Emails from School

Anybody else been watching week 13 and 14 NFL highlights from 1977 on Youtube? No? How about weeks 1 through 8 from the ’78 season? Hmm, just me then. Gotta admit though, it would be cool to have Harry Kalas narrating your weekends.

Okay, anybody get any email updates from their kids’ teachers? Yeah, us too.

Back in the day teachers either had to pick up the phone and call your parents or they had to wait for parent-teacher conferences to directly communicate your missteps. As a kid, this was good. But I went to Catholic schools so we’d usually run into my teachers at church. Which, as it turns out, was also good. Because what better place than church to ask for and receive forgiveness.

Now teachers can email parents after school or during the actual school day if the situation warrants such immediate contact. As a parent, I like this contact. It makes it easy to communicate with the girls’ teachers. Some folks have suggested installing webcams in classrooms so parents can monitor not only the child’s behavior but also how the teacher is doing.

Politely, I think you can refer to these parents as “involved” or “curious.” With friends, and depending on your stance on classroom webcams, you can probably be safe describing them as “meddlesome” or “intrusive” or even, if you’re brave, as “nosy.” If you ask me, I think these parents are insane. Absolutely clinically insane. Totally whack. Crazier than Tom Cruise after a weekend seminar with L. Ron Hubbard. Unless you are blind, literally and/or figuratively, deluded or simply stupid, your kids are misbehaving, to some degree, whether they are within your line of sight or not. And I really don’t need a video feed to show, live and in color, how badly I suck as a parent. Bails, depending on her sugar levels, can get rowdier than a sack of rabid weasels on crack. I mean we already have to watch our kids when they are at home. Why would I spend the only part of my day when I’m actually paid to interact with grownups watching my kids when the taxpayers are paying somebody to be responsible for them?

Finally, we already have too many helicopter parents. Webcams are the gateway drug to helicopter parenting. I’d rather the taxpayers buy new American history books that can accurately describe the failure of The New Deal and the awesomeness of the 80’s instead of webcams. Do we really want the crazy parents dictating school board policy decision any more than they already do? As a nation we’ve already ceded control of tax policy to the groups who benefit from and eat the most tax dollars instead of the folks who are actually paying the taxes…

For example, if there was a webcam in Bailey’s classroom last Friday I would have been able to witness the events which were detailed to us in an email from her teacher.

The kids break up into groups and are given a set of letters while tasked with coming up with as many words as they can using the aforementioned letter set. Unfortunately for Bailey’s teacher, she included an a and an s and another s. And unfortunately for Bailey, one of the boys in her group is one of the class troublemakers. At least according to Bailey he is. But she’s 8. Her credibility as a witness can be questioned. Anyway, this boy says “ass” is one of the words they can spell. I’m not even sure this is a cuss word anymore but I am pretty sure that 2nd graders shouldn’t be saying it. Anyhow, nobody repeats it but they giggle. Another girl walks over and wants to know why everyone is laughing. Not one to shy away, Bails goes ahead and writes “ass” on the board. Naturally, her teacher sees this happen.

And she’s in trouble.

Later the class is sitting on the floor getting ready for reading time. Their teacher has a bunch of stuffed animals in her room. Some are for the boys and some are for the girls. If they do something great or do something the teacher appreciates, they get to have a stuffed animal at their desk. It’s a reward.

There is also a garbage can located near the two groups of stuffed animals.

The same kid who came up with “ass” gets up and knocks one of the girls’ stuffed animals into the garbage can. Bailey, not one to back down to a challenge or a bully or just about anything else, walks over and knocks one of the boys’ stuffed animals into the garbage…just in time for it to be witnessed by her teacher.

I think her heart was in the right place but her timing could use some work.

So we got an email. Thankfully, however, there were no video files attached…

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