Monday, October 23, 2006

A Lynching We Will Go

This morning my sis was invited to a meeting that one of the moms in the kindergarten class set up. They are meeting with the Principal to demand answers. The invitation was passed on to me as my sis will not be able to attend. I am choosing not to go. Yes there is strength in numbers, but when that many mother bears get together to attack I think my concerns will not be heard as I am not agressive enough to make them heard. I would rather, in a calm manner, make my own appointment and ask my own questions. I feel bad for the teacher.


April_Mommy said...

Good for you Alyson! It is far too easy to get caught up in the politics and go along because you were invited. I am sure that your small meeting at another date will do much more good. :-)q

fourth_fret said...

good call! calm interaction is always more effective than group bashing.

and angry mama's. the teacher is doomed. heh.

Karen said...

When people get together like that one of two things happen:

1.) as you say, the quiet ones don't speak up and it's left to the vocal ones to speak for everybody -- and you might not want that person speaking for you if you don't know them well or what they are going to say.

2.) everyone speaks up, no one is heard, and no one gets the right message because too many people are interrupting.

Your approach seems better.

Anonymous said...

Well I can no longer remain silent. The simple fact of the matter remains that it is in the top ten schools in Calgary. Now think about this for a minute and I hope the other kids parents do as well. The school is on par with Strathcona Tweedsmuir and other high end private schools in Calgary. One may look at the leadership style of the Principal and wonder what the hell she is doing. Well let me tell you that she can do her job better without the parents forming a lynching party! In Alberta right now they are desperately short of people, somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 000 people short. I heard on the news that the retailers association is warning people to get Christmas shopping done early because they do not have the people to man the stores. Teachers are hard to find. Good teachers are even harder to find! Those parents intent on revolting against the Principal and those unhappy with the school should in my opinion remove their kids from the school. Take them out and send them to another school! Take them to the North East or the South East! See just how the other half lives. The phrase 'You don't know what you have until you lose it' is true here. If the school was number 125 on the list of schools then I would be very worried. If it was number 65 I would be worried. In the school rankings It shows up at number 9 last year and higher this year! It is in the top ten percent. Those parents should be ashamed of themselves! Now Alyson I have to commend you for not going along! Having a private meeting to talk to the Principal as a concerned parent is a noble thing. The Principal will respond to that a lot better than a group of mom's circling like sharks looking for blood. The School has a waiting list and is currently over subscribed. From what I understand they turned down a lot of people who wanted to send their kids to that school. Those mom's have to get over their sense of entitlement and understand that things could be a whole lot worse. They should be thankful they have their kids attending one of the top ten schools in Calgary. Alyson you are definitely doing the right thing. If the school boundaries change next year (which just may happen) you and other parents may find that you are out of the school's area (including us in that as well). I would not want to be one of the parents that made a huge stink because if there ever was a blacklist they will find themselves on it and their children may not make it back into the school. Anyways enough of my ranting. My final point to those other parents is just look how good you have it with the small class sizes and the attention to the children and care the school puts into the kids. If you think it is not right then send them to Forest Lawn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chuck McKinnon said...

Darcy: as somebody who grew up and attended school in Forest Lawn, you're right that Rideau is better than any school in that area. And I agree that a group of moms confronting the principal all at once could lead to confrontation rather than discussion (though, knowing many of the moms in that classroom, I rather doubt it).

But one of the things that make the school so good is that parents in the area have high expectations for the school. When things show signs of being poorly organized, these parents are holding the principal accountable BEFORE the school loses its sterling reputation. All by itself, that sends a strong message about the parents' expectations. United we stand, etc.

I didn't know about this meeting and might not choose to go now that I know about it, but I'm (in hindsight) glad these women are making their voices heard. I don't know a single school with Rideau's ranking that has gotten there without active parental involvement.

Kris said...

Interesting comments!

There is a difference between parental involvement and what it sounds like this group intends to do(a "lynching" as Alyson so aptly named it). As a former teacher, I can tell you NOTHING gets accomplished when parents - especially mothers - get their backs up and cause a scene. The parents always come out looking plain STUPID and disorganized. Get involved, be proactive, but be courteous to other adults/professionals at the same time. There is a time and place to air your views and concerns, make an appointment with the principal individually. If enough people gum up the principle's schedule that ususally gets his/her attention.


Lori said...

All this over teachers moving from the class? If the parents act like this they are going to have an even harder time getting any decent teacher to stay put! Good school or not, most times the parents make for a better environment, especially when the kids are that young. Good luck Alyson!

Alyson said...

I got to school and the meeting was still in session. Tweedle E wanted to go an play in the park so we did. As soon as the moms got out of their meeting they went to the park to discuss and although I wasn't apart of the discussion (busy on the monkey bars) I heard some were a little disappointed because all the principal did was go through the letter they sent home last week. Really what else could the Principal do? No business discusses hirings and firings with their clients. At least they shouldn't. (Not saying that the other teacher was fired cause she wasn't. She just has a new position.) So we shouldn't expect the parents to be more in the loop then they already are because that is unprofessional.

ABQ Mom said...

I think you chose correctly to not by part of the lynching party. Too bad that the mama's that did go didn't really get anything new from the principal though. But noone can fault a teacher for moving. It's noone's fault. THough I can't understand why a teacher would move during the school year.

Allrie said...

Darcy, I don't know who you are, but I love you. Alyson you are sooo smart!

I am curious. What did the teacher do to warrent this meeting? Is this the class where there is another new teacher? What's going on?

As a teacher, I can say that Darcy is right on in her evaluation of the politics of it all.

Being a teacher gets harder every year. I don't know about Canada [we only lived there during the summer.] but here in the US, the experienced teachers are retiring--mostly as early as possible. The new teachers are often poorly equipped to take on a job which is harder and more stressful every year.

I wish I could say that I miss the classroom, and I do have my moments, but they are so fleeting, that I cannot honestly say really do miss it, but more that, I am relieved to be out of there!

TheVoiceOfReason said...

Yeah that Darcy is one smart chick!

Allrie said...

I forgot, I just have to answer Abq Mom's question,"Why would a teacher move during the school year?

I've known a couple who moved because husbands got out of state [and unexpected] transfers near the beginning of the year. I, personally, moved one time because I knew that I was going to lse my mind if I stayed there any longer. So I quit. Yep, I broke my contract--told the principal I was leaving, called my husband to come help me pack up all my stuff, and left. Word got out among the staff as I was packing, and every single teacher in thar school came to say good-by and offer support. Most said they'd do the same if they could. We did have one brand-knew teacher already go to an institution...and another teacher leave.

District Office called and invited me to go to another school. I happily did.

The last school I was in lost over 1/3 of its new [to the school, not neccessarily new] before the year was out--for the 2nd year running! It was the place to get out of ASAP.