This week is teacher appreciation week at Number 3 and 4’s school. I would like to take this opportunity to publicly apologize to every teacher that my children have had, presently have, or will ever have.
Now is also the time of year when the teachers are doing placement for next year’s classes. I can see the first grade teachers now: Oh my God, Number 4. I’m not taking Number 4; you take Number 4. No, I’m not taking Number 4 YOU take Number 4. Ok, I’ll trade you Johnny, Joey, and Frankie for Number 4…
But while I realize the challenges that come along with Number 4, I’m really apologizing in advance for myself and what I am going to put these teachers through.
I started out so high-and-mighty and all-knowing. The fact that I was a former teacher really didn’t help me.
I used to teach 4th grade. Over the years I had several students who were pretty much disasters. As far as I was concerned at that time, I would find some unimaginable things in their backpacks and think to myself, “Oh, there is that missing field trip permission slip. What is wrong with their parents? How difficult is it to keep these things organized? Don’t they care about their children?
Then I became a parent.
When Number 1 was having trouble reading in second grade I demanded a meeting with his teacher and marched in there throwing out terms like PPT’s and IEP’s and 504’s.
When Number 2 was in kindergarten I cornered his teacher at Open House and asked her how she was going to provide him with enrichment opportunities because he was soooo gifted.
What a jerk.
But things started to change with Number 3.
I missed his very first parent-teacher conference in kindergarten. I wrote it down on the wrong day on my calendar. I came home to a voicemail saying, “Mrs. J, since you did not show up for Number 3’s conference, please call me if there is anything you would like to discuss.”
Oh. My. God.
I had become that asshole parent I so strongly judged when I was a teacher. I wanted to throw up.
Fast forward to yesterday when Number 4 came home from school and said, “Mom, if I don’t bring in my permission slip for the field trip tomorrow they’re gonna make me STAY IN A DIFFERENT ROOM!!!”
You see, the kids are actually pretty good about coming home and unpacking their bags. I have a decent organizational system in place. When they get home, they take their lunch boxes out and put them on the counter in the kitchen, hang their bags and jackets on their individual hooks, and put any papers for me in the very smart-looking, personalized, hanging file folders from Pottery Barn in the mudroom.
The problem is actually me. I hardly ever go through those folders. In fact, pretty much the only time I do is when they are so full the kids can’t possibly shove another paper into them. I cleaned them out yesterday and found papers from February in there. That’s not good.
I’ve basically gone from a complete psycho to someone whose only goal is for Number 4 to be wearing underpants when she goes to school.
So for what it’s worth teachers, a sincere thank you for all you do. Happy Teacher Appreciation Week 😉