Wednesday, July 22, 2009
In the Know
I will never be accused of hyper-parenting (click on the link for more info). Parenting in the extreme, scheduling and pushing for your children so hard that you are actually doing the work and activities for them - is absolutely not my style. Heck, I was never even ABLE to attend a PTO meeting - whose bright idea was it to schedule them at 4:00 on weekdays anyway?
As a result, I was often out of the loop with oldest. When she was in kindergarten I checked her daily folder one evening to find that there was a cookie exchange and sing-along. In. One. Hour. This was the first I had heard or seen, and I checked her back-pack daily. So we rushed through dinner and to the event, oldest still in her school clothes. Another kind-hearted parent took pity on me as I watched an assortment of children dressed in their Christmas finest and told me, "With kindergartners you never know what's going on. It will get better."
And in some ways it did get better. Teen was on safety patrol in elementary school, she won awards and gave performances- which I always attended. But, I was never the parent who knew how to get things done, or even what things I was supposed to be getting done for that matter. When the school sent a letter home saying they were moving her from advanced classes because there was no longer enough space, I didn't even know I should fight it - let alone how to fight it. Needless to say, I was not a parent "in the know" of things. Until now.
Through a series of events with Boy, (click here or here for more info) and by becoming a teacher in the district I have greatly increased my "know" power. So it was last May that I asked a counselor at my school to run Teen's high school schedule for me (she starts in August). In looking at her classes, I was dumbfounded. Two periods of English and two periods of Algebra a DAY? Only 2 electives and no language? How can this be? I colluded with co-workers and decided to wait until state test scores came back, then I would call.
I made the call this week. In speaking with a guidance counselor I was able to quickly cut to the chase; Teen wants to be in honors English and science possibly math. As the counselor was giving me the prepared "your child is not as smart as you think she is speech" I was able to quickly rattle-off the all-powerful test scores. Counselor stopped talking and started listening. She pulled records and quickly came to my way of thinking. She let me know it would take a bit, as she needed to make some major changes to Teen's schedule. She would call back, and she did. I am pleased to report Teen is now in honors, has her language as well as orchestra (she is leaving band for the cello), art, and PE. Yes, she went from 2 electives to 4. Her days will now be filled with challenge and art, she and both of her parents are happy.
Though, I do feel badly for all the parents and students who will not see their schedules until freshman orientation; I am reveling in the fact that for once - I was one of the parents in the know! And to think I only had to change my career for this to happen.