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This post is not funny. It’s not even remotely funny, so if you’re in the mood for a laugh, I suggest checking out some of my other posts.

I went to my sons’ Back to School Night last night. We couldn’t go last year due to a freak storm, so this was our first, and when we arrived, we were ushered into the Gymnasium with all the other parents. This poster was on the wall:

My back. What, didn't you ask me to tell you?

“My back.” What, gym teacher? You asked me to tell you. I’m just following directions.

It was written by the gym teacher. I tried to give it a pass because it was written by the gym teacher. Oh, how I tried… However, this little nagging voice kept creeping up on me saying:
How long has that been up, Naptimethoughts? How many other staff members have walked by this and looked? Why has it not been corrected? Especially before tonight, when eight bajillion parents, most with college degrees in their pockets (of some variety) would gather in the gymnasium (and sit in highly uncomfortable metal chairs that would force their heads to look directly at that heinous sign) why, oh why, was it not corrected? Why did no one take it down before this evening?

Me. We were sitting in the front row, so you know, I wasn't noticeable or anything while I was fending off that infernal poster.

Me. We were sitting in the front row, so you know, I wasn’t noticeable or anything.

All of those questions were nagging at me while I watched the new principal walk the same little circle, wearing a hole in the shiny, squeaky, gym floor, over and over… It was like a super-extra-giant-box step that may or may not have been in time with his droning– I couldn’t hear. I was busy fending off attacks from that horrible sign. I thought I heard something about the middle school. Why would I care about the middle school? We’re at an elementary school, which lead me back to the sign; these people are teaching my child grammar. Then the PTA started talking. That wouldn’t help me, I never listen to them. It’s all blah, blah, blah, baked goods. Blah, blah, blah, class mom. It’s just blather and hair compared to the very lifelike production of “The Telltale Heart” that The Sign and I played out inside my head.

There are only two conclusions one could draw from this poster:
1. The entire staff gives absolutely no shits, NO SHITS AT ALL, about how they appear to the parents of the children they *profess* to educate.
2. None of them understand the language.

Either of these conclusions provides a highly crappy educational setting for my son.

I tried to curb Mama Bear and bring rational Naptimethoughts back to the table.
We were released to our childrens’ classrooms. Ahhh.. Sweet relief. You shall not pass, grammatically incorrect Gym Rules sign. Surely a first-grade teacher would relieve my angst.

It's a power point. She must have proofread it. I think I'm going to throw up.

It’s a power point. She must have proofread it. I think I’m going to throw up.

Let’s play a game. Let’s play who can find all the errors just on this PAGE. I felt kind of weird taking pictures of her power point while I was sitting in J’s tiny little seat, (my sons’ ass is surprisingly small) at his tiny little desk (which I was cleaning, because my child is a walking disaster area) so I only took the one, but you get the point. Oh, the dangling participles. The sentences ending SQUARELY with prepositions (I don’t think that was this page, but take my word for IT.)
Every week he is tested on a list of spelling words, and if “lose” is ever on the list, I’m going to “loose” it.

This teacher is the woman who, besides myself, will be the most influential adult in my childs’ life this year, and she can’t spell “lose”.
I don’t think I’m asking for all that much. I come from a family of educators. I have a husband who was a teacher for many years, a mother who taught second grade, and a father who was the Dean of a college. I get it. I especially get how ridiculously difficult things are for teachers right now- they are unfairly targeted for pay cuts. Paperwork is dumped upon them until anyone would reach their breaking point. They’re called babysitters — or worse, and they accept it. They work like slaves for their meager pay and quietly go on with their lives with dignity.
Mostly.

This is unacceptable. How about we check out our teachers basic skill set before we move on with piling all that paperwork? How about we make sure a teacher is competent to teach spelling and grammar before we allow him or her unfettered access to my child? Here’s an easy question to start us off:
Are you going to teach my son simple contractions and their usage?
Yes?
Do you understand simple contractions and their usage?

I’m disgusted.

 

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