6 Ways I Will Fail My Kid’s Teachers This School Year

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colored pencilsEvery fall parents everywhere start the new school year with good intentions. We all pledge to do everything we can to support our children's education and show their teachers all the appreciation they deserve. And then we totally fall down on the job. Er, well, speaking for myself, anyway. There's just something about, oh, I don't know, doing the grocery shopping and running the household and going to work and having a life that kind of gets in the way of my being School Parent of the Year.

So you know what? This year I'm not even going to try. My new motto is: Under-promise and over-deliver, or failing that, just deliver. So here are six ways I will probably fail my son's teachers, so we're all prepared.

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1. I will never volunteer to chaperone a field trip. It's just not going to happen. Do you know why? Because. I have a job. Who are these other parents who can just take a whole day off to go to the museum with you all? We live in the most expensive city in the country. Don't they have to earn money of something? I sure as hell do!

2. I will buy the wrong school supplies. Look, some of you are getting way too specific. I mean, does that folder really have to be blue AND two-pocketed AND paper? Because I got to the store too late and all I see here is this plastic, pocket-less folder, but it's still blue. Also, here is a roll of toilet paper in lieu of a box of tissues. I think you know why.

3. I will forget when it's our week to bring snacks. You'll send me a very polite email on Monday afternoon informing me that I forgot. I will rush to the convenience store and start buying up all the crackers, not even caring that everyone else brings baby carrots, string cheese, and grapes.

4. I will show up late for parent-teacher conferences. It's the fucking bus! The 8:30 just never showed up. I swear, I'm really trying here. Also: I promise to get snippy and defensive when you begin with "well, we only have five minutes now, so ..." Let's just be grateful that I made it there at all.

5. I will need to be reminded to return important forms. I know there's like 400 of them. I'll get to them. Just go ahead and schedule about 10 reminder emails now, save yourself the trouble later.

6. I will send my son to school sick-ish. He'll have been over his fever for the required 48 hours or whatever it is. But he will still look miserable. Don't let his act fool you -- he's perfectly fine! And I cannot take another day of working from home. Please, just take him.

Here's what I will get right: I will deliver to your classroom this brilliant kid who loves to learn. You will like him a whole hell of a lot more than you'll like me, which is fine because you'll spend a whole hell of a lot more time with him than with me. And remember, just because I'm a total flake doesn't mean I don't appreciate the amazing work you do.

Are you a dependable parent or do you forget everything, too?


Image via Dave Haygath/Flickr

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I thank every minute that I am not longer part of the Elementary Krewe...Goshhhhhh!  That was some tough stuff.  I tried every year to be "The Parent of the Year", but my job wasn't supportive of my efforts.

alika... alikay1986

"Don't they have to earn money of something?"

Way to mock stay at home moms. With improper grammar nonetheless!

bills... billsfan1104

I have a problem with you being late for the parent teacher conference. Because unlike you, I make sure I on time. I am untimely because there are other people there for the same thing and there time is just as valuable. Some of us have jobs and we work our work schedule around the conference. And if you late and expect me to wait longer, I am going to get pissed.

You have an entitled attitude. And you need to be knocked off your perch.

Another thing, some of us take a vacation day to help chaperone a field trip, because it means the world to our kid. And it's your choice to live in the most expensive city in the world. Cut back on something. Live within your means.

nonmember avatar jasdf

This makes me feel bad for your child.
Everyone is the class needs to go hungry because you can't be bothered to remember to bring the snack?
The reason the teacher is so specific regarding school supplies is because they do not want any student to feel bad if someone else has something "better". No bullying! No inequality!
Do not send your child to school sick. Even sick-ish. How unbelievably selfish of you.
Regarding conferences, teachers take time out of their day to prepare for the conference with you. They are ready to discuss your child. To create a game plan specific to your child that will cover their needs. Make more of an effort to get there on time. Show respect.

bills... billsfan1104

On time and their**** autocorrect sucks.

March... MarchmommaKC

Honestly I feel bad for your children!  Your entire post reads that your kids are not a priority to you and you don't care one lick about showing them that their school life is important to you.  This is the most important/time consuming part of their days and you are basically fine with the fact that you are late, sloppy, nonchalant, and disorganized when it comes to it. 

"don't they have to earn money..."??  Yes, yes I do have to earn money to help support my family but fortunately for me this very important full time job comes with time off.  I will use that for field trip days, for class parties, for times he is SICK-ISH.  I will use it all if I have to.  I agree that the school supply list has some zingers on there - but again, my kid is my priority.  I will go school shopping in time to get him what he needs - not as an afterthought and a hassle in my busy life.  Don't be late to your kids school stuff.  Again, you are showing THEM not just the teacher, that you don't care. 

If your kid is sick, keep him home.  Your job is not a priority, your sick kid is.  It is so incredibly uncaring and disrespectful to your kids, the teacher, the other kids/parents that will be affected by your kid's germs bc you couldn't take another day of working from home.

Be respectful of your children and the people that are shaping their life!!

Felip... FelipesMom

lol awesome thanks for the laughs, and the reality check! (PS I am an educator) We all take ourselves too seriously sometimes (me included!)

nonmember avatar Shelly

Lol amen I am glad I am not alone except for the late part but everything else pretty spot on I swear every year will be different but alas it is not

nonmember avatar Cynthia

And this is where I am very thankful that we have wonderful volunteers who LIKE to and WANT to volunteer because there are some people who truly are UNABLE to volunteer for field trips and such. As for snacks and school supplies, I'm thankful that we're in a school district that buys the supplies in bulk and distributes them to the classrooms needed and we pay a small, flat fee. You only supply non consumables-lunch kit, backpack, shoes, calculators, geometry sets etc. There are no 'group snacks' here either. You send your child's snack with them every day! As for sending kids to school sick, given that the average cold lasts 14 days, I'd like everyone to explain to me how exactly you keep your kids out of school that long realistically?

nonmember avatar Katie

I totally get the sickish thing. My stepson loves to milk it when he is sick. Once he is ready to go back, he always does this little cough/I'm still sick to get sent home from school. Then runs around all day at home with tons of energy. Some jobs only give less than 5 sick days a year. You have to save them for when you or your kid REALLY needs them.

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