22 September, 2016

Going back to school

Today is the day that parents go "back to school". Yes, it's called Back to School Day. The purpose is to inform parents about what goes on at school. At the school we were at in Australia, these events happened after school and work hours, so it made it a lot less crazy.

With three boys at the school and one husband who is a teacher and has his own responsibilities towards the parents of students he teaches, it usually turns into a hectic day for me. It's particularly difficult when you have two children in the same division as we do this year: two in middle school. So there was an hour there when I needed the superpower of being in two places at the same time, learning about both 6th and 8th grades.

I often come away from this day feeling harried for several reasons in addition to the above:
And it's wet, another in a succession of about three weeks of wet
days (minus a few, I think it only sprinkled once yesterday). It's
not helping my general mood, I can tell you.
  • For a conscientious parent it is easy to feel that you are not doing enough.
  • A lot more people know my face than I know theirs. Maybe the consequence of being a rare Westerner? Maybe my Asian-facial recognition is poor ? Maybe because with my husband and three boys there, I've been around a lot so a lot of people have seen me before? Anyways, I always end up in conversations with people who I don't know, and I spend the whole time trying to figure out how I know them and not to mess up the illusion that I do.
  • I'm wearing different hats. Many of the teachers have become friends and that can be odd in this setting (I fielded two hugs offered by teachers today). Again, I know different people from different contexts. It's just a discombobulating day for me.
  • The timetable is usually "messy". Thankfully today isn't as bad as it was a few years ago for me (see here), mostly because my boys are all older.
I have the additional challenge, today, of a meeting at 4pm about senior events with all the senior parents. That thing I volunteered for last Monday, it has turned out it was much bigger than one email. I'm on the organising committee! Yikes! My catch-phrase is KIS(S), "Let's keep it simple" I've been saying quite a bit. But we're already racked up many emails and messages, just organising the organising committee, two volunteer sign-up forms, and a permission form. I'm hoping I can finish what I've started. Today is a key event in getting this thing organised, I hope it goes well.

But meanwhile, I'm due back at school for more overwhelming information about how I'm supposed to be a good high-school-parent. I'm not confident.

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