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For the irk pile: Why It Sucks to be in Elementary School Today

March 26, 2009

J2’s birthday is approaching next week.  A few weeks back, I had a discussion with her, and told her that I could either spend a lot of money on a big party at a “party place”, where she would get lots of little gifts, OR I could have a small party for her at the house, and use the money toward a new bike.

As she is growing like a weed, and turning 8, J2 pragmatically chose the party at home scenario.  We’re going to have pizza, popcorn, cupcakes, and watch High School Musical 3 to celebrate with a few of her friends.  A few of her friends live in the neighborhood, two of them are in her class at Sunday school, and the rest are in her class. One friend, who is special to her, however, is NOT in her class this year, and because J2 has a vaguely psychopathic teacher, she was quite fearful that said psychopath wouldn’t allow her to deliver the invitation to her friend’s classroom.

Not wanting to see her disappointed in this, I offerred to drive over to the school to ask if the school secretary might drop the invitation into the mailbox of the child’s teacher.

Because our world has become an insane world, I was told that this could not happen.

It seems that you can only deliver invitations at school if you are inviting the entire class.  (I have already had J2 deliver a handful of invitations to her classmates – I am NOT inviting her whole class to my house – she doesn’t like them all! And I don’t WANT them ALL! In my house!)  Apparently, it’s not ok to not be friends equally with everyone – even though, in reality, they are already not friends equally with everyone. Rolls my eyes.

Taking another tack, I explain that this child isn’t IN J2’s class.

Well, I’m told, he still can’t receive an invitation to a party in front of the entire rest of his class.  Do I know his address?

Know his address? I don’t even know the kid’s last name! He was in J2’s class LAST year, but she is especially fond of him.

The children at my daughter’s school are not allowed to exchange phone numbers with their classmates.  That’s an invasion of privacy – what if the parents don’t want their child to exchange their phone number and have weird people they don’t know calling the house? So…no contacting classmates outside of class for socialization, unless you happen to know them because they live on your STREET. Rolls my eyes.

There is no directory for names and addresses of classmates.  See the reason mentioned above, also add nasty divorce situations, restraining orders, and potential unintentional release of said information to sexual predators and kidnappers. Oh..and other parents who just don’t want to be bothered with other people’s kids. (I am also guilty of this!)

I respond that I’ll just tell my daughter she will be unable to invite him.

Ok, so I said it with an edge in my voice.

With that, my daughter arrives at the office, because she left her library book at home, and I was delivering it to her.  When she arrived, I began to tell her that I don’t think we’ll be able to invite her friend, unless she sees him before school starts.

The secretary, overhearing me, says, “Well, I’ll put it in the teacher’s mailbox, and see if he will deliver it.” I am then forced to be thankful.

I was so fucking annoyed. All over a tiny birthday party. The world is so irksome and tiresome.  I’m over the extreme need for political correctness, and the insulated way we have to live to protect ourselves from actually having to live in COMMUNITY with one another.

It’s effed.

End of rant.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. March 26, 2009 12:14 pm

    Scenario 1: Teacher hands student invitation in front of class. Student and teacher refuse to discuss what it is about. Student is considered teacher’s pet, other kids pick on Student and classroom is disrupted for the rest of the day; no learning gets done.

    Scenario 2: Teacher hands student invitation in front of class. Teacher tells other students to MYOB. Parents of other students call principal and demand to know why Teacher is passing secret notes to students. Teacher winds up on administrative leave pending investigation into improper teacher-student conduct.

    Scenario 3: Teacher puts invitation in Student’s mailbox. Class Bully sees it, steals it out of the box, and tears it up in front of God and everybody.

    Scenario 4: Teacher holds student after class for a few moments to hand over invitation. Student goes outside, opens it in front of all his friends. One of the friends goes home crying. Principal gets angry phone call from parent demanding to know why parent’s student did not get an invitation too. J2 gets called into Principal’s office and questioned about invitation. More tears. Angry phone calls.

    This is what I came up with in a few minutes from my experiences as a teacher, most based off of real-life examples I witnessed.

  2. episcopalifem permalink*
    March 26, 2009 12:19 pm

    When I was a kid, I got invited to some parties, and not to others. Oh fucking well…I got over it. If they weren’t my friend anyway, I didn’t even give a crap, because I didn’t feel ENTITLED to be invited to every party, nor want to go to every party. If it was someone that I liked, but they told me I can only have xyz because of money, I got over that too. That’s life.

    I would RATHER be able to contact the students privately, but there is no mechanism for me to be able to do that either. So should my daughter sit at home alone because someone’s feelings might get hurt? because the principal doesn’t know how to handle an asshat parent? He could refer that parent directly to me…couldn’t he? I mean, I am an adult, and can take responsibility. Personally, as a parent, I’m happy to NOT have my child invited to every party – it gets ridiculously expensive. Kids who are good friends is fine…you’re just in my class..not so much.

    Kids get notes and such from the teacher all the time. Additionally, they get handed papers to go home, in a folder, every day. No need to even call attention to the fact that the student is getting it – just put it with the papers that are going home. This is standard procedure in all the 2nd grade classes.

  3. March 26, 2009 2:18 pm

    FWIW, Eileen, I am totally with you on this. The Empress (2nd grade) brings home a folder every day that contains her homework, school announcements, and the daily behavior log, which I am required to sign. No one would ever know if the teacher slipped an invite into her folder.

    The bigger issue for me is the lack of a directory. How crazy! My kids’ schools put one out—and anyone who doesn’t want to be included can opt out. But is sure comes in handy for the rest of us!

  4. March 26, 2009 3:14 pm

    Remember, living in community is dangerous. It may hurt one’s feelings. You may be forced to interact with the great unwashed. Just easier to ensure it doesn’t happen. And we all continue to live in our own private prisons.

  5. Metella permalink
    March 26, 2009 11:49 pm

    This is why I sent evites for my daughter’s birthday party last month, though that involves having everyone’s email…

  6. John permalink
    March 29, 2009 1:06 pm

    As a teacher I could certainly pull off delivering this without any problem. And you don’t have to tell any students to mind their own business, you just say something like “I get these notes from the office to give to students. I don’t have enough time to bother figuring out what they are.” I say that with notices about bilingual progress, summer school “invites”, and the like and the students take it in stride.

    • episcopalifem permalink*
      March 30, 2009 4:49 pm

      John…Today, you are my hero!

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