God bless the classroom moms and dads of the world.
My 5th grader is in a class of 33 kids this year and that means for every homework page, class assignment, and test given, the teacher gets 33 back. That’s a lot of work!
And paperwork is only the beginning. Add behavior management of 33 kids to the pressure of students scoring well on state testing and teachers have one of the hardest jobs around.
It is for this reason classroom parents are a tremendous asset to our teachers.
Three days after school began, I attended Back-to-School Night with my fellow parents. We shuffled into the classroom, signed the attendance sheet, and listened to our kid’s teacher offer up her best sales pitch as to why we should become a classroom parent (or “room mom/dad”). I listened, felt major sympathy for my kid’s teacher, got the skinny on the classroom happenings, and left without signing up to be a room mom.
Why didn’t I sign up? Is it because I suck? Maybe, but the real reason is that I don’t think I’m made of the right stuff.
Classroom moms and dads are a different breed of parent than I am for a lot of reasons including, but not limited to the following:
1. I’m selfish: I’m totally all about my kids’ educations but my time in incredibly limited. While I’m sure all the classroom parents face the same kind of busy, I betcha they handle the pressure like grownups. They don’t find themselves in the fetal position when tasked with laminating 33 folders or cutting out 100 purple stars. I would.
2. I don’t want to: There’s nothing worse than doing something your heart isn’t into. If I signed up, I’d be kind of pissed at myself, and in turn, kind of pissy to people I have no business being pissy to.
3. They’ll manage without me: I guess this one goes back to #1, being selfish. I know the teacher could use my help and I will help, in other, more discreet ways. I’ll donate ridiculous amounts of classroom supplies, donate money to the spring baskets for the PTA raffle, and attend every Spirit Night, but you won’t find me grading papers, running copies, or pouring punch for 33 kids.
4. The commitment: Remember that thing I just told you about crumbling from the pressure of cutting out stars and laminating, those things are only the beginning. The school year is a long time to commit my time and energy. As a freelancer I never know when the next opportunity is coming or when I’ll have to hustle extra hard to get that next project in the door. I like to keep my schedule as open as possible so I can pounce when professional pouncing needs to be done. Saying no to jobs that feed my family just isn’t an option.
5. My kids: Way to throw your kids under the bus, Mommyfriend. I know. As much as my kids would love me forever if I was in their classroom helping out, they’d expect me to volunteer year after year because they’re kids. Also, they have to love me forever anyway so we’re cool.
So there you have it. I’m a mom who’s selfish with her time, lukewarm-hearted, and terrible under pressure. Is this a woman you want helping out in your kid’s classroom? I didn’t think so.
Do you volunteer in your child’s classroom?
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