the law has decided is going to kill them – the jailer or narrator or someone calls out, “dead man walking!” You know that?
Take that imagery and transfer it for a moment if you will to the tired masses of moms of school aged children everywhere.
We are busy. There is an unending stream of papers and books and forms and clubs and whatnot coming from school at all times. The more kids you have, the more of this gets thrown at you. In addition to the rest of life which may include a job or other children or the marriage you’ve put on the back burner while you raised the children that you now send off to school every day.
As if you even give a care.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for the field trips, special days, clubs, projects, and book orders. Having children who can read well and do math proficiently is kind of incredibly important to me. That my kids have teachers who pour their blood, sweat, tears, time, and enough money on Tim Horton’s that they could probably own a franchise of their own – this is pretty spectacular stuff.
But some days, I’m like a prisoner on my way to whatever the next thing is that my kids’ educational process has decided is going to kill my last ounce of will to function in a day. Where is my narrator to call out, “tired mom ranting!”
Thank God for the internet then, right?
Today as I sat down after getting Rosalie and the 2 other kids I babysit twice a week, down for their naps, I saw a little e-mail pop up on my computer. Got Olivier set up with a blanket on the couch for his quiet time with his dinosaurs and some Thomas the Train on Netflix. Opened up my computer as I often do, and read an e-mail from Andreas’ grade 1 teacher.
In said e-mail it explained that they forgot tomorrow is the 100th Day Of School and so they are having a celebration to mark it, and can we please send our kids with 100 of something that is small and we do not need back.
Now, I fully respect that his teacher is putting all that work into a special day that nobody expects of her. So yes, kudos to her. Lucky kids to have a teacher who wants to make learning fun and all that. This is the same teacher who made a special meeting just for us last week to talk about Andreas’ IPP (Same thing as an IEP, for my American friends.) I’m sure her time is just as limited and there is tons of educational value in this 100th Day business.
But that e-mail read to my tired mommy eyes like this:
I need you to do 100 things for me. By tomorrow.
I posted as much on facebook and sarcastically commented that his teacher is going to have 99 problems tomorrow when Andreas doesn’t have 100 of anything to bring.
(Note to teacher, in case she is reading this: I didn’t mean it. Don’t give up on me.)
And then decided that I was going to rip up 100 pieces of paper and write the word “CARE” on each of them to represent all the tiny cares I do not give.
I almost meant it.
Then I got thinking. The teachers are not to blame. I think we need to blame Pinterest. Just like my rant on how Pinterest has ruined birthday party planning for parents forever, I think Pinterest is probably just as bad for teachers.
Oh yes, Pinterest is a treasure trove of idea sharing for educators. If I were a teacher, Pinterest would be my lesson planning sidekick. Like partners in fighting crime, except more like partners in fighting illiteracy. But I have this sneaking suspicion that it also puts the pressure on teachers to turn their classrooms into self-contained think tanks set to produce the next wave of little geniuses. When really some days you’re probably just glad they all know how to wipe themselves independently, aren’t you? I’m on to you, teachers.
You know what I remember learning in school? I remember learning how to count to 100. I do not remember having a party to celebrate this achievement. These kids don’t even know how lucky they are. When Mateo finished grade 1, he asked when his graduation would be. Because they had one for kindergarten and he really thought he was getting a special assembly for completing every grade. We then had a conversation about how you don’t get a prize for doing what is expected of you. The prize is now you get to do the next grade where the work is harder and more is expected of you. Just like life. Yay.
So teachers, everywhere, I just want to say – between you and me – that you are truly wonderful people for doing all these extra things that the kids probably don’t even appreciate half the time, and the underachieving moms like me write ranty blogs about.
The next 100 days of school project may involve 100 tiny bottles of liquor or 100 shot glasses for the staff room. Because I care about your mental health and well being. I CARE.
But this 100th Day project is going to involve 100 pieces of leftover Halloween candy. That should be enough for sharing I think. I won’t need it back. Two can play this game.
copyright (c) 2014 Jenna Pelias // all rights reserved