Thank You School

Here in Nova Scotia, our public education system is under an intense amount of stress right now. Teachers are being overworked to the point that they’re losing teaching time in order to fulfill other mandanted requirements. These mandated requirements may or may not be improvements to the system, they’re arguable. 

Crash and Bang are still receiving proper education from their teachers, even with the “work to rule” strike still in place. I’m not here to discuss what they’re learning from their teachers.

I’m here tonight to discuss what they’re learning in school from their friends.

You’ve all seen the latest phenomenon. Bottles of water drank down to the last 1/4 of the bottle. Intentionally. It flips better that way. I’ve got mixed opinions on this little game. I’m cool with it. I’ll even admit I’ve flipped a few bottles myself.  It’s not as easy as the internet makes it seem. The only flipping I do now is flipping him off behind his back when he frustrates me. After listening to someone make it thunk a few times it starts to get annoying. Like a jackhammer-outside-your-bedroom-window-at-6-am-on-a-Saturday kind of annoying. Now he tries to flip everything. Empty kiddie cups. His bedroom garbage can. His clothes hamper (which a larger version of his garbage can). His reusable water bottle. A yogurt container. The ketchup. Fortunately, he hasn’t tried to flip his brother. 

Yet. 

Then there is this thing called “dabbing”. The best I can describe is that it’s a one step dance move. None of this 5,6,7,8 necessary. All that’s needed is the 5. One arm covers your eyes, the other arm goes out and up in the same direction. So now he wants to do everywhere he goes. He dabs in Walmart (though I suppose it’s normal to dab there. It’s normal to do almost everything there). He dabs when a camera points at him. He dabs while ice skating. It resembles Usain Bolt’s signature move. Except less cool. So less cool that it’s damn near boiling. 

Speaking of boiling… that’s hot. Though certainly not in “both ways”. I had to laugh when he came out with that one for the first time. He had just come inside from playing basketball or something and he was a bit sweaty and he tells me, “I’m hot.” He took a dramatic pause before laying on the charm, “In both ways.” 

Huh? You’re hot in both ways? “No, son. My wife (your mom) is hot in both ways after she’s done her walk/run thing that she does. You, sir, are 9.” If he’s hot in both ways, I’m too sexy for my shirt (like Right Said Fred said). I asked him, what are “both ways”? He defined the first way, no sweat. He wasn’t clear on the second way. When I say “wasn’t clear” I mean he hadn’t the foggiest idea. 

So thank you school for giving him such cool friends to teach him these cool things to do to drive his parents batshit crazy. I don’t even want to guess at what the next “cool” thing will be. I know it won’t be as cool as the Electric Slide, big hair, or “Eat my shorts.”

What fads and sayings do you remember from our glory days?

The Ugly Divorce in the Nova Scotia Education System

When something is broken, you fix it. When it’s a marriage, you do what you can make amends.

However, when pillars can no longer support and bridges collapse things can get ugly, especially when money and kids are involved. The ruthless ones will use the kids as pawns. The children unknowingly becomes players in a game in which they have no voice. Both sides trying their damnedest to make the other look like an unfit parent. When both sides are throwing mud and words the only ones who get dirty and hurt are the kids.

We are now into the second week of a province wide work to rule teacher strike. I’m pretty sure the only ones who have noticed anything change are the teachers, parents, and the few kids who participated in extracurricular activities. Otherwise, it’s been business as usual for the kids.

Except it hasn’t been.

You see, when the announcement was first made that the teachers would strike as a “work to rule” my first thought was that teachers’ job are about to get significantly easier. No more supervision. No more after school activities. Teachers arrive 20 minutes before school starts and leave 20 minutes after it ends. No more data entry – mandated testing, attendance, etc…

My second thought followed close behind. This isn’t going to make teacher’s jobs easier. In fact, it will be the exact opposite. Planning a day for 20-25 five and six year olds (or any year olds, for that matter) takes longer than the allowed 20 minutes. Teachers are discouraged from planning at home as they normally would. Being a teacher, I know first hand what can happen if you don’t have a lesson plan ready. It’s not pretty. Suddenly, it’s no longer teaching. It’s just keeping students busy so they don’t find other ways to entertain themselves that could potentially be destructive – self or otherwise. Reining them back in once they’ve lost focus is difficult indeed. Without the proper planning, students may not be receiving a proper education because they can’t do all the extras a teacher would normally plan.

The students who need a bit of extra help before a test, whether science, math, social studies, won’t receive it from the teacher who knows best. The senior working so hard on the sports team in an attempt to receive a sports scholarship to help pay for university is no longer being coached. They’re sidelined hoping their day comes before it’s too late.

Teachers are fed up. Hence the reason they have taken a stand. It’s the first time this has happened here in 125 years. Classes are too big, there is insufficient support, and teachers are doing far more than they are required to do. Has the government listened? When they found out that teachers wouldn’t be supervising students any longer, they deemed schools “unsafe” and locked students out. During the first and only day of the lockout, the government then said, “Our bad. We didn’t know schools had already taken measures to ensure supervision and student safety”. Again, the only ones who are being hurt here are the kids. I don’t think the government understands the irony of their lie. It’s the extras, the stuff teachers aren’t getting paid to do, that keep our students, our children, safe.

The only news I’ve heard from the government was about a bill they were going to try to force through legislation to impose a contract on teachers. That’s not negotiating. That’s not fair bargaining. That’s being a bully simply because you’re bigger. That’s being the parent who says, “Because I said so.”

I don’t know how long this work to rule strike will last. I doubt anyone does, really. It could be weeks, it could be months, it could be all year. At this point, I don’t think the government minds. To my knowledge it’s no skin off their backs. Other than looking bad by not working with the teachers to improve our education system, what’s it to them? They’re still getting paid. They’re not inconvenienced in any way. The government seems to be in no rush to resolve this.

This won’t affect our children today. Today they’re okay. It will most definitely affect them in the days to come. If we’re not careful many of them may become buried in the fallout and will be left behind. They will slip through the cracks of a broken education system. No, this isn’t hurting today. But it will hurt the future.

Our children are not pawns to be used to to make the other side appear to be the ugly parent. This isn’t a battle over custody. It’s a battle for what’s best for students. In my opinion, the ones in the classroom, the ones who know our students’ needs best, are the ones we should be heeding, not the absent parent.

Where Would We Be?

Imagine a world without teachers. What would our world look like without classrooms, without schools, without the teachers our children adore?

This is the path Nova Scotia has found itself wandering along. Our teacher’s union has been in negotiations for over a year trying to bargain for better classroom conditions, better pay, and to save their long-service award – a bonus upon retirement for serving 25+ years. The union’s proposal would an cost an estimated $508 million. The bulk of that, $340 million, would be put towards a better working conditions. The province has countered with a $41 million proposal. That’s a difference of $467 million. I may have been born in the morning, but it wasn’t yesterday morning. I compare solving the the education problem with $41 million to buying a new car with the change you can find in your couch cushions.

After a year with no progress, after a year of the government saying things will change without changing anything, after a year of empty promises and no action teachers have taken a stand. They’re standing up for our kids, our children and their own, for a better place for themselves and for our most precious commodity. Our future. 9,300 teachers voted. An outstanding number of them, 96% to be precise, have voted in favor of a province wide strike. Teachers want to be heard. Teachers need to be heard. The government says they’re listening, but they’re not doing. The government says they’re already putting money into classrooms. However, it’s either so little it’s unnoticeable or it’s putting it in the wrong places.

When was the trust between the government and the classroom lost? When did those who are now removed from the classroom working in administration higher up lose their faith in teachers’ abilities and opinions? Does the government not realize how thin teachers are spread and understand their desire to simply teach again? As it stands, elementary teachers are required to test and track their student’s abilities in reading, writing and math. Report cards can take weeks to complete. Reading assessments for each student takes time away from teaching, not to mention time to evaluate them, score them, and assess their development level compared to how they tested previously. All this while teaching 25 other students.

Teachers work in the public sector and that seems to be the Premiere’s argument because he doesn’t want to treat employees within the public services differently. Aren’t teachers so much more? Teachers come in early and leave late. They take their work home with them. They spend time after school in clubs, sports, bands and countless other activities. Now teachers are taking a stand and demanding to be heard. A “work to rule” strike begins next Monday. This means all the extras are gone. Teachers are to enter school and leave school at the times depicted in the contract, 20 minutes before students arrive and 20 minutes after they leave. No clubs. No sports. No bands. No extra curricular activities. This saddens me because it means my youngest son misses his first performance in his first Christmas concert- there will be no Christmas concert. While I will miss it greatly, I completely understand it and fully support it.

I perceive this to be the next step of negotiations. Teachers have had to take a drastic measure to be heard by the government. However, this isn’t worst case scenario. There is one more step. A full shut down. A full strike that would close schools entirely. A world without teachers.

None of us would be where we are today without someone teaching us, without guiding us to enlightenment, without broadening our horizons and deepening our understanding. If teachers aren’t heard by their government soon, if action isn’t taken soon, a world without teachers will become a reality in Nova Scotia.

To read further please visit Teachers of Nova Scotia.

From left: Kate Ervine NS Parents for Teachers, Liette Doucet NS Teacher’s Union President, Stephen McNeil NS Premiere

Acorns: A Guest Post by Dori of Green Grapes

There comes a time in everyone’s life when we are tested. Our courage. Our will power. Our strength of character. Our ability to keep ourselves from going to pieces.

They are our own battles which no one else can understand. When we found out our first born would need open heart surgery within days of his birth it became an obstacle we weren’t sure how to conquer. It became our battle.

One such battle began for a family thousands of miles from home, on the other side of an ocean, when their littlest required serious medical attention.

Dori start her blog Green Grapes shortly after she and her husband found themselves in this situation. Soon after, she took the world of blogging not only to find stories like her own but to share her story as well. She writes with the clarity of a crisp, autumn morning and you’ll find yourself nodding along in understanding the whole way through her posts.

If you’re like me and wondering where her blog title comes from, you’ll just have to find out for yourself. I promise, you won’t be disappointed. I’m honored to welcome her here with her first ever guest post.


Acorns

I’m learning the ropes of the blogging world from Eric of All in a Dad’s Work.  Thanks for letting me guest blog here!

For many years I have proclaimed to be a Summer person.   I love the anticipation of vacation with my family; I love the beach and I love cold brewed coffee and iced tea, which frankly – cannot be consumed in the winters here.

My husband and I moved to the Boston area in August, 2005.  Naive, young and desperately broke, we heaved half our furniture and boxes into a temporary apartment and the other half into a storage unit.  One month later on September 1, 2005 we moved those same belongings into a tiny, overpriced apartment during a heatwave.  In retrospect, that day was the tipping point for me and my favoritism of summer.   I was miserable.  I must have looked it, because even the guy who came to install our cable stuck around an extra 15 minutes to help carry boxes to our 3rd floor walk up.

As time went on, I began to develop a preference for the  fall season in New England.   It’s sort of irresistible with it’s fiery foliage and countless crisp mornings.  In 2007 my husband (then boyfriend) proposed and we were married on September 21st. Three years later, my first son was born on September 14th.  His brother joined our family late in August of  2013.  As I ventured further into adulthood, the positive memories associated with fall began to imprint themselves upon me.

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In the US, students take a break from formal education in the summer months and return to school in the fall.  Eric and I know this well – we met as educators at a higher education institution in Maryland.   I transitioned away from the education profession in 2007.  In addition to K – 12 schools, the Boston area is home to more than 100 colleges and universities.  When those students  return to school each fall, we all  return to a familiar pace of life.

The change is an undeniable force.

Our family has been eagerly anticipating Fall, 2016.  My oldest son was due to start kindergarten and my youngest, preschool.   They would start their new adventures with a fresh set of clothes, new lunch boxes and trimmed hair.   In June we had a party for my older son “Congratulations on Preschool Graduation!” The kids jumped for hours in the bouncy house.

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And then in early August my youngest son had a sudden, unexplained onset of Myoclonic Atonic Epilepsy.  We are still learning why… how… when… and the answers to so many other questions.  During our first visit to Boston Children’s Hospital, our neurologist let us know that our son’s continued participation in a school would be critical to his psychosocial development.  However, he was far from being ready to actually return to school.

So, we focused instead on playgrounds, Gymboree and creative play at home.  He also got dressed, ate breakfast and walked with us every day to drop his older brother off at school, to create routine for when it is his turn.

Last week, the summer weather “broke” and fall rolled in, bringing with it, fantastically strong wind.  This happened on Thursday, September 22nd – the first day of fall.  We have been sleeping with the windows open and I woke to the sound of acorns falling off the Oak trees, a syncopation of pops and bangs as they hit everything in their path on their way to the ground.   I listened for a few minutes before closing the window in the boys room.    Then, I re-read the email I drafted earlier that day,  confirming my younger son’s attendance at preschool, starting September 26th.  I decided that the timing felt right.  I  hit “send”on the message as  I wiped the 3-millionth tear off my cheek and then grabbed some extra blankets for the bed.

I realized that night, that the fall season has become more than just my preference.  It is my beginning, my New Year.    Very much like a student, it is my chance to start again –  stretch open a new book until it cracks, sharpen an unused pencil and resolve to be better at something this time around.  Cheers!

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Questions I Asked My Kids About School

Just as a foreword, these questions were asked at totally separate times. Neither one saw each other’s answers. Yet their answers are very similar. Who doesn’t love gym, though!

1 What was your favorite part of school today?

Crash: Gym
Bang: The gym

What is one thing you learned about today?

Crash: Filling out stuff (he filled in a hundreds chart)
Bang: I learned a new game in gym

3 What did you eat for lunch?

Crash: Ham/cheese/turkey wrap, Goldfish, strawberries, Oreo crackers (Thinsations)
Bang: Cheese, butter crackers, granola bar

4 What is your teacher like?

Crash: Extremely nice (he needs strict, not nice)
Bang: She is kind.

5 What’s one thing you want to learn in school this year?

Crash: Division or how to do a backflip in gym
Bang: Play new games

6 Did you or your teacher read any books today?

Crash: I did. I read two chapters of Geromino Stilton The Journey Through Time “Midieval Mission”
Bang: The Kissing Hand

7 What’s your favorite thing to do in school?

Crash: Math (This is shocking, actually. He used to hate math)
Bang: Play in the water table

8 What did you play at recess?

Crash: All I can remember is that it was two friends and I. All we did was walk around.
Bang: I was playing train and saying “All Aboard!” and I was climbing up to steer the train.

9 Did anything funny happen at school?

Crash: One friend did something funny (I don’t remember what he did) and another friend said “real funny friend”
Bang: My teacher read one book that was funny. I don’t remember what book it was.

10 Did you have any dreams?

Crash: Yes. I was getting a newspaper from the dumpster and then I fell in. Then the recycling truck came and it threw me in the back into the stinky garbage. It went to the dump and that’s when I woke up.
Bang: Nope.

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The First Day

I gave you fair warning yesterday

Yesterday was our last day of summer. It passed much like the rest of the summer in it’s slow yet too fast kind of way.

Today was not a sleep in, lazy day. On the contrary, it was quite the opposite of a sleepy, lazy day.

5:50 am – Crash woke to use the bathroom then went back to bed to read for a bit. Too excited to sleep, I was later told.
6:00 am – Fitbit buzzed me awake. F***ing Fitbit.
6:10 am- Crash, DW and myself head downstairs to start the day.
6:15 am- Crash eats. DW makes her smoothie and eats. I start making lunches.
6:45 am – I wake up Bang. Bang says his “jitter glitter”* didn’t work. It must have because it’s all over his face. DW makes signs for the boys to hold for “First Day Pictures”
7:00- Feed Bang and pray Bang eats the first thing prepared for him.
7:10- Thank you God for answering my prayer!
7:15- Make sure boys dress as nice as one can knowing the day’s temps will climb to 30 (86F) and a heat index of 38 (100) but not so comfortable they resemble a hobo or Pigpen.
7:30- Brush teeth to prevent fur coats and dragon breath.
7:45- Load backpacks with lunches, indoor shoes and water bottles.
7:46- Wait 14 minutes until it’s time to go to the bus stop

14 minutes later….
8:00- get “First Day Photos” taken by momarazzi.
8:05- Go to the bus stop and see friends you’ve been playing with all summer, except now you’re all getting ready to ride the cheesebox
8:15- Get on the Big Yellow Taxi
*race Yellow Dragon Wagon to school*
8:30- See Crash and Bang off to class. Basically get told to leave by the 5 year old.
8:40- Drop DW off at work and go home.
8:40-1:30- Enjoy the peace and quiet of being home alone. Get more cleaning done in one morning than normally gets done in a week while playing music unusually loud.
2:45- Watch boys get off the Boneshaker and get videoed and photoed by dadarazzi.
2:46- Ask a gazillion and two questions about their day.
2:47- Get answered with “I don’t remember”

Repeat 194 more times (minus the First Day Photo shoot)
*Jitter glitter is glitter Bang received from his teacher yesterday. It was to help calm nerves for a restful sleep the night before the first day of “big kid school”

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The Last Day

Tonight is a school night.

Last night was the last non-school night.

So I read a bit extra to Crash. We’re reading Harry Potter. We’re nearly done the fourth book, now. Just a few chapters left. We’re going to watch the movie once we finish the book. The book doesn’t scare him. He thinks the movie will, though.

That makes tonight a school night. We’ve been getting the kids into a regular routine at bedtime again. We started last week. You know, making sure they’re clean, eat their bedtime snack (which they invariably try to turn into meal), brush teeth and in bed to read and sleep at a decent hour. Here it’s lights out between 7:30 and 8.

Crash is awesome at waking on time to get ready for school. He’s so good he doesn’t need an alarm or to be woken by us. He’s awake between 6 and 6:30. On school days. On weekends. On holidays. Even if he stay up until midnight (like last New Year’s Eve).

Bang, on the other hand, is a different story. He likes his sleep. Some mornings I’ve tried to wake him and he rolls over and tries to go back sleep. Little bugger. He also likes to take his time in the morning. He’s not one to jump out of bed and run downstairs to eat at 7am. He’s one to run downstairs to go play for a bit at 8am.

Today is the last day of summer vacation. We made it to the beach several times. We didn’t get out camping though. Perhaps we can fit that in this fall. I’d love to make it to Cape Breton’s Highland National Park… it’s stunningly beautiful in the fall.

Today is the last day of summer vacation. We made it out kayaking a few times. We can keep going through the fall, too. We just won’t be stopping for a swim any more.

It’s the last day of summer which means the trampoline will be coming down in a month. We store it away for the winter in attempt to make it last longer. Wet, heavy snow on a trampoline doesn’t do good things to it. Mowing should be slowing down, too. Which is a bummer because that’s how I get all my steps in for the day.

Today is the last day of summer vacation which mean Crash will start having homework. He hasn’t had homework in… well never. I know Finland says they never give homework and Finland has the best education system. But I think a bit of homework is necessary. What are your opinions on homework? Necessary evil? Or are there better things to do with their time?

It’s the last day of summer vacation which means tomorrow will be the first day of the school year! Our last child’s first day of school…. I’m nervous excited.

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Monday Morning Round Table

Gather round, my friends. Let me get you something to drink.

Coffee?
Tea?
Milk?
Orange Juice?
Reisling? (It’s 5:00 somewhere)

I’d offer a Coke, but we don’t have any in the house. You’ll have to bring your own. Sorry.

This is our last full week of summer. The following week Crash starts 4th grade and Bang starts primary (aka kindergarten). The don’t start until Wednesday of next week though. I’ve explained my giddiness for the first day of school as both a teacher and a parent. I thrive on the routine as much as the kids do. DW has already started back to school. This is her third week back! Next week I’ll will be packing up to four lunches (on the days I get subbing days) , making sure everyone has what they need, and getting us all out the door on time. That last one is tricky. Last year I drove Crash to school. He enjoyed getting to school 15 minutes early (they have a “morning recess” before school starts). When he rode the bus he didn’t get there until recess was almost over. This year he will have his little brother with him for the first time. Bang is wickedly excited to ride the bus. Because if one rides the bus then Another Rides the Bus.

Crash’s baseball season is over, but it ended on a high note. He finally got to pitch. He struck out a batter to end the inning. We still pitch and catch and bat in the backyard though. Baseball’s not over until the World Series is played in October. My Orioles are currently in the 3rd place. The American League East is a tough decision and I’m confident they can overcome the Jays and Sox.

I’ve now posted 9 videos to my YouTube channel, SuperDad’s GoPro. I have a grand total of 3 subscribers! I have one in the editing process and I have some more ideas for more videos. I have to thank Jay Dee of I Read Encyclopedia for Fun for giving my YouTube page a shout out on both his blog and his own YouTube page.

That was our weekend. Thanks for joining me! Hope you enjoy the drink and chat. I hate to rush you out the door but a certain 5 year old wants me to play Big Brain Academy on the Wii with him.

Toodaloo!

Feel free to let me know how your weekend went down in the comments.

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There’s no i in team but there is me in awesome! There is also a we. Join me and we can be awesome!

 

The Joys of the Chaos

Have you ever had so much to do at any given moment that you felt there was no way in hell it would get done? You know you had to leave at such and such to make it without being late. While scrambling to get it all done, you know there are only two options. Option A, leave without being properly prepared. Option B, slow down, don’t forget anything and accept the fact that you’re going to be late. Option C (an option you didn’t realize existed until it was too late) continue at the mad pace your on but ultimately forget something. Hopefully, not one of the kids. Or your spouse. Or worse yet, your lunch.

That’s what happened at house this morning. Anyone who has to get kids ready for school in the morning knows this struggle all to well. It is real. Last night’s snow didn’t help our situation. It was the most exciting two inches Crash and Bang had ever seen. The first “real” snow always is. Nevermind school, they couldn’t wait to get out to play in it. So excited that Crash made oatmeal for breakfast at 6 am, put in the freezer to cool off and forgot about it. I found it an hour and half later while getting ice for water bottles. Thank God, too. He would have been awful hungry come lunch time!

Fortunately, every on in our house is capable of dressing themselves now. Bang now gets himself dressed immediately after waking up. Knowing that I was substituting today, I got myself ready immediately after eating breakfast. Sorry, WordPress, you gotta wait until after school (or recess and lunch). Then it was down to pack three lunches – Crash’s, DW’s, and my own. Then chaos arrives and threw the proverbial wrench in my gears.

I’m all for the kids going out to play. I’m even more all for going out to play with them. What I’m not for is going out before school. Normally, Crash would help get ready – I’d pack his lunch, but he’d pack his backpack. This morning, he just couldn’t wait to go out and ride his snowboard down the hill in the fresh powder. Can’t blame him, I wanted to be out there, too. Unfortunately, he neglected his morning duties. Then Bang went out to play, too. This would have been all fine and dandy except that I had to stop the scramble and help him get on all his snow clothes.

They weren’t out long before traipsing back in. Lunches were being packed. Water bottles were being filled. We were nearly ready. Mostly. Bang needed his medicine (last of his antibiotic to heal his double ear infection). Bang needed his puffers. While DW administered those, I finished lunches. Finally, ready to head out the door, chaos tapped my on the shoulder and laughed.

Crash’s backpack still wasn’t packed like I asked him to do. He argued about wearing snow pants to school (his only argument was that it takes too long to put them on and he misses recess to which I told him to learn to dress faster. Duh). This required him to take off the boots and coat he had already put on. Bang was getting his coat on. I was getting my boots on. DW had started the truck so it could thaw and running like a blue arsed fly looking for her snow boots. I told her where to look in the basement, but she pulled a me and went looking and couldn’t find them fast enough. I ran down and got them. Came back up to pack Crash’s backpack. Meanwhile, the four year old is now the only one ready with hat, coat, mittens, and packed backpack standing outside waiting.

Finally, sitting in the truck, DW asks “Did you get my water bottle?”

“Nope.” And back into the house I go.

“It’s in the back of the truck,” she hollers into the house. That explains why I can’t find the damn thing. She forgot that she remembered to grab it.

Back in the truck she asks the second question, “Did you get my lunchbox?”

“Yes, but I forgot mine,” I respond with a growl and probably rolled my eyes so far back I could see myself think.

“I got it. It’s in the back of the truck.” And off we go, with a quick stop at Nanny’s to drop off the antibiotic because she will be picking Bang up from school. DW drops all three off at school (it’s great having the three of here at one time).

Ten minutes later I get paged to come to the office where the secretary tells me, “Your wife called. You forgot your lunch in the truck.”

Shit. Guess I’ll consider myself lucky if that’s the only thing I forgot.

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Giving credit where credit is due. 

 

Teacher’s Kids

What’s it like having two teachers as parents? Kelly over at Bustle knows pretty well it’s like.

Crash and Bang have the advantage (curse?) of having not one teacher parent, but two.  It has its advantages – access to parts of the school other kids don’t get to see, get to be in school when there is no one else there, get to have mom or dad as a teacher (this is both a pro and a con). On the other hand, it also has some disadvantages – you get mom or dad as your teacher, every teacher in the school knows who you are, you have to stay after school when you’d rather go home, and expectations are set a bit higher.

So far Crash is still pretty excited to see me in school. Even as his substitute teacher. I’m hoping it stays this way, but I’m certainly not expecting it to.

Right now I’m only substituting. However, this still gives me access to the school as if I were a full time teacher. I use the teacher’s lounge. I can enter and exit through the staff doors. I am the first one in and last one out of the classroom. This means that Crash can do these things, too. Though, I keep him out of the staff room if there are other teachers in there. It’s not a place for sensitive ears. If I’m subbing for the gym teacher he gets to use the whole gym. To himself. Show me a kid who doesn’t want full run of a gymnasium and I’ll show you a kid who probably doesn’t like gym! This is true of the classroom, too. It’s something different for a kid to be in their teacher’s classroom all by themselves.  The quiet. The empty desks. The cleanliness.

Then there’s being your kid’s teacher. I’m not sure exactly how he feels when hears his classmates tell him “Your dad is our teacher!” He knew this before he even got to school. Now he has to hear it over and over as each classmate realizes this. Over and over. And Over.saint

Then there are the expectations. Stereotypical teacher’s kids are held to slightly higher standards than the general population of the school. Being teachers, we know how students should behave in school and we therefore start teaching this to our own kids at birth. Also, as teachers who love to teach, we begin teaching our own kids while still in the womb. I know I was reading to DW’s baby belly for both of our sons. So teacher’s kids are not only expected to behave, but also be smart.

Every teacher in the school knows who Crash is. Or at least every teacher who knows me and DW (also a teacher). Therefore, there are eyes on him at all times. I know about things he’s done before he knows I know about them. One day he’ll tell me I was always spying on it. S’okay, though, it’s for his own good. And I do spy, by the way. If I’m subbing at his school I will, at least once, peek through his classroom door at him to see what he’s up to.

peeking

It’s not so bad being a teacher’s kid. Except, this evening, Crash was complaining about having to practice math. “I have to do math for like two hours in school. Then, I come home and have to do it for 15 more!” Sorry kiddo. Not everyone gets to have a teacher mom and dad. But you do. So lets get ‘er done and make ya fast at addition and subtraction so we can do some multiplication! HA!