Today marks the start of the fourth week of the school year for Memphis-area folks. Since Kate is our oldest, the past 4 weeks have been a crash course of sorts into life as elementary school parents.
Some things I knew to expect based on my memories of my own youth, coupled with what friends with older kids had
warned told me about. But a few other things have been rather unexpected.
4 Things I Now Know about Elementary School*
- The True Purpose of the Requisite Student Backpack The backpacks that need to be large enough to hold a folder, small notebook, change of clothes and towel for nap time are actually meant to hold a 3 ring binder and lots of teacher notes, PTA requests and school fundraiser information. Memphis coupon book, anyone? $25 a pop and funds raised go to more smart boards for the school.
- Being a Room Mom Ain’t What it Used to be Sorry – ahem – I mean “room parent”. What traditionally was a volunteer role that involved planning a mere 3 holiday parties a year has become an unpaid part-time internship to organize and oversee the auction basket, Red Ribbon week, Teacher Appreciation activities, your teacher’s birthday, Christmas and End-of-year gifts, Field Day, the annual field trip and the 3 holiday parties.
- Student Pick-Up Mirrors a Special Ops Mission Badges, colors, car rider numbers, painted squares, clipboards, megaphones, walkie-talkies and a 30-minute lead-time are all part of the precise tactical maneuvers required to get kids into cars to head home at the end of a school day.
- “Because it looks cool” I’m so disappointed this line has already entered Kate’s vocab. I know it was inevitable, but she’s been asking to eat lunch at school because carrying the lunch tray “looks cool”. It’s not about the food, nor buying lunch using her special student ID code. It’s not even a matter of noshing on food that’s more appealing than the healthy turkey sandwich and baby carrots that I send her. Nope. It’s the novelty of holding a partitioned slab of plastic that’s pulling her in.
*While I’m laying a thick coat of sarcasm onto our introduction into the World of Elementary School, I do need to say that I’ve been very pleased thus far. I’m also interested in helping out at school and with its fundraisers.
Do you have school aged kids? What surprised you most when your oldest started school?