Last week Thursday, I registered my son for Kindergarten. My son is still 5 months away from taking his first steps into his "big kid school," and I'm already annoyed. I am a teacher (12 years in public high schools and now 3 at a community college), and I fear I am going to be one of those parents who can't stop complaining, whose standards and expectations are high and who calls to complain every time those expectations are not met.
So, this is what happened...
First, I go to the district website the Tuesday prior to registration to download the 20+ pages of paperwork I have to fill out in order to register my child. The links to the paperwork don't work and I suspect it's a problem on my end. I call the school. No, it's a website problem and the links won't be up and running again before registration. So, unless I want to sit at the school the evening of registration for an hour and fill out the paperwork, I can pick up the papers at the school beforehand. Fine. I do this on that Tuesday with my son in tow. I ask the woman in charge of the registration paperwork if the registration evening which lasts from 4:30 to 7:00 is something to which I should bring my son or if I should leave him at home with Daddy. She tells me that they are trying to get some of the junior high kids to come to it to do some fun activities with the kids who are there, that there will be tours of the Kindergarten classrooms, and a video will be shown called, "A Day in the Life of a Kindergartner." That sounds like fun for my son, I say, and she agrees that it should be. I say I will bring him.
And I do. But it turns out that the only thing the school manages to get even remotely organized is the video. Other than that - no junior high kids, no fun activities, no tours of the classrooms. The video isn't even up and running yet the entire time I'm there, and it takes me an hour and a half to get through all of the registration stations. The event itself runs for less than 3 hours, and the video is not playing after an hour and a half. Hmmmm. I'm hoping our experiences at the school once my son becomes an official Kindergartner aren't always this disappointing.
So, I'm annoyed. I can't help it. My poor son had to stand there waiting in five different lines with me doing absolutely nothing for an hour and a half when he could have stayed home with his father.
But wait, there's more. I overhear one parent ask a staff member if parents can request one's child's teacher. The response: "No, but we try to match the children according to their personality and ability level with the appropriate teacher." I wonder how they do this when they don't even know my child. Then, though, at one of the stations, I'm given a questionaire to fill out about my child, about the activities he likes, his attention span, his abilities concerning shapes,numbers, letters, etc., and what his personality is like. I fill it out and include it with the rest of the paperwork in the folder. When I come home, I discover I've come home with this questionaire, that no one at 3 different stations had taken it from me. So, now I'm even more annoyed. Now, I have to call the school and find out whom I need to bring it to.
As long as I'll be on the phone with the school, I'm tempted to let them know just how I felt about the registration evening. But I don't know if I want to establish myself as one of the *those* moms already.
What would you do?