"Neighborhood Elementary School calling..."
"Neighborhood Middle School calling..."
They call me a lot. It's not to hire me or to ask my advice on grammar. They do call to tell me:
my child thinks he's going to throw up,
my child thinks he's going to faint,
my child feels "shaky"
my child missed the bus,
my child made a mistake in judgment.
Here was last week's call,
Teacher: Your child is missing an assignment and final grades are due at 3:00.
Caution: I will look for it here.
Teacher: It's worth 100 points. I don't know what to do.
Caution: Okay, that would devastate her grade. We'll find it. I promise!
Teacher: Let me know if you find it. This is a serious problem. Did I mention that final grades are due at 3:00??!!
When the call ended, I felt so bubbly and joyous I almost couldn't contain it all.
The house was searched. Nothing. The backpack was searched. Nothing. The "No name paper' box in the classroom was searched. Nothing.
My child was in a panic. I was in a panic. There was ample yelling and crying and blaming. It was a lovely mother/daughter bonding time. All my child knew was that she had turned the assignment in one month previously. Then again, she's thought that before.
I sent an email to the teacher saying the paper was not here, but that my child said it had been submitted.
One very long day later came the return email,
"Sorry to panic you. The assignment was found here. She did quite well."
I am tired of not being happy when I look at caller i.d. and see that a school is calling.
So here's my solution to that problem. I think that every teacher should be required to call each student's parents once a year to say,
"Your child is nice."
"Your child has worked really hard this week and deserves some ice cream."
" I'm glad your child is in my class this year."
I know the teachers will say they don't have the time, but here's another suggestion. You know how my kids watch lots of movies during school? (One every two weeks - even on days that are sunny and 70 degrees???) Don't stop watching them. Instead, when you push that play button on the dvd player, pick up the phone and starting dialing. When I answer with trepidation in my voice, say,
"No, he's not sick, injured, in trouble or missing something. What he does happen to be is one great kid."