Wednesday, August 8, 2012

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Parent's Perspective on Back to School

Back to school. One of the things I dread the most. The amount of chaos associated with this time of year is enough to test even the most patient of parents.

Second only to IEP season, back to school is one of my least favorite times of year. This past Monday, I went to the high school to begin the two day process of registering my three teen monsters. It isn't that the process is beyond my capability. It isn't that I don't understand the forms or the fees or the reasoning. It IS that I sincerely dislike dealing with the dragon lady in the main office over and over again. It IS that I dread having to talk with the finance person and explaining (yet again) why I need to apply for a fee waiver. It IS because I feel the theme to Mission Impossible should be playing over the PA system as parents walk through the door, alternated with maniacal villainous laughter. Perhaps a banner screaming "Welcome to Hell" would be a nice touch. And we'll also throw in that weird feeling that even though I'll be 38 next month, I've somehow been sent to the Principal's office to be punished.

So, I've been thinking of ways that this could be turned into a more pleasant experience. Wouldn't it be lovely if *gasp* I could register all three teen monsters on the same day? Wouldn't it be a nice change of pace if the Dragon Lady actually..... smiled? And would it be testing fate too much to have her.. say thank you? Offering caffeine and sugar to parents as they walk in wouldn't hurt, either. I'm just sayin'. But most importantly, could we all just get along and stop making parents feel like this is punishment? Please? So... I drafted a helpful little note for my school administration.

Dear My Kids' School Administration:

It's a very simple thing to interact kindly with parents and still be successful school people. Unleash your inner Homer Simpson. Toss me a donut. Give me a smile - I promise your face will not crack if you try it. Don't make me feel like I'm inconveniencing you by registering my children in the school that employs you. I am not your enemy, my children are not here to make your life harder. I do not stay awake at night thinking of ways to make your life miserable. Therefore, neither should you. I can form complete sentences and everything. And, believe it or not, I can properly use words that have more than two syllables.

I am pleasant when I come to your office. I am respectful, I smile, and I thank you for your time. See how this works? It seems that the natural reaction would be to respond in kind. Think about it. It makes sense. Thanks in advance.

The Momma

I hope it's better the next time I go in....the alternative being something like this parent after she had to register her children, deal with the dragon lady et al, and  attend IEP meetings:
Images in this post from Google images

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