I must admit I feel like I have started a new job....and here is why.
There is the new place that we have to go to each day....and be there by 8.55am for the first bell which signals all the kids to line up with their classes and hear the messages of the day. (Think a new office with restricted parking and only one entrance for the whole office population to enter and exit through......and you need to be there on time with or without your morning coffee.)
There is the teacher, who you are trying to figure out. And no doubt is trying to figure out you and your kid? Will you like them? Will they like you? Are they the best for your child? (Think trying to get to know a new boss. Will you like them? Will they like you?)
There's meeting all the new people. It is completely daunting attempting to remember the name of the kids in our little misses class, not too mention all their parents names too. (Think remembering everyone's names and who goes with who and who does what.)
There is all the paperwork. In the last four weeks little miss has had some note or other in her bag, from Premier's Reading Challenge to school fees to her day to attend Yoga. (Think of your In tray and Out tray and how people just keep putting things in the In tray and the Out tray seems to stay relatively empty.)
I went to the first P&C Meeting of the year a couple of weeks ago. Interesting. Very interesting. (Think a company wide meeting with the CEO and representatives from each department with their own agenda....and you are trying to figure out where you fit.)
I also volunteered at the Uniform Shop on Thursday afternoon last week...with my little man in tow. He is usually so lovely and smiley, but last Thursday he decided to unleash hell. So while I tried to learn where the skorts, short sleeves, long sleeves and sports uniforms were all located he screamed the place down. But who can blame him there were people everywhere running here and there and he was smack bang in the middle. (Think a very disorganised fire drill, where the alarm goes off and people don't know whether to evacuate or not. Is this real? Do we have to go?)
So, my tips so far....
- Write down the name of the parents you meet next to the name of their child. (I found out that I'm not the only one to do this either.)
- Introduce yourself to the teacher and say G'Day on a regular basis. If you can, volunteer to help out in the classroom so you can sticky-beak what is going on.
- Create a "Week" schedule for your kids so you can list which day is library, sports, arts etc to make sure you are packing the right things in the bag....and to help out other parents in the family and grandparents on a Friday...and then you can ditch the paperwork afterwards instead of having a ream of paper magnetised to the side of the fridge.
- If attending a P&C meeting for the first time, allow two hours, if not more. Allow yourself to be totally bamboozled and be okay with it. Hot topics include canteen and air conditioners.
- If volunteering with a small child in tow, cross your fingers and hope for the best.
If you have entered the life of "school parents" this year, how are you going?
If you have been "school parents" for a while, what are your tips?