Monday, November 21, 2011

Parents Teach Your Children Well

I work for my public school system. In the course of my day, I have the privilege and the misfortune of working with children that are the direct results of their parents' parenting.

Today, our new superintendent made it known that under no circumstance is a child to lose any or all of their recess. This may be part of his thinking but it was certainly heighten by a collection of petitions from county parents irate that their children had to sit out recess to: either catch-up on homework they did not do, class work from the morning they did not finish, or for disciplinary reasons like not following the basic rules of the school.

I've read through the pages and pages of posts. I am officially sick to my stomach. I did not reply to the thread for fear of being found out that I have an opinion counter to the new rules of my employer. I would like to keep my job at least until I can no longer tolerate being spit on (literally and figuratively) by children whose parents feel their offspring are completely within their rights to do so. But had I written, this is what I would have said:

I've just read through these posts and I have to ask, have any of you ever been in the school during a school day?

Have you witnessed teachers, in maxed out classrooms, being distracted by poor to offensive and certainly disrespectful behavior, from students that are not coded with learning issues but rather come from the "I don't feel like it" school of thought? They are the same teachers giving up their own lunch and planning time to meet with your children to get them up to speed and the only time they can do that without discouraging the students that actually care about learning and pay attention during class time, is to use recess time.

Recess is a privilege not a right. It is the natural progression of things that if you don't follow the rules there will be consequences and loss of privileges. It's that easy. How would you suggest the situation be remedied? Perhaps extra homework, staying after school, Saturday classes.

Additionally, I hope you don't mean to suggest that children should not have consequences for their behavior. It's not always a matter of the teachers keeping them in to catch-up. Sometimes it is a matter of your children's daily disregard for the basic rules of the school. Or more so, treating others with respect which apparently from reading some of these posts, is no longer a trait valued in this country. If that was the lesson you hoped to instill in your children, then job well done.

I support our teachers, administrators and staff and the difficult decisions they have to make daily with regards to the good of all. I am a staff member AND a parent in this school system. And if my children were behind on their work and their teacher was willing to give up personal time to meet with them one on one, why would I ever throw that generous gift away. Likewise, if my child was making poor choices when it came to behavior, I would expect consequences just as I would at home.

Think beyond just your child missing recess and look at the bigger picture. What message are you sending to your child?
I wish I could post this. I bet the responses would be something to see.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I'm Very Close To Losing It

I am beyond angry. I am "I want to inflict bodily harm on someone" angry. I'm stressed and tense and aggravated and I want to scream! And on top of everything that has put me in this mood, is the realization that in all this time I've been "blogging to a better" me, I've gone absolutely no where. I'm still the same emotional, scarred, quick to anger person underneath the well mannered facade.

I have never yelled at my daughter. I have been disappointed, I have been stern, I have scolded, I have corrected, but I have never yelled.

Tonight I came close. Because she was being a kid and I'm in a foul mood. What the Hell kind of mother does that make me? Well I'm certain to find out one day when I'm paying for my daughter's psych appointments.

I still haven't yelled at her, but it's as close to the real thing as she's ever seen. And I'm sure I've done damage. I don't even know how to back pedal at this point. I'm sure I would only make it worse.

And why am I taking this out on her anyway, when those people who have truly pissed me off go about their petty little lives not even knowing how self absorbed and shallow they are?

What kind of mother displaces her anger and directs it at her only child? That's an easy one... a lousy mother.

And what kind of person wishes misery on their enemies? That's right. Misery. Not earth shattering, life ending tragedies. Just your run of the mill "life sucks". I want their lives to be filled with bad, irksome, endless dark cloud days. What kind of person does that make me? (Do I get points for saying something out loud that many would be too embarrassed to admit? No, I didn't think so.) OK. I'll tell you what kind of person it makes me... someone who needs to reassess their life.

I have to go now. I have much to think over. I'm still filled with rage over the events of the last few days. I'm still mad at myself for my behavior towards my daughter. I'm still reeling for the realization that I haven't grown at all. But I'm going to try to calm down enough to get to a place where I can get my life in order.

If I don't, I fear for the future.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Diamond Or Cubic Zirconia?

Can you tell the difference between a diamond and a cubic zirconia?

If you saw a huge "diamond" ring on the finger of a woman standing on line in front of you at the grocery store, would you assume it was real or fake based on other aspects of her persona?

A blogger friend of mine recently wrote "It's nice to read what you post, because you keep things real, Bonnie." Do I? Honesty in my writing has always been the goal. I believe if it flows organically without editing, it comes from someplace true.

Or is it just the faux version of the diamond I wish to be?

If you were reading this in "real time", you'd know that there were many minutes that passed after that last sentence and now. I was pondering my own words... the faux version of the diamond I wish to be. Interesting...

Are you fake if you are pretending to be a better version of yourself? I'm not talking about pretending to be richer, or smarter, or more successful. That's just lying. I'm talking about acting like a better (ie more compassionate, more charitable, more resolute, more fearless) person. Are you faking it if it doesn't come naturally?

I've always said that "trying too hard to be something you're not, is the quickest way to prove you're not where you want to be". Judgmental? Yes. But I was speaking more specifically of the person trying to impress with external things. I would like to add that "trying to improve yourself, and by that I mean your character, is commendable at every level of achievement be it making a conscious effort or having it come naturally."

I am currently somewhere in the middle. I'm a carbon filled diamond. I need a bit more time for perfection. I guess my "keeping it real" moment comes in the form of admitting I still need work and lots of it. I'd like to thank my dear friend for prompting me to contemplate these thoughts... and get a blog post out of me in the process. "Thank you."

Let's go back to one of the earlier questions:
If you saw a huge "diamond" ring on the finger of a woman standing on line in front of you at the grocery store, would you assume it was real or fake based on other aspects of her persona?

If you said "no", I'm going to cry foul. You know damn well you looked at that woman and sized her up. Come on... join me in the shallow end of the pool won't you ;-)