Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Making sense of it all

This weekend, I had a wonderful mother's day. My children were especially sweet and my husband endearing. Everyone behaved for the babysitter on Sunday, so I think she will come back again.

I felt very lucky to be a mom this weekend. I don't always appreciate my family and my children. You know - they tend to drive me crazy some times. Shocker. But I forget how truly lucky I am that all of my children are healthy and happy, and that we have the life we have.

I feel that a lot of people lose perspective on what is important in life and what is not. We so often sweat the small stuff, that we forget that there are bigger reasons to be upset. That we need to let the little things go.

Right now, at the school I work, there is a "annoyance" of sorts going on between some parents and some teachers. If I told you it was over not being able to bring cupcakes in for birthday parties - would you believe me? If I told you that it was also over not being able to volunteer in your child's 4th grade classroom on a daily basis, would you think I was nuts?

But it is true. Being the school nurse, I am on the outside looking in. I see the hard work that the teachers do on a daily basis. How much they care about the children's education and well being. I would be happy to have any of my children in any of their classrooms. They bring so much more than just reading and writing. These teachers are in-tune to all their kids and treat them like their own.

What I don't understand, is why is everyone so upset about something so minor? Have the parents forgotten what school is all about? What their children are here to do? That society isn't going to care a lick if you never had a cupcake during school hours, or your mommy wasn't there to hold you hand between 8-3.

The kids need to learn independence and self monitoring on top of just everyday work. But here - the little stuff matters most. The parties, the extras - that is what the parents care about. And they forget what they should really be worried about.

Do I think all parent complaining is unjustified? Of course not. I am a parent, and if I felt there was something that I didn't like, I would talk with the teacher about it. But would it be related to snacks and volunteering? No.

Take Finley for example. If Finley was in elementary school right now, what would be my biggest concern? That she was able to get around the building and that the teacher felt comfortable with her vision issues and was dealing with them appropriately? Yes. That Finley couldn't have cupcakes for her birthday? No. That she was being made part of the group - even if she can't see everything that is going on? Yes. That I couldn't come in once a week in her classroom and volunteer? No.

I wish I could make the parents see. I wish I could show them from my perspective - from a parent who has a child who has needs - what their complaining looks like to someone like me. If this is all we had to worry about with school, I would consider myself extremely lucky. If all that matters is how many cupcakes Finley got eat a year, we would be jumping for joy.

Last week was national teacher's week. I hope that anyone out there, who has a child in school, let their teachers know how they felt about them. (in a good way) How much you appreciate their work with your children and making them into wonderful people who will run our country one day. I hope you realize how much they care about your kids and how they would do just about anything for them. I know that - do you?

Take a minute - before you make a judgment, or a phone call, or write a letter. Take a moment and think......is it worth it? What do I expect to gain? Think about Finley if you have to and try and put it into perspective.

Have a great week everyone. We are going to be busy in our house. Tomorrow is National School Nurse's day and I have dinner our with the nurses in my district. We have softball, and more nights out, and soccer......it goes on and on!!!

See you Saturday.

1 comment:

Frank and Teen said...

Thank you, Jen. As a teacher who cares a lot about her students and who spends more time with the kids than their own parents, I say thank you. Thank you for recognizing that our teaching encompasses more than just reading and writing. And I wholeheartedly agree with you, too - let's focus on the things that matter and will make a difference. Not on what won't.