Thursday, March 18, 2010

*AHEM* Public School, I have a problem....

My children attend public school. This is my choice. However I do honestly believe that my heart is somewhere else. I love the idea of homeschooling my children, but I know my limitations and that is just not something I can do at this point in my life. I do try my hardest to stay involved in where they go to school though. I'm the PTA secretary and am present for most all of their school events. I volunteer my time and I pay attention to what they are learning and reinforce it at home. I disagree with a lot of public school "ideals" and try to make up where they fail. (Yes, they fail miserably in some areas, like art, music, etc.).

Another reason that I have sent my children to public school is to learn about different family levels of income. I said that badly but to give you an idea, my children are two of only 30 out of 300 students that don't have reduced or free lunch. I like the idea that my children are attending a racially diverse school and they have friends that come from families of different income levels. It's a part of life, learning about society, socioeconomic statuses, and culture. I don't want them growing up in an all white private school. If we shield our children with blinders now, then how are they supposed to learn and grow? (And before I get blasted for my last statement, if public school ever were to become the REASON my children ARE NOT learning? I will pull them out in a heart beat.)

However I'm getting my panties in a bunch over the latest new public school rule....

Last week the day of my PTA meeting, Zaky and Ziggy (uh, that's Izeah) informed me that they had a new "rule" at their school. If they were tardy, they would lose their recess for the day.

EXCUSE ME!?!?!?!?

At first I thought my ears were lying to me... or that they exaggerated some new rule and made it sound horrible. SO I went to the PTA meeting and discussed it with the principal. From our conversation I learned that tardies are a big problem at our school. During the 3 day state testing a few weeks ago though, there were very few tardies for 3 days in a row. Therefore the principal and parent liaison decided to try the "no recess for tardies" rule out for ONE day. It was an experiment and it was supposed to not happen again. I ended up voicing my opinion that if this happens again, or becomes an established rule, I would have a HUGE problem with this and would go to the school board. If a child is tardy, it is the parents fault (at this grade level). In the rare instance that it IS the child's fault, I feel another means of punishment should be used. End of our discussion.

Then today, I heard "through the grapevine" that they are going to try this rule again.

Now first, I think I'm going to validate this little rumor.

BUT SECOND, if this so called rule is VALID, I do believe I am going to have to go directly to the city school board. I will not be going to the principal again, being as it resulted in nothing if this happens... AND if the school board doesn't listen? Then next on my list will be local news stations.... and so on and so forth until my point is heard and this rule goes away. What is my point you say?

MY POINT: Recess should not be taken away from a child. In the deepest part of my heart I honestly believe that every child, no matter how bad or mean or horrible they are NEEDS RECESS. They need that free time from restriction and thinking. They need the ability to run, scream, and play. Hell, even walking around outside in a lap would be more acceptable to me then keeping children inside for the entire school day. Adults are granted this right... we all get lunch breaks correct? (Well, in an ideal setting...) Even INMATES are granted outside privileges.

Does anyone reading this disagree?

In the end, I strongly feel that just because I have chosen public school for my children, this doesn't mean that my opinion doesn't count. In my world it means that if you don't like something about your public school system, then I will stand up and make a difference, hopefully even make a change. After all, if all we do is bitch, then we're all just part of the problem and not the solution. (Yeah yeah yeah... cliche, I know :)


  1. I am not at all disagreeing with you, just sharing - we don't have recess in CPS schools. Now part of that is because (at least for my area) it isn't safe for the kids to be outside when it's usually like the OK Corrale out there. But, the main reason is because every single minute of our day is accounted for in instructional time. Every minute. Our babies only get a 20 minute lunch period. That's 20 minutes from the time we hit the lunchroom In door until we need to be at the Out door. In that 20 minutes, the kids have to go through the lunch line, get their trays, their milk, turn in their lunch tickets, grab a spork and head over to our table. Once they are settled into their seats, they have about 12 minutes to eat before they have to be up, throwing their garbage away, and washing the table for the next class. Does that make you as sick as it makes me?

    Forget about the fact that I don't even get a lunch because I'm trying to help them get what they need and into their seats for the first 10 minutes they're in there, which means I have just about enough time to run to the office, check my mailbox, make any phone calls I might need to make, and run to the bathroom (if I'm lucky!!) before it's time to pick them up again. They have NO time to blow off steam, even while they're eating. If they don't eat, their lunch ends up getting tossed because time's up.

    My kids DO have rest time, though, which is obviously not the same as being able to run around and blow off steam, but it does help them to settle down and regroup (and LOTS of them actually sleep!) I can only imagine what the afternoons would be like if we didn't have a rest time. :(

    The only reason I get away with having this rest time is because I also do accessments during that time, which works out well because the room is so quiet. I call kids over to my desk to do one-on-one testing every day during this time. That's another sore subject with me (The fact that we are testing these poor babies TO DEATH!!) but since I've already unloaded too much on YOUR blog, I'll save this rant for my own. ;-)

    Make sure you click over and check out Stud's after pictures. They're pretty funny. :P Thanks, again, for all you did to help him in his fundraising.

  2. Chitown... I was bettin you might be the first to respond! :)

    In fact, lunchtime is one of my other one of my arguements with public school.... it's a HORRIBLE way to eat! My kids have the same problems! THey get about 20 minutes as well! And in our school, if they don't eat to the lunch ladies satisfaction, they can lose there recess as well :( As a result... I have seen Izeah go from politely eating at a casual pace to now he SHOVES food in his mouth as fast as he can!!! We are working on this at home... trying to teach him that slowing down and smaller bites are the REAL way to eat... and he didn't start this UNTIL he started Kind. :(

    And testing them to death!?!?! I know!!! It amazes me how much they are required to know now from when WE were in Kindergarden... and we all turned out JUST FINE. The world is NOT going to end if my child can not read fluently by the time he's done with kind.... The sad thing is that if they DON'T test that high them the school loses funding! (they did last year.... it's a mess)

    Mr. Obama.... please get rid of NO Child Left Behind!

    Honey.... I'll rant with you anytime you want about this one! Kind. teachers have one of the toughest jobs these days. I don't know how ya do it!

    And yep, I saw the pics in my email! Go Lex!!! :) And of course! I wish I could have helped more! :)

  3. Note to self... do not reply when I'm half asleep in the morning because spelling and grammatical errors will happen frequently... :)

  4. you know my opinion on time don't apologize for giving your input even when you KNOW the principal is just going to nod and forget about it.