Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Important Parenting Advice

LittleG is starting Kindergarten in two weeks, and I've been dunked head first into the What Not To Say in The Principal's Office pool....

Certain schools in our school district offer a Dual Language program for children, but the elementary school to which we are assigned is not one of them. Since our last name is Garcia, I feel like it might be a benefit for LittleG to learn a little Espanol. Since you can't get no Spanish teachin' in our 'hood, I do a little internet research and figure out which 'hood can teach my chula the mother tongue.

I trudge across town, notebook and checkbook in hand, to visit one of the campuses that does offer the program. I march my Caucasian (Irish/Scottish descent), blue eyed, freckle faced self into the principal's office, fully ready to write whatever size check it takes to get the office staff to approve our transfer to the predominatly Hispanic school. I figure between my lilly white skin tone and checkbook, I've got a pretty good shot at improving the English to Spanish ratio in Mrs K's Kindergarten class.

And that's when it goes downhill.

Lady Steele: Hello, nice offfice ladies.

Office Ladies: Hola, guera. {Hello white lady}

Lady Steele: I understand that your school pioneered this cutting edge dual language program and that the original dual language teacher is still on staff and teaching Kindergarteners.

Office Ladies: You are absolutely right! Clearly, you are one highly informed parent and you've thoroughly researched the program.

Lady Steele: Yes I am, and yes I have. And I AM. DESPERATE. TO. GET. MY. CHILD. INTO. YOUR. PROGRAM. I will do WHATEVER it takes to enroll her here.

Office Ladies: Lady Steele, how do you feel about the PTA? Drop your checkbook and step away! That's not going to work here.

And that's how I ended up serving on the Board of the PTA before my child even crossed the threshold of the school.

Truth be told, I am pretty excited about it. My real life gig has prepared me well for the challenges of whatever being the Chair of Donations and Special Projects will bring. I certainly am not afraid to ask for things, and good gawd y'all, the public schools in our 'burb have a long list of needs and wants.

So any of you out there whose children have NOT yet started school, please write the following phrase in BIG TALL LETTERS using the scented marker of your choice, then post it on every flat surface you come in contact with:

I will not, under any circumstances EVER utter the phrase,
"I will do whatever it takes" in the principal's office at school.

I can assure you that if you offer, they will take you up on it, and you will find yourself with an irrevocable seat on the elementary school PTA for the next five years. My mom (a teacher herself) is already predicting a meteoric rise to the top of the PTA food chain.

Peace out, friends. I gotta go buy some new pencils and scented markers.....


Chad and Mary Kate Martin said...

I love that you go through this first -- learning from you my friend! Making notes...

M--- said...

My, what a big...title...you have. And so it begins, fast track to the presidency via PTA. Good luck and Godspeed!

StephanieG said...

Hey M - that's not a title. I'm just glad to see you! Ha!