At the beginning of the school year, word came down that the annual Williamsburg-type reenactment that the fifth graders have done for years and years was no more. The party line, repeated at Back to School Night, was that it was a lot of work (for the teachers, presumably) and there were far more activities that the kids could be doing relating to Colonial times than practice their lines and rehearse for one of the many scenes -- militia, pub, dress shop, court, tea shop, etc. Four years ago, when Daughter was in fifth grade, the fifth grade parents joined together and re-built all of the sets, paying for it with PTA and fifth grade fundraising dollars. It was a lot of work, but the old sets had been used a long, long time, and the new ones were going to be used for many years to come.
At Back to School Night, Youngest's teacher dissed the whole idea of the adventure and said there was no changing the fifth grade teachers' mind. I know quite a few of us with older kids were ticked off, and the kids were certainly disappointed because this was their year to finally get to do Ranchoburg.
BFD, I know, but still, it's something Youngest and his fellow students had been counting on doing in the fifth grade.
The parental grumbling I and others did at the time was for naught. The teachers didn't want to do it, so, yeah, fuck, you can't do it. We said, then, though, to ourselves and maybe to a teacher or two, that if that's what was decided, don't count on all of us helping do your stupid-ass Craft Day. Materials made at stupid-ass Craft Day were often used at the big production.
Yeah, yeah, cut off your nose to spite your face.
Last night, Youngest came home to say that his teacher told the class Craft Day might be cancelled because they need another 10 parents to sign up to help. So far, only about 25 have signed up to help. She understands parents are busy, but they can't really help this one time?
Yes, I had already signed up.
Youngest went on to say that his teacher told the class that they aren't doing Ranchoburg this year because not enough parents volunteer to help.
Excuse me? That was never said as a reason why the teachers didn't want to do it.
I went on a roll, coming off with some great things I wanted to make sure Youngest passed onto his teacher.
"My mom says that you don't have the guts to take responsibility for cancelling Ranchoburg so you're blaming parents."
"My mom wonders when you'll be coming into her office to do her work for her."
"My mom says not everyone has the luxury of taking multiple days off and having a God-damned substitute to cover for them."
"My mom says people in authority shouldn't lie to children."
"My mom says if you want to enforce parental involvement, maybe you should start a charter school. Then she said, 'Oh, right, you're trying to do just that.'"
"My mom used a lot of cuss words about the fifth grade teachers last night."
Do you want to know how many parents step up and go into this classroom each week for literary circles or for "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader"? Or how many parents are binding stupid fuckin' projects so the teacher can display them at Open House? Or how many parents help the teacher by making sure their kids are well rested and well fed and prepared everyday? Or how many parents donated to the teacher's Christmas gift and will -- maybe -- donate again to the end-of-the-year gift?
I do believe I've just found a reason to unvolunteer for stupid-ass Craft Day.