Dear Teachers,

Last night was preschool curriculum night at school…the night where you are supposedly showing parents what our children have been working on. We attended last year and appreciated the opportunity to say hello to teachers and families we only have brief interactions with at pick up and drop off.

 Max was really excited to attend. In fact, I thought the event was next week and he assured me it wasn’t. I should know to trust him on all things calendar related.  He was mostly excited to show his little brother where he goes to school every day, and Ben completely reciprocated that. They couldn’t wait to go to Max’s school.

 My first clue into how the night was going to go should have been when I had to ask you for a reminder of the details. Was the night in fact this week and what time did it start? Another reminder in the backpack yesterday would have been helpful for encouraging attendance. Once we got there everyone was nice enough (though I was surprised to see at least two teachers in what clearly were workout clothes) except for the one new teacher who hovered in a corner and didn’t speak to anyone all night…except to ask her assistant how to do the motions to Itsy Bitsy Spider. I’m surprised you can make it out of college with a teaching degree without knowing that.

 I would like to caution you as to what you say within earshot of parents. Upon leaving I heard Max’s teacher whoop with delight that this was to be her final curriculum night and also heard the principal mock begging families not to leave so she didn’t have to go to a school committee meeting…in front of teacher of whom she is supposed mentor and manage. It gave me the message loud and clear that neither one of them actually wanted to be there…that they didn’t really care about the families and kids who attended.

 Don’t be so eager to show your desire to leave. Instead of mingling with families and children, enjoying a cookie or two, you were packing up activities and getting ready to leave. In fact, many of you were in your cars and driving away before I even had the first kid buckled into his car seat. 

 The whole night just left me wondering if you even enjoy teaching my son; if his cries of not wanting to go to school from time to time stem from the fact that he’s sensing you don’t really want to be there so why should he? Instead of leaving with an affirmation that Max is in good hands at school, I left feeling glad that we’ll be moving soon and won’t even finish out the school year. If you don’t want to be there, can you at least pretend? Can you at least wait until the parents are gone before you speed out of the parking lot?

 I know that teachers work long days. I know that being in a class with 20 preschoolers all day can’t be entirely pleasant…especially when you have specialists and IEPs to deal with. I know maybe you would have rather been home, but this night meant something to me and more importantly to my kids. They were proud to show me school and their friends and teachers. It’s events and leadership like you who are giving public school a bad name.

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