The Post for Julia and Monica

Dear Teacher,

Thank you again for your thorough daily emails. I just want to say how much I appreciate the weekly newsletter, but my favorite is the three paragraphs you send each day outlining everything that happens within the classroom.

Because I know how important it is to build that school to home connection, I wanted write you with my own daily email letting you know what your student’s daily life is away from class.

We left the parking lot at around 3:35. During the ride home I was informed that recess was cancelled due to too much talking and energy. I completely understand how frustrating it must be to have a disruptive class of students. I will continue to talk to my child about being quiet during your instruction time as suggested, but may I suggest that taking recess from active, restless students (especially in elementary school) is somewhat counterintuitive? Because my child had so much pent up energy, I did allow for 15 minutes of playtime. I realize that cuts into the homework schedule you have outlined, and I hope you will forgive me.

After the allotted 15 minutes, the student had a BM. We’ve been working on getting those on a before and after school schedule as requested because I know it “disrupts the day” to have a student leave the classroom due to those pesky bodily functions. I’m really hoping we can get this schedule to work, because I would hate for the student to just hold it and end up with constipation issues. After, it was about 4:15 so we drilled our spelling words for the 15 minutes you requested then practiced our math facts for the 20 required after which we started dinner. We usually enjoy preparing dinner together as a family, but my child had those worksheets you sent home, so I put the student to work doing those instead. Homework finished and put away just as dinner was ready, so we sat down and ate a nutritious and healthy meal and I set my child to work doing the (highly recommended) extra credit worksheets while the rest of us set to work cleaning up after dinner. After that was complete, the clock read 6:45. We were hoping to get a few minutes to practice at least one of the extracurriculars of piano, soccer, or dance but the hopes of raising a well-rounded individual take a backseat to the strident responsibilities of raising a student in your class.

At this point, we were very close to the 7 o’clock bedtime you recommend (I do agree that 10-11 hours of sleep time is very important for my child’s growing brain) so we quickly brushed teeth and got our pajamas on before tackling the 20 minutes of reading (we find that reading before bed helps us settle down so we save that assignment for the end of the night). Currently, we are reading the first Harry Potter together and are enjoying it immensely. I know it’s not “serious” reading, but we try and fit fun in where we can. My child fell asleep at around 7:45 last night.

Wake up was 6:45 today. The student had a BM (maybe this schedule you’ve suggested is really working!), showered, and dressed for school, made sure to have the library books ready for return (thank you for the reminder email this morning and yesterday afternoon!) and proceeded to leave for school. I was running behind this morning and didn’t have a chance to make the usual healthy breakfast, so the student did have sugar cereal for breakfast. I just want you to be aware in case the student seems a little hyper and unfocused or has a sugar crash before lunch. We’ll try to do better tomorrow.

I hope this email helps you to have a better view of your student’s day at home. I’m looking forward to hearing more about my child’s day at school later today!

Talk to you tomorrow!
Kate

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Edited to add: This blog post was inspired by a discussion I was having with some friends regarding the paperwork and information overload I feel (we all feel?) at this time of year. It is exaggerated (though probably not in the places it most seems to be) and meant to be tongue in cheek. I am raised by a teacher and at one point in my life wanted to be a teacher (and then realized they get far too little pay and appreciation for how hard they have to work) so I by no means am trying to criticize the amazing individuals who I trust my children to on a day-to-day basis. That being said, I think a good many families can relate to the pressure of trying to raise children with varied passions, creativities, (and enough sleep) in a world that is putting more and more responsibilities on them to perform and and behave as miniature adults. This post stems from that frustration.

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  • My 11 year-old son and I laughed at several points of this, Kate. (We clearly have a MUCH less intensive school than your children!)

    “It is exaggerated (though probably not in the places it most seems to be)” … does this mean that bathroom breaks are indeed frowned upon as a disruption and your kids are actually asked to make sure they train their BMs for before and after? Because I just have no words for something like that …

    • I’m so glad you found it humurous, because I AM taking dramatic license for the sake of the joke. It IS a pretty intense year for us though and I’m not quite sure how we’re going to juggle it all. But it is only one school year, and I think at the very least it will be a chance to stretch our abilities.

  • I was a teacher. I was a parent to school-aged children. I LOVE THIS POST. It was being the parent of school-aged children that made me shift my practices around homework for my high school students. I love this post not only for the point you’re making, but also for the humor. You are freakin’ funny. In a snarky way that speaks directly to my heart. 🙂 No apologies necessary.

    • I’m so glad you can appreciate the snark! I’ve always aspired to be more of a Mr. Rogers gentle, kind, uplifting sort, but I suck at it and should probably accept that as I’m almost 40, I’m just the cranky lady in the neighborhood. Thankfully, there’s a place for me on the internet and thankfully, there are people like you!

      Also, I noticed your updated about me section. I LOVE IT!!! It makes me smile.