Bittersweet "Back To School" Season

You know that feeling when you ask someone a question and they say NO. But you know that they really mean yes? Or when someone is saying “stop it” but it’s almost as if they are really trying to wave you on? That’s how I feel about this whole Back to School season that is upon us. There is a part of me that is already mentally packing the backpacks, planning my first day of “freedom” (via a colorized excel spreadsheet) and strategizing how to get my kids to go TO BED at a decent hour again.

I’ve had the privilege of having many different experiences with the whole school world. We did a Private Preschool, Public Grade School, a Homeschool season and now we’re in an International Private School. In all of these circles I have had a range of bittersweet memories.

Nothing will ever touch my heart like the way my children’s Preschool Teachers loved my children and cared for them and taught them about Jesus. They were amazing and had the amount of patience that well, only someone who signs up to teach Preschoolers can truly have. Our many years with all three of our kids going through that beautiful school taught us more about Jesus too. It was a joy seeing their little persons grow and develop in such a nurturing way.

Then we jumped into the world of Public Schools. In my usual nature I was "gung-ho".

I was happy to schlep my baby into the Kindergarten room to help cut our crafts. Well, I was happy the first time. Until I realized that trying to be productive with a baby (turning toddler) in a stroller was like trying to put “socks on a rooster” (I’ll give credit to my hubby on this saying), I mean what was I thinking? That I could get the Kindergartener off to school at the crack of eight AM, then bus (or via mini-van) my 3-year-old son to his nine AM drop off at Preschool and then get back to the Public School to “volunteer”, which should have read, “I’ll show up but my productivity will be about the same as if you asked one of your Kinders to do the cutting out.” Then after a whole 43 minutes of “work”, I’ll use that term loosely because I probably had to change a diaper during that time frame too. I would then pack up my Kinder girl because her day was over at the late hour of 10:40. I.am.not.kidding. Thankfully that gave us roughly about 50 minutes until we needed to pick up our little man from Preschool. Well, you know how much you can get done in 50 minutes, with a 5-year-old and a baby? Yay, not much. We would “squeeze in” a trip through the drive thru at Starbucks, pick up little man and call it a day at 11:40 when we rolled back to the house.

As the Public School years went on I become more and more involved.

“Yes, I’ll teach Art Lit!” Because I have no interest in art whatsoever and I love attending monthly late night meetings where you train me in all things art and make me draw. Can someone please get me a Margarita? And, I should mention that MANY of the parents who sign up for Art Lit are really, really artsy, like talented - ARTISTS. So it’s really fun when all the parents have to practice and “do” the assignment together and me, Miss. Linear, is sticking to her boxes and grids and NOT feeling the “artsyiness" at all. Talk about pressure.

"Yes, I’ll do Teacher Appreciation.” The teachers work so hard and they need to be appreciated! I’ll never forget the time my friend and I carted in loads of Burritos from Chipotle for the Teacher Appreciation week (baby in tow mind you) and we were bombarded with questions about what was in each burrito? How should I know? Do I look like I’m wearing a Chipotle uniform?

Sigh.

NO. I will not be in charge of Teacher Appreciation next year, that is beyond my skill and tolerance set. And bless all of you parent volunteers, or should I really say “Artists”, who drag in art supplies and teach art to students month after month. And I apologize to the students that I was given to teach, for multiple years mind you. You were seriously shortchanged.

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