By Sandy Regan
Yes, it’s that time of year again, back to school for the kids. I can’t believe that my daughter is starting high school this year. Where did the time go? I remember so clearly the day she started kindergarten. Today, she gets up 5 a.m. to get ready to catch a 6:30 bus that takes her to high school. My son boards his bus at 7:30.
Fall is always a high-energy time for me. Being an optimistic person, I believe with all my being that the coming school year will be the best ever, and I go to great lengths to help my kids prepare for the upcoming year. From school clothes to school supplies, I start out each year promising myself that I will be much more organized than the year before, and that with my help, my kids will reach the enormous potential I am certain they both have.
I wish I had the ability to go into one of my kid’s classrooms and see what they are like during school. I wish I could ethically attach a mini-cam to their backpack so I would know all the things they don’t tell me. If you don’t have school-age children, let me tell you, the amount of things they don’t tell you could fill up a library. What are his teachers really like? As I get ready to meet my son’s teachers tonight at curriculum night, I know that the teacher I meet and the teacher my son experiences each day are two different people. As a teacher appears to a parent, she appears much differently to the child in her classroom because as a parent, the teacher tries to satisfy the needs and questions of the parents according to what adults think a child needs. What the child feels he needs may be entirely different. Getting the child to tell you this information is extremely tricky, especially if you have a child that is generally quiet and responds to questions with one word answers, like my son does. “
“How was your day?” I might ask.
“Good,” “Okay,” or “Fine.” These are the responses I get.
Probing for more info, I’ve found, is usually pointless.
“What do you want to know? It was school.”
This is supposed to satisfy my curiosity. How am I supposed to find out what “school” for him means? I can ask his teacher, who would give me her perspective – but it would be her perspective, not his. I guess the best I can do is keep asking – and going through his backpack. Good luck this year, kids. I’m here for you, even when you may not want me to be.