A couple of weeks ago I gave my first “Pizza with the Principal”. I modeled it after one given by a colleague who is principal at a local middle school. (He does a great parent meeting.) It was an evening event, just an hour. I did it for the parents who work all day and are unable to attend most daytime school events. The presentation was largely about helping our children be more successful students but also more successful people by teaching them that the effort they put in can affect outcomes. I had alot of support. PTO bought the food and everything we needed to make it a social event. The plant manager set up the auditorium with tables and chairs. One of our yard aides came and showed a movie in the library for the children who came along with their parents. Our coordinator set up the screen, projector, and computer and procured a movie for the kids.
Many of the parents thanked me after the event for holding it in the evening. One fifth grade parent mentioned she has never been able to attend any of her child’s school events because she works downtown and can’t get back in time for them.
It made me think about the way we structure our school days. Realizing that the current school day and the school year was established back when many lived and worked around agricultural seasons. The September to June schedule made sense. But I wonder if it still does. What is best for children today? What will our infrastructure support? The large urban school district where I work recently conducted a very large survey of families and employees about preferred schedules. There were some pretty big changes set forth. In the end, we decided on much the same schedule we’ve had for years now.
I may not be able to change the school year or school day, there is much involved in making something like that happen. But for now, I’ll do what I can to accommodate families and the children we serve. An evening meeting? Simple.
Writing Process Reflection:
I did a lot of reading of blogs this morning. (Thanks to Fran McVeigh for this process reflection idea.)
The day rolled out. Lots of things to be done. End of the day, a trip to school to write and record my Sunday evening call to families, quick grocery trip. Ran into one of our moms gathering groceries for the week. Back home realizing I have to blog. Only 2 hours left to figure it out, write it, revise, edit, publish and post. Sit down. “What are you going to write about?” someone asks. “I don’t know yet,” I say as I open the computer. Mind says – what will come readily? I have been thinking about parents and how much goes into raising a child. I make a decision and begin. This post is the result. I got to the paragraph about the past and don’t have lots of time to research and fact check, so I revise and fix it up to say what I feel confident and comfortable with. Add questions rather than asset facts I don’t have time to check. Find some visuals on google images. Upload. Reread, revise a little more. And now… publish and post to TWT. Thank you Two Writing Teachers for a place to share this work, a reason to do it and colleague-friends who read and give feedback and elevate.