I pride myself on being the anti-helicopter parent. I am the one at the park, sitting on the bench on my phone, only occasionally checking to make sure my child is still within eyesight. Fell down? Rub some dirt on it. Thirsty? You know where we keep cups and I have paid the water bill so help yourself. Can I bring you your iPad? Not unless all your arms and legs are broken. (That one is vintage MY mother.) Left your workbook at school? Oh well. Your work, your responsibility. No, I am not driving you to school to get it. No I am not emailing your teacher to explain the situation. I already finished 6th grade. 364 days a year I let my kids figure things out with relative little interference.
But EVERY year the day teacher selections are posted, I don’t recognize myself. I turn into a poster child for the hovering set. Who did they get? Who is in the class with them? What do you know about this teacher?
In years past, it was a little easier, because along with the teacher selection, they posted the complete class list. The list had each grade, listed alphabetical by kid. Because of the size of our district I would spend hours combing through the list of 800+ kids, looking for familiar names.
This year they changed the format and did not post the entire list. I was frantic. I called, emailed, texted and Facebooked anyone I have ever crossed paths with who may or may not have a kid, nephew or neighbor who is in second grade. In the end, I had not found a single kid I knew in my daughter’s class. No one knew anything, positive or negative about the teacher. I agonized all night about what to do.
In the cold light of day today I realized my foolishness. I was willing to let this system work in the spring, writing a description of my child for the principals, along with last year’s teacher input to determine her teacher assignment. I knew back then to list 6 teachers based on very little information made no sense. Why had I abandoned that philosophy? I suppose we all have moments of self-doubt. The point where you abandon all reason and begin to try to micromanage every step of your child’s life. But today I remembered that life cannot be controlled. I cannot fix everything. They have to learn that you don’t love every teacher (and later) every boss. You don’t always get to be with your best friend in class or the workplace. Life is about learning to deal with the hand you are dealt. I refuse to stack the deck and I believe my kids will be better for it in the end.
How is everyone else handling the back to school insanity?