I’ve had my whinge about the school newsletter last night. We’re shaped and therefore the attachment took 3 goes to download. Sometimes it can say 47 mins to download and you think WTH is in this one!
Lately what’s in it seems to be a little harrangue to the parents from the prinicpal. Sometimes followed by some photo’s or not. Sometimes something about what the kids have been doing or might be going to do. But this last one for instance, had a little harrangue about school absences. Daily, or taking term time family holidays. Most of the people I know don’t do much of either of those. Atho where I work getting school holidays once a year or once every 10 years is a bit like going on a quest for Rocking Horse Manure……the best place to look for it is in your dreams!
Following that was a big go-on about the govt letting schools have more control over there money and other aspects of the school…….the problem with that is the principal might not have the same opinions as a lot of the parents in the area which leaves you in the same place as having some dude you’ve never met, and who’s never been to the area deciding. I’m not sure that it’s going to be a two column improvement. Let’s save the conversation about the P & C meetings for further down the page.
What would be an improvement tho in the newsletter setup? What would be interesting to us all? Considering how different parents are it’s a pretty tall order. What do parent’s want to know about school? About their kids at school? High school. Well, I for one would like an up to date calendar. I’d like to know when they are going to things, what they will be doing, and possibly how much I would need to be paying. I’d like to see photo’s of what some of the kids have been doing.
What’s interesting about the curriculum? Surely something could be made to look interesting? Putting a happy, let’s be part of the school community spirit spin on it can’t be that bad can it? Or that hard?
Perhaps the english dept could do some of the information; the IT dept could do the online stuff; the photography classes the photos; maybe the kids could be put to work to find an uplifting school quote of the week? term? yes, ok – it might take some of them a year or more to find something they could consider uplifting and school related but it might be worth the effort 😉
And who would bring this up? At the Parents and Citizens Meeting? The one I never go to? Yes, I am one of those parents. I didn’t used to be. When the kids were in Montessori preschool I used to be on the committee, in a few different positions. Even when I was a single parent with a baby and two small children, I used to pay someone to babysit so I could go to the meetings. Then in primary, I didn’t have anyone to babysit so I only attended one or two, and if you aren’t a serial attender you tend to feel quite superfluous.
By the time we got to high school,, we lived out of town, and I had 3 children to supervise. If you’ve read what the boys did to my wok when I went shopping you’d probably understand why I wouldn’t want to leave them alone too long. I did attend some meetings locally in the community. Taking my primary age child with me. By the time they got to the interesting stuff I would have her stretched out in my arms, sound asleep.
I’m struggling lately with the whole school thing. I am very annoyed at the P & C meeting notifications, and agenda’s. The agenda’s sometimes go out on the day. When I’m at work I don’t open my private emails. Sometimes there will be issues you know are going to be raised – but you have to go to the meeting to hear about it. Not many details will be leaked. So you have to network with other parents. And that can be time consuming.
It’s hard enough when you work and have family as well. But when you live out of town there’s even less time. And family time is important – so being on the phone to network isn’t such a good thing. I go into town to work, but don’t want to stay in town till 7pm to attend a meeting, and get home who knows when. I also don’t feel like going home, throwing food at the stove/kids, and running back into town. I do it for Parent teacher nights and Meet and Greet nights.
There are parents around who live an hour or more out of town. Some come into town to work, some work on farms. Surely there is a way to have more input from the the families to the school and the school to the families? So many are hooked up electronically these days. Haha, we could skype the P & C meetings – altho that wouldn’t help me because our internet isn’t fast enough for skype. But instead of saying ‘We’ll be discussing uniforms, they will be on show, and if you want to see, hear about them you’ll be there,’ they could send some photos, and ask for feedback. For those not online they could send a couple of pages home.
I just can’t believe that a school in a large rural area is trying to run the parent/school interaction in the same way schools with a 5 kilometre radius school area run theirs. There MUST be a better way.
I’d like to ask anyone reading this to comment if they have any useful ways of managing this sort of situation. And to pass the post on to others so that we can get as much input as possible. I’m sure there’s a way, if not more than one way, that we can increase our parental participation in the school without all of us having to have a face to face in town.
Come on people, put your thinking caps on. Teachers – what things have you seen work? Ask your parents – there may have been things that were done before that could be useful now again. I don’t want to be whinging at the principal. I’m sick of the principal whinging at us. I don’t want to just suck it up – so let’s find a way!
I’m going on Long Service Leave – yeeha! If I get enough good ideas, I might just take myself off to the P & C meeting and raise the issues. Let’s have an attitude adjustment on both sides.
Do parents with kids in boarding school (not unusual out here) have to go in for P & C meetings?