I see my post on “This is What Happens When Parents Don’t Show Up in School” got a few people heated. That’s what blogging is all about. I’m not going to please everyone with my posts and it’s okay to go against me. I still love my followers. I can’t wait to see how you react if/when I write a post on my opinion of the Common Core. Please remember that my posts are not to point the finger at anyone, but to get people to think about how they can maximize time with their children during the early years. I hear in my school it stops after grade 4 so I’m gettin’ it in while I’m welcome.
I do agree that it just isn’t possible for every parent to attend every in-school activity. Even as a SAHM, I sometimes leave thinking, “Did I really need to be here to do this?” Then I answer…yes. But that’s just me. Let’s also be clear that this post was not about the PTA. I am strictly speaking about in-class activities in this post.
While some of you are able to make all or some of the in-class activities, many are not for various reasons. My girlfriend made a comment on my Facebook page that made alot of sense. Dr. Duncan is an 8th grade history teacher at one of the Kipp Schools in Harlem, NY and publishes her own blog, tutors children, is married all while being the parent of 4 beautiful children. She is Super Mom in it’s fullest.
Dr. Duncan says, “We have the luxury of either not working, or being salaried. There are parents at my school that I haven’t seen, and don’t see unless it is before 8 am or around 7 pm. There are people in REAL poverty, who will not recoup the money lost from taking off work, even for their children. These same parents, mostly mothers, have to make the choice to formula feed though they want to breastfeed, because they are docked pay during pumping time. It’s not always being unwilling or uncaring, as I seriously used to think when I first started teaching in public schools in NYC. The education dilemma is inextricably tied to the inequities in pay and rights of the working poor.:
I get that.
I’m not saying parents should make every event. I just wonder where some of the parents are who don’t make ANY events. I do hope that many parents who aren’t able to attend in-class events are still in relationship with the teacher to fill the gap.
If you can’t attend all or some of the in-class events, consider doing some of the following:
1. Plan Ahead
Review the school or class calendar at the beginning of the school year to plan out which days you can take off or go into work late.
2. Teacher Meeting
Meet with the teacher and get an understanding of which in-class activities are more important than others (such as when the kids perform vs. an in-class craft)
3. Find a Surrogate
Can’t make it? Send in a grandparent, aunt/uncle, older sibling, cousin, or neighbor. Like our family, we do not have a relative nearby for 50 – 500 miles. When the time comes where I have to work outside of the home, I do believe I could call on a friend or even my neighbor’s mom to attend the class activity in my place as my surrogate.
4. Form a Parent Co-Op
Make an effort to meet some of the parents in your child’s class so you can form a Parent co-op or collaboration of some sort. Assign 1 parent for 3-4 of your child’s friends/classmates and make sure the children know you are their for them. Class moms can reach out to parents to form this co-op as well.
5. Create an Adopt-A-Parent Program
Contact a senior citizens group in your community and create an Adopt-A-Grandparent program in your school. There’s a group in my community that spends alot of time at the community center playing cards and knitting. I’m sure they’ll love coming into the classroom and spending time with the children.
What other ideas do you have?
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