Back to School night
Last night was the 2nd of my 3 Back to School Nights and honestly, I was a little disappointed. I am new to the “school-aged kids” thing (the twins just started kindergarten) and I assumed (I know, never assume) that last night would be an informative, structured evening about the kids’ daily routine. I knew it would be somewhat chaotic, as most school events are, but I had no idea it would be almost circus-like.
For fear of looking like a loser, I asked
begged a friend of mine, Mrs. Mayor, to let me tag along with her and her husband. I have known Mrs. Mayor (Ms. M) for a couple of years now, we met when the twins and her son where in the same pre-k class. She was nice AND sarcastic and I latched right on (tight).
Back to School night started at 7pm and when we pulled up at 6:50 the parking lot full and there was a line of parents out the front door. Was this Back to School or was Bon Jovi in town? I said while Mr. Mayor commented that he thought he saw police manning the door. WTF????
One of the twins and Ms. M’s son are in the same kindergarten class so we were strategizing in the van about how we could become “Co-room Moms”. Ms. M heard it was REALLY important to get to the “clipboard” first and we (Mr. M included) had a plan to grab that clipboard the minute we got into the room. However, first, we had to endure the principal’s introduction.
Let me set the scene for you. Tons of parents (from all walks of life – oops did I say that out loud?) parading into the gym, carrying their free bag of instant mashed potatoes (courtesy of the PTO), frantically searching for an empty folding chair.
While all this is happening, Mr. Principal decides to start his welcome speech. I understand he had to keep up a schedule but would it have killed him to wait until 7:05? Mr. Principal is talking away, apparently in a microphone, and I couldn’t understand anything he was saying. I thought it was just me but Ms. M also couldn’t understand him either. It was like sitting on a subway trying to make out what stop was next.
After a couple of minutes I gave up listening and played with my phone. When Mr. Principal’s speech was over (I assume this only because everyone was clapping), the entire room stood up and charged to the back of the gym. It was like Black Friday at Wal-Mart.
Me and Mrs. M were in the front of the pack (Mr. M did not fare as well) determined to get to that clipboard first. We found Mrs. P’s classroom, located the infamous clipboard (only it’s a piece of paper that says “PM Volunteers”) and were the first 2 names on the list (yay us!!) before trying to find our kid’s names on the tables in the room.
I found J’s spot and crammed myself into his little red chair all excited to hear what Mrs. P had to say. Only, it was hard to hear Mrs. P because the majority of the other parents had brought their kids along to Back to School night. You would have thought these kids had never been in a classroom before, let alone in that same room maybe 4 hours earlier. They were yelling and pulling out puzzles and asking Mrs. P where Chrysanthemum (some mouse in a book who was bullied) was.
God Bless Mrs. P, that saintly woman stayed clam, and smiled, the ENTIRE time. One or 2 times she very nicely asked the kids to use their “inside voices” but her smile never faded. It was then that I realized this is why I do NOT teach little children.
The entire time I was sitting in the red chair, I kept thinking Where the f are these kids’ parents and WHY are they not telling their kids to behave? I can understand if you don’t have childcare, then you have to bring your kid. But if you AND your husband came together, couldnt one of you have stayed home with the kids?
Anyway, Mrs. P was finishing when we heard the mumbled voice of Mr. Principal over the PA system (it sounded like the teacher from Peanuts). Session 1 was over and Session 2 was starting immediately.
Quickly, I ran to find M’s classroom (I separated the twins) and find Ms. G’s “clipboard” when I looked up and saw a line of parents waiting to ask this poor teacher specific questions about their kids. Johnny’s mom wanted to know if Johnny ate his snack, Sasha’s dad HAD to ask what time to drop off her birthday treats and Jimmy’s mom wanted to go over his behavior since day 1.
People it is Back to School night, NOT individual conferences. If you want to know how your kid writes, just send the teacher an email!
It seemed like Ms. G had just started talking about Social Studies and how the kids were going to “grow butterflies” when the mumbled voice of Mr. Principal was back telling us that Back to School night was officially over.
I found Mr. and Mrs. Mayor in the hall and we quietly walked back to their van. I feel like I need a drink she said and I couldn’t have agreed more!