The prospect of selling raffle tickets, bringing in 40 sliced apples for “healthy snack” or even baking for the archetypal bake sale might seem like a good way to “get involved” as your first child enters kindergarten, but it is a universal truth that parents become weary with too much volunteering. Some parents have careers that keep them tied up for most of their waking hours, others have passed one too many afternoons as cashier at the book fair, others might be training for their next triathalon. Whatever the reason, a seasoned parent might begin to dread the onset of the school year and the concomitant calls to “get involved” through extensive volunteering.
Conveniently, the New York Times recently published a story addressing the forever angst-ridden topic of school involvement. While we encourage you to read the whole story, we applaud the astonishing simplicity of the closing recommendations for parental involvement. They are: (1) Meet the teacher (i.e., introduce yourself, show your support for their educational mission and open the lines for communication); (2) Ask good questions (i.e., really talk with your child about his or her experiences at school); and (3) Put your children to bed (i.e., don’t let them stay up to all hours because you’re too lazy to turn off Glee or stop blogging and enforce bedtime.) These recommendations are sensible, sane, and above all, polite. Since they focus on treating others (child and teacher) with respect, setting appropriate limits, and civil interactions, these recomendations no doubt come naturally to all our well-mannered readers, but are refreshing to read, nonetheless.
Wishing you all a smooth transition back to school. Happy September!