Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Not one of "Those Moms"

Last Friday Ella's school celebrated the 100th Day of School. They had parties in the classrooms, and all the kids had to do a "100 Day" project. The projects had to be some sort of visual representation of 100 - stickers, baseball cards, pokemon cards, noodles, etc. Ella did a times table to 10x10, of which she was quite proud because she did all the multiplication on her own.

She brought the times table home Friday very upset, saying that everyone else in the class had their projects hung in the hallway, but she did't. I suggested that she talk to her teacher and ask about it, but Ella wouldn't do it.

This morning I ended up driving Ella to school because I slept through the alarm and we missed the carpool. When we arrived, the kids were all busy with their morning routine, and the teacher was in the corner sorting through homework. So I took a deep breath and asked her why Ella's project wasn't on display with the other kids'.

I smiled very big when I did it, and I prefaced my question by saying, "I don't want to be one of Those Moms." It turns out there was a legitimate explanation for Ella's project being sent home instead of put on display. The teacher, whom we adore, went home sick Friday at lunch time with what turned out to be strep. She was so dehydrated that she ended up in the hospital over the weekend on IV fluids. The sub who took over the class didn't realize that Ella's project was supposed to be put up instead of sent home.

In the end, I am so glad that I didn't go in with a chip on my shoulder, complaining that Ella wasn't being treated fairly. Instead, I hugged the teacher and told her she should call the next time something like that happens so that we can help in some way - really, we love this teacher; she is so tiny and cute that you want to put her in your pocket. When I left, she was kneeling next to Ella and explaining the mix up. Ella's project will be put on display this morning after math time.

When Ella started school, I promised myself that I wouldn't run interference or meddle in her school life too much. I think she needs to learn to deal with issues with her teachers and classmates on her own. But this is one time that I'm glad I ignored that promise. What started out as a simple misunderstanding could have turned into something much worse if I hadn't spoken up. Ella's feelings had been hurt, and nothing gets my dander up more than having one of my children upset.

But now everything is better, and Ella loves her teacher again.


The Kretzings said...

You are a very good mommy for doing what you did.

Keeffer said...

my co-worker's mother is a teacher and she recieved a piece of paper covered in saran wrap. when she asked what it was, the boy told her it was 100 pieces of gum chewed, stuck to the paper, and covered in saran so it wouldn't get all over everything.

and his mom is one of "those moms" because she helped him chew all the gum for it.

Anonymous said...

ewwww on the gum comment above!! Ick!

It is so hard sometimes to know when to step in and when to let it sort itself out - good for you for approaching it well.