Friday, September 12, 2008
Meet Mrs. Dread
Reflecting on this action, I realize this may not have been the most positive way to introduce myself to the faculty and administrators of my child's school. However, that misspelling made for a very bad presentation, and a truly sad sign. I felt compelled to intervene.
In B.C. times, (Before Children), when I was employed as a teacher, I sometimes encountered "difficult" parents. I called them Mr. or Mrs. Dread behind their backs, of course. There were many reasons why I dreaded dealing with them, but often, I thought these particular adults were pushy, and overly judgemental. I swore I would never become a Mrs. Dread.
I guess the old adage is true: "Never say never." I recall this dusty promise as I'm dialing the number of my child's principal. School hasn't started yet, and it's big brother's first day...of kindergarten. I explain that I have concerns and questions about an optional enrichment program that my son is enrolled in. This may be obnoxious of me, but so what! Reader, who else will advocate for the academic success of my children?
My fear and doubt in the school district mounts during the first week. Big brother gets bullied on the playground, and when he asks an adult for help, he is told to "go play." I only feel more concerned when the teacher sends home notes riddled with grammar mistakes. I send in a note, then call her directly and voice my concerns. I decide to give big brother extra projects once a week to help enrich his learning. All the while, I feel like I've been possessed by Mrs. Dread.
This behavior is not like me. I understand that no one is perfect. However, everyone can shoot for excellence. When I was a new teacher I was so nervous, I forgot how to spell word "hamburger." I wrote it like this on the black board: HANDBURGER. Of course I looked dumb, and a kid corrected me. I can relate to the pressures of being a teacher, but as a parent, I feel frustrated. I expect those who are entrusted with my child's academic success to strive to be excellent at what they do, just as I did when I went home from work and secretly checked the spelling of "hamburger" in the dictionary. I never put a hand in a burger again.
By Friday the teacher is responding with extra notes on big brother's progress, and she has worked his enrichment projects into her curriculum. I look into the mirror and realize, the horrible transformation is complete. This is what giving birth has done to me. I am Mrs. Dread, and it turns out that, as Martha Stewart would say, "It's a good thing."
“Excellence can be obtained if you:...care more than others think is wise;...risk more than others think is safe;...dream more than others think is practical;...expect more than others think is possible.” - Unknown
Dear Internet Traveler,
Welcome to my writer's blog, started about six years ago for fun. Over time, the writing I have posted has ranged from personal reflection, to Long Island history research, to tall tales for my own amusement, to feature articles for local newspapers. As you can see from topics listed here, I travel in many mental directions in regard to interests. Click on the tabs and labels to explore my strange mind which senses that you may be having a criss-cross day. If so, perhaps this blog will distract you. However, please note that if you tell me my blog is beautiful just to get me to advertise rhinoplasty surgery and cheap drugs from Canada in your comment, I will ask the gods to give you a tail that cannot be concealed.