Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I Am Mom, Hear Me Roar

It has never been my intention to be the thorn in anyone's side. I actually don't really enjoy confrontation. I am not shy about standing up for myself or others, but I have never really enjoyed being a boat rocker.

I bet the teachers and administrators at my kids' middle school don't see it that way. I bet when they see that they have an email from me, they are less than thrilled. Maybe they even think, "Doesn't this lady have anything better to do?"

Well, actually no. This is my main job. My main priority. This is why I make the big bucks! I do laundry, I take kids to doctors' appointments, I put food together, I drive to soccer and swimming, I email teachers. I am my kids' advocate. If I am not, who will be?

Truly, it is a balancing act to walk the fine line between letting things go, and calling out injustices. I know this isn't a perfect world and sometimes we just have to say, "Wow, that was a bummer. Sorry that happened to you." We have chosen to be in public school, and I know that we will not share the same world view as some other students, families, teachers.

On the other hand, sometimes the mother bear can be contained no longer. Sometimes I am just really tired of what I see. I have grown weary these first few weeks of school, as I've been roaring quite a bit. Last year I roared because movies were shown to my 12 year old son that were completely and utterly inappropriate for my tax dollars to be paying for. This year other parents are roaring because a horrendous book is in our middle school library and the district will not pull it.

So far this year, my battles are smaller, but battles none the less. A cafeteria worker made my son go to the end of the line because other people were cutting. He tried to expain it to her and she wouldn't listen. Another day a teacher told him to throw away trash that other kids had thrown from the other end of the table. He tried to explain that he hadn't done it, she told him to do it anyway. His algebra teacher is ok with the average on the first test of the 6 weeks being a 73. Other teachers just subjectively put grades on papers without any written reasons, or randomly give 95 for participation instead of 100, just because they want to. Overall, our school is trying to create a more positive learning environment for the students by focussing on students' expectations and the consequences for not meeting them. I think they might also need to focus on the adults' attitudes in dealing with middle school kids. How can we expect kids to have respect for us when we are not modeling it for them.

Just call me Ursa Major!

(If any of you more experienced moms think I just need to chill out, please share your wisdom!!)

1 comment:

Kimberly said...

I hear you Amy. Since Joshua has ADHD, every time we have an ARD, I make sure the staff hear me out...and we are so blessed to have our kids at at great school with awesome teachers.
I hope our blessings hold out!