WELCOME BACK TO SCHOOL
The last time we met here was seven weeks ago. Do you remember? I began counting down the number of weeks left for school, marveled at how quickly the time had passed, and offered a few additional ways children can make their time out of school filled with fun. Well, those seven weeks have come and gone and school is once again in session. With that, I bid you a hearty “Welcome back!”
I could not wait for school to begin last week! Now, I’m sure you’re thinking it was because I was ready for my children to get out of the house and out of my hair. Not entirely. My enthusiasm really had more to do with my desire to govern myself differently as a parent and volunteer. In an email to a friend of mine I emphatically wrote, “I have learned many valuable lessons this past school year. I’m very excited about 2011-2012. I look forward to applying what I’ve learned and being of greater service!”
I would be mendacious if I told you my experience last year was laced with peaches and cream. Au contraire! I had more parent/teacher meetings than I’ve had in the eight years I’ve been a parent of a PGCPS child, one of my children has either lost or damaged not one…but two pair of eye glasses, and one of my other children had a substitute for close to six weeks straight. On top of that, I’ve linked arms with many of you at community forums and board meetings and sent countless emails to board members to voice concerns about the budget cuts that ultimately became our fate. In spite of it all, I blew a “Dating Game” kiss to the 2010-2011 school year with both affinity and pride because of the many valuable lessons I learned.
I believe that someone reading this blog is saying, “OMG! You sound just like me!” If in fact you’re not uttering those words, then maybe you know someone like me. Whatever the case may be I’d like to offer these three tips to help you make the most of the 2011-2012 school year:
1. Put the past behind you. It’s challenging to not converse about the negative experiences from last year, but I encourage you to try. It really is a new day and the more positive your outlook on 2011-2012, the more positive your experience will be.
2. Do the best you can with what you have. Look – there is not a single person who is not feeling “the crunch” from the budget cuts. Classes have gotten larger and resources have gotten smaller. Parents, teachers, and stakeholders must pull together for the betterment of our children…ALL children. Make a small sacrifice to donate a box of tissue or a block of time to your child’s school. It really does go a long way.
3. Identify the small stuff and don’t sweat it. To the extent that you can, put minor matters in their proper place. Does your concern really call for you to go to the Board of Education or is it something that can be worked out on the school level first? Analyze a situation from every possible angle before you make a decision to act.
This is not an all inclusive list, but it’s definitely a start. Maybe you have a few ideas of your own that will work just as well. If so, I have just three words to close out this blog: GO FOR IT!
Kimberly K. Parker is the President and CEO of Writing Momma Publishing, LLC (www.writingmomma.com). This past summer, her company published three books for young authors age nine to nineteen! This fall, she will host “Write On!” an eight week writing program for youth and she is currently looking for a few young writers who want to participate. Visit http://www.writingmomma.com/ for more information. Kimberly is a ghostwriter, author and blogger living in Maryland with her husband and three children.