Commentary

Letter to Editor: We have to participate

A response to an article published last week…
Your little starting Kindergarten in the fall? Does this article make you feel anxious? I think it’s going to be okay.

I’m in the thick of this and I can relate so much to the way the author is feeling and I know you’re trying to gear yourself up for getting your baby into K in the fall. You want to be excited and I think you should be. Last week I don’t know if I would have said that.

I’ve been praying about my role in this and keep coming up here…

We’re relying on our schools TOO much. We’re allowing our schools to BE our culture rather than a part of our culture. We’re asking our educators to be too responsible for our kid’s mental health and spiritual health.

I’m not saying we don’t voice our desires for our kids or speak out when we see a deficiency but I am saying we’ve got to find a better balance. It is hard for me to keep this in check.

Our schools offer one pillar of stability (and tradition) in our lives. They gobble up a large chunk of our lives, students and parents. There are going to be areas where your kid’s school won’t meet their needs. Lean in and ask how you can be part of the solution. Maybe adjustments can be made at school, but maybe they can be made at home too.

I want field day to continue on, so I decided to sacrifice my convenience and take off work to volunteer in order to maintain it. I want AG day to continue to be an experience kids get to have. Since I noticed last year some kids left sad because they didn’t have money to bring home a flower like the other kids, we sent extra money. $20 bought an inclusive moment for her little classroom community. I’m just saying there are traditions that are special and important that were likely created by one teacher or parent that had a passion for that one event. Maybe that parent doesn’t have kids in school anymore so they are no longer involved. Maybe that teacher is gone. Maybe that Administrator has passed away.

If we want those traditions to carry on we’ve got to communicate that to our Administrators, but also find a way to help make them happen. We can’t just assume they know how valuable we think those traditions are. There are many ways you can volunteer at your kid’s school even if you can’t BE there. Truly. There are many ways you can volunteer at your kid’s school without spending money.

We have to be mindful as Mahomet-Seymour alum (speaking as one) that there are many new traditions that exist now that are GREAT. The schools can’t do everything well so yes some things are going to go away. We won’t get everything we want. Ever. Is it mostly good? Yes. Should we jump up and down a bit when too much is going away seemingly all at once? Maybe. Maybe not on social media.  

School is one pillar of tradition. We have to provide another pillar at home and if the final pillar is a blooming spiritual life then no matter how many changes occur at school our kids are going to be okay.

When you jump into the school parent life I think the saddest thing you’ll find out about Mahomet is that our kids are incredibly over-scheduled, mine included. Wednesday night is no longer protected time on activity calendars.  Elementary school-age kids play five baseball games in one weekend without the parents batting an eyelash at the commitment. Tiny dancers and cheerleaders are wearing full makeup and really tiny costumes. Kids in our town are hungry. Very hungry. A lot of them. These things aren’t the school’s fault.

Pray that your heart breaks for the right things and that it becomes clear to you where you can be a part of the solution. When your pillar feels weak, and it inevitably will from time to time, ask for help. Pray you’re priorities are in line so your pillar is strong. Do that now before your baby is 1/750 kids in a school instead of last week like I did. I’m hopeful, I invite you to choose to be hopeful too.

Fact-the community our kids will be raised in will not be the same one you and I were. I think that’s okay for me. You’ll have to decide if it’s okay for you.

-Kristina Robinson

 

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