I want to say, as a parent, I am thoroughly convinced that schools don’t really want our participation. I believe it is socially expected but that the school doesn’t really desire it. Or if they do, they only desire it in very narrow ways for those children they’ve labeled as “problem” children.
Why do I say this? I say it because nothing the school does is ever convenient for parents that work. Like perhaps they are subscribing to this 1950’s suburban version of family life. You know, where the mother stayed home all day and perhaps viewed volunteering in the school the highlight of her day. I know it’s fictional, but I swear that warped thinking is prevalent.
That mother sitting at home set up was then, and continues to be so rare. The failure of the school to not make the adjustment has to be seriously hurting them. Today when you have so many parents employed in high skilled work, to not offer unique ways for them to bring their talents and skills into your school to help you is really a missed opportunity.
- So when you send notices home for a PTA meeting that is from 8:30am-9:30am…you really don’t want my participation.
- When you try to schedule a parent meeting at 10:15am on Friday morning, yet you are telling me this at 7:30am on Wednesday morning, you really didn’t expect for me to be there.
- When you plan such meetings and I advise that I cannot physically be there but can participate via Skype or Google and you tell me you can’t because you haven’t a computer with Skype or google on it…then I am even more certain that you must be lying and that you don’t sincerely want my participation.
- Or when you plan an evening meeting but then tell parents to not bring their children with them and that you will not be providing childcare during the meeting, I look at you and laugh because it’s another sign that you really don’t want parents there.
I know, you want to say that you want parent participation and you use the above as evidence that you are trying to have parents participate but you really don’t want us there. We are bothersome to you. I get it. Parents like to hold you accountable…and what employee wants his boss lurking over his shoulder all day every day?
It’s ok. I get the message loud and clear. It doesn’t offend me really.
Let’s stop pretending though…I think I might like you more if you did.