Monday, October 1, 2007

Public School Help

As a former teacher, there are many public school stories, both good and horror. There are quite a few Christian teachers as there are liberal. But one thing that a lot of parents don't know is that Parents hold much of the Power. If you ever have a problem at school, this is what you should do.

As a teacher, I was helpless to do a lot of things. Parents would complain to me, as if I could do anything. For the sake of my job, I couldn't just tell them, go to the administration. Complain to them. Complain to their supervisors. Put it all in writing. Schools are a big believer in documentation. If you write a letter, that letter will go into a file. It will be looked at, usually by several people. By law or policy, they are not allowed to throw it away. And don't just write a letter to the school. Send a copy to the town isd/administration office, and make sure you show a cc on both letters to show that you sent a copy to both the school and the administration. I have seen the letters of parents who did this, and a lot got accomplished.

Also, and this is extremely important, always, always dress up whenever you go to school. And I mean, look like a complete professional like you work in a law office. So many school officials are completely condescending and dismissive of women who dress casually to an ARD, a school meeting, a PTA meeting, a parent/teacher conference, etc. Always look like you have a couple of PHDs, even if you don't. Always look like you have power, even if you don't. Buy a suit (even at a resale shop, even if its the only suit you have in your closet) and wear it to the school, especially in a confrontational meeting.

A good uniform would be a black skirt (right at the knee, definitely NOT full, more of a suit skirt), an ironed white buttoned down shirt/blouse (no t-shirts), a gold chain or pearls, simple earrings, hose, and black pumps (that are polished). Wear makeup, perfume, dress your hair. This is definitely considered a power uniform of someone to be reckoned with (think FBI, lawyers), and you can get away with wearing it several times.

Think of it as putting on warrior paint/clothes, as you are going there to protect your most precious possession, your children.

This uniform is especially good for any confrontational setting - a visit to the hospital to discuss your birthing plan, a visit to the doctor, a visit to a government office or a law office.

Dressing professionally especially applies in a inner city setting, where noone even knows you, but I have also worked in a small town school, and have seen the differences it makes when you dress to impress. People are going to be people, and first impressions make a huge impression, especially at schools. You are fighting for your children's rights, look the part.
Thought that might help someone who is having a hard time with the public school system.
I got out of that black hole of misery two years ago, after 6 years of teaching both small town (Ferris) and inner city (Dallas), and have never looked back.
Thank you God.

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