October 19, 2007

Working Mama Drama

So this morning was Chatterbox's parent-teacher conference at her school. Let me me just preface this entire post by reminding you that she is THREE. So the idea of the conference was cute, but when it came down the weighing the logistics vs. the benefits, the whole thing seemed ridiculous this morning at 7am.

First, because of the conferences, the entire school is closed today. I mean, I get the fact that they want to devote a day to the cause, but I mean, couldn't they have the teacher's aides do activities with the kids today? Crafts? Games? Reading? Playground? Fortunately, we have a nanny and so having Chatterbox stay home today was no big deal. But I know some other parents had to take off of work to stay home with their child.

Then there was the issue of the appointment time. Her teacher had a sign-up sheet posted outside of the classroom where parents could sign up for their meeting time. Now because Chatterbox started the school year in the Sunshine Room and was moved up to the Primary Room a couple of weeks into school, by the time she got to her new class, the early morning slots for parent-teacher conferences were already taken. The earliest we were able to get was 9:30am.

Pretty much the most inconvenient time for a working parent because your entire morning is shot. And so you have to take sick leave for your morning. Setting aside the leave part of it, I am exceptionally busy at work this week and, as J. Ny mentioned in her last post, every minute of the day is precious. Losing any amount of time means staying late which presents a whole other set of issues.

So anyway, I arrive at 9:29am on the nose and am told that the teacher still has to take another parent ahead of me. No biggie. So I wait. And I wait. And I wait. And half an hour later, I am still waiting. The assistant tells me: "If you need to leave, you can go and you can just do the conference over the phone." Excusemewhat? A phone conference was an option? Nice of someone to mention that. Of course I would have preferred a face-to-face meeting, but seeing as how this week was going, and seeing as how I am at the school every day, a phone conference would not have been the end of the world.

And so I leave. Extremely p.o.'d that I have now wasted an entire morning. I drive my 45 minutes to the office and arrive to see a message waiting for me from the teacher saying that she's sorry that she missed me but that she looked outside her classroom and didn't see me, but that I should call her to do it over the phone. It's just a short conversation, she says, one where we set Chatterbox's goals for the year to make sure we are on the same page.

Well, I got news for ya Miss M. We are not on the same page. I'm on the page that had to break my neck to make this day work.

I think Chatterbox's expression in her classroom photo pretty much summarizes how I feel today:

Oh, and Miss M.? How about we make Goal #1 to re-take this photo?

For crying out loud.


Justice Ny said...

This is absolutely inexcusable. As started reading the post, I thought - what ???? a parent-teacher conference - give me a break - she's three. Then I really understood the presure of getting it over and done with with in a timely fashion so you could get to work on time.

But, then I looked at DD's mean-mug and busted out laughing. Why....oh why is she mad?!?!?!?!?! What could she possibly be mad at???? She's too funny:)

3XMom said...

I LOVE that picture. The attitude is PERFECT!

Our school did the same thing (although its elementary - not preschool), but the conferences are all during the day on a Thurs and Fri - which means school is closed those TWO days. So I have to find someone to watch my kid AND take time off to do the conference. RIDICULOUS!

Anonymous said...

That pic is PRECIOUS!

I sometimes don't get all the hullabaloo about parent-teacher conferences for our little ones, and I don't think that teachers/schools don't take into consideration the fact that some parents work and schedules are REAL tight. I've NEVER heard of phone conferences, though. COOL Too bad they couldn't have told you this at the beginning!

Shit, I just looked at the photo again. DON'T take it again - its AWESOME!

Becky said...

I don't get the whole college-level preschool thing. The first time my son (pre-K) brought home homework, I thought WHAT? What irritates me is that it's busywork for ME. For PRESCHOOL.

Justice Jones said...

Don't get me started on homework. We have homework every night, except Wednesday, and we actually have to turn it all in on Friday, TEST day. And it's about 45 minutes worth of homework. And it's not the kind you can get away with waiting until the end of the week to do either. The pressure.

And what was your teacher thinking? How inconsiderate. The parent/teacher conferences are useful at maybe age four. I think at three a nice letter home would do the trick. At five or six I definitely want some one-on-one with the teacher so I can find out what I need to do to get my kid on scholarship track. Hey, you gotta start now. Six is the new 10. The clock is ticking.

And I LOVE THE PIC!! It's so cute! She looks thrilled, just thrilled.

Mrs. Schmitty said...

How annoying! I'd be so pissed!

Susan said...

I hear these stories about older kids (in school, even preschool) and think, how do the working parents DO it? I wish work and school could be synched up better. That sux. Your poor sweet Chatterbox.

Susan at Working Moms Against Guilt

Sheena said...

I'm sorry I can't help but laugh! Poor you! Your daughter's photo is cute, looks likes she's saying "Pre K is such a joke" lol!

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