I had to attend a meeting at my daughter’s high school last night. I told myself to be a good parent you have to stay aware, and this meeting was to discuss the direction the school is heading towards next year. That seemed the sort of thing I should know, and so I sent off my RSVP as requested, saying I would attend. Of course, that was in the morning, and the meeting wasn’t until 7:00p.m. By the time 6:30pm rolled around, I was tired and wanted to skip the whole thing. I didn’t, though.
I dragged myself out to the car, circled the less than desirable neighborhood this school is located in looking for a parking place, and made my way inside. I was asked to sign in and handed a form to fill out asking me to agree to volunteer and sign up for committees. People sat in the courtyard gathered in small clusters, munching on snacks, chatting, or like me, avoiding strangers and looking at their phones. As is so often the case in these situations the meeting began late, but eventually we all moved into another room where one of the two Heads of School took center stage and began showering accolades upon the various teachers in the room.
Now don’t get me wrong, I appreciate good teachers as much as anyone, but it’s kind of their job to teach, right? Admittedly, I’m not an accountant, but when they hold meetings do they spend fifteen minutes saying how great everyone is…every meeting? But okay, fine, they finally moved on only to announce that they are going to have to rebrand the school and change the name because now they won’t be overseen by the same financial backers they have had in the past. We were assured they have new backers and told they will proceed minus any hic-ups in the fall. Talk then turned to curriculum, and that’s when the repetitive questions began.
It never ceases to amaze me how many times people ask the same question over and over again at these meetings. Last night’s sticking point was this; the kids have what’s known as a block schedule. Only four classes a day, but for longer periods, thus dividing the schedule into “A” days and “B” days. Next year they plan on having these days only from Tuesday through Friday, leaving Mondays open for field trips, working on projects, and/or bringing in guest speakers. It seems pretty simple to me, but one parent worried that kids will cut school on Mondays because they won’t view it as important. It quickly became clear that telling them not to do that was a foreign concept. So began the circle of questions and answers as to who should be parenting, the school or the parents.
As I sat there it struck me that this would make for a wonderful form of birth control. I concluded that when debating whether or not to have kids, couples should be forced to attend school meetings, all the way from Kindergarten meetings to elementary school PTA meetings, and then onto middle school and high school meetings. If you still want kids after that, go for it, but I’m willing to bet the population would be cut in half.