Thursday, August 12, 2010

1st Grade

Yesterday was Alice's birthday. Thanks to all for the cards and gifts. She had a wonderful day. Here is the cake I made. It is a "Super Duper Snicker Fluff Brownie Mom Special Surprise!" cake. I picked the cake out because Alice couldn't decide on a cake. I figured the title would sell her on it.

Tonight we went to her school to find out who her teacher will be this year and to see the new principal. Alice and I missed the principal's speech but Tim was there. His reaction was "Hmmmm." She is a newly branded PhD and is! very! excited! to! be! here!!! He said she spoke in that high simpering tone normally reserved for babies. Hmm. We'll (try to) reserve judgment.

Alice's teacher is pregnant. Just guessing, she's probably due around Christmas. Another hmm. I signed up to be the room mother. My first act as room mother was to strong arm one of the only moms I know from Kindergarten into being a room mother's assistant. We have no idea what we're doing.

The school has adopted a discipline system they are calling the "Panther Pride Behavior Plan." Alas, no more pleasant purple and beautiful blue. This is a scale from 0 (bad!) to 5 (good!) And, sadly, it has nothing to do with the Black Panthers. Along with a sheet introducing us to the plan we received the "Behavior Expectation Matrix."

There are 100 rules on this matrix!!! (I counted) They all fall under the four main categories of be respectful, be responsible, be prepared and be safe and orderly, but geez! 100 rules? Most of these are common sense. My favorites:
- Only one person per stall in the bathroom
- Use toilets and sinks as designed
- Use only 2 squirts of soap and 2 pulls of paper towels
- Walk in Travel Position

I have to sign a form that says that I've reviewed the matrix with my child. I'm tempted not to turn it in until the principal demonstrates Travel Position for me. Tim and I have our own ideas about what Travel Position ought to look like:

I understand the need for rules, really, I do. And I'm sure there are some kids (and parents) who need everything spelled out. Things like this frustrate me because Alice is on the other side of the spectrum. Alice falls apart when she DOESN'T follow the rules. We could read all the rules to her and I guarantee she would memorize them all. But she would be so focused on making sure that she followed all the rules that she wouldn't be able to focus on learning. Which is the whole point of school, isn't it?


echo said...

fabulous clip! strangely I wondered what exactly 'travel position' might be as well. 100 rules for six year olds? seriously? wow! good luck, I'm glad that you are room mother. I will be looking forward to updates throughout the year.

Katy said...

Thanks Vera. Turns out traveling position means that you have your arms folded across your chest while walking. Like wearing an imaginary straight jacket. We also got a note from the principal today with more rules - for parents. Am I going to follow them? Nope.