Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Good Parent Lesson

Teachers and support staff had to report to school today for some reason only known by the individuals who create our yearly calendar. If that isn't bad enough, it was decided that we would also report tomorrow to make up the extra snow day that we used this year. The kids, however, are enjoying their summer break and were no where to be seen.

So, most of us spent the day packing up our rooms. We empty bookshelves, go through file cabinets, pack up odds and ends, and then label everything with our name and room number. The reasoning behind this is that our rooms are completely emptied during the summer while the custodial staff strips and waxes the floors, and touches up the paint. The key thing is to leave a map of how you want your room set up so that you don't have to struggle as much getting it together in late July when we show up to get the new year started.

I went to drop some items in some teacher mailboxes and cruised by guidance to see how the Guidance Goddess was doing. This is a crazy time of year for her, what with moving files on up to the high school, updating records, enrolling for summer school, and so on. I was kind of curious as to how many of my students had already enrolled for summer school (we had recommended about ten).

"So, how's summer school going?" I asked her.

"Really well," she said. "We have more registered today than we had all of last summer."

"That's pretty good. Mind if I see how many of mine have signed up?" I asked her.

"Of course not," she said as she handed me the list. "By the way, Gawky Girl was one of yours, right?"

Oh yeah, she was one of mine. She was one of the youngest kids on the team but was also one of the tallest. She was also smart as all get out, but did absolutely no work whatsoever, and consequently managed to fail seventh grade. This from a kid who should have been on the A B honor roll if she tried.

"Well, she's signed up," said Guidance Goddess. "You won't believe what her mom did, however."

"What did she do?" I asked. I had seen a few moms and their children marching grimfaced to the guidance office to register for summer school. You can bet that it wasn't a pleasant experience for either of them.

The Guidance Goddess continued. "I know the family and know that they are on fee waivers, so they wouldn't have to pay for summer school. So, I was reaching for the fee waiver list and mom told me to hold it right there. She wasn't going to utilize the fee waiver. She made Gawky Girl pay for it out of her birthday money."

"Seriously?" I asked. Accountability? Finally?

"Seriously," Guidance Goddess answered. "Gawky Girl was not happy, but mom insisted. She said maybe she'd learn to value her education if she actually had to pay for it."

Maybe the best birthday present this mom gave her daughter was the lesson that there are consequences to behavior. And sometimes those consequences hurt us in the wallet.

Way to go mom!

17 comments:

ChiTown Girl said...

THAT.IS.AWESOME!

teachin' said...

That seriously rocks. What a great story, and what a great parent.

The Bus Driver said...

That ROCKS!!! its about time there was some accountability for the behavior we see!

Kris said...

In.cred.i.ble. In all my years as a teacher, this is one of the greatest displays of parenting I have heard of. I can't wait to share this with my colleagues. This mom is my hero.

Chapati said...

Echoing the comments above, that is some good parenting there!

Sarah said...

Wow! I'm impressed!!

The Vegas Art Guy said...

I worked for me. When my parents paid for my college it didn't go so well. When it came out of my wallet, I graduated with a 3.7...

Coincidence? I think not...

Chanman said...

Smok-iiiin'! Go Mom!

nbosch said...

Kudos to Girl's Parent!! I get sick of parents who rescue kids, I may have mentioned this before but my friend Libby always says "one day they're (parents) gonna be telling it to the judge."

Mrs. T said...

Fabulous! I love it!
On the room situation- we have fairly decent custodial staff who make the map FOR us and put everything back the way we want it. Back in the day we had to take everything off the walls (no longer) and put paper over the bookshelves. Now it's just pack up and label, label, label.

Rachel said...

I nearly cheered when I read that. GO MOM!! That is AWESOME. One of the best (positive) parent stories I've ever heard!!

jentacular said...

I keep coming back to this post over and over again. I'm just so impressed.

MiaZagora said...

"Gawky Girl was not happy, but mom insisted. She said maybe she'd learn to value her education if she actually had to pay for it."

I think THAT is the best lesson she could have given her daughter. How much do you appreciate anything if it's just given to you versus if you had to invest in it yourself?

Mamacita (Mamacita) said...

This is awesome. What a fantastic example of excellent parenting! Thank you for sharing. Seriously, I'm awestruck.

Mrs. Chili said...

Yep. Seventh grade is exactly the right time to implement that kind of consequence. Perfect!

Miss Panda said...

WAY TO GO MOM!!!
I wish some of my own students' parents would do the same... a lot of things might be different.

Miss Teacha said...

Moms like this one rock! WTG, Mom.