Tag Archives: Back to School

Starting This Year on a Good Note … The Justin Timberlake Kind

24 Aug

And so it begins …


Another year of firsts …

The older kids playground and then entering kindergarten. Two kids, two sets of Ticonderoga No.2 adventures and I felt both excited and little anxious about this new season. As you all know last year’s academic year with Miss Viola Swamp was a challenging one filled with bite-your-tongue-and-pick-your-battle moments so we’ll see how this year pans out. New teachers, new experiences but I’m not so much worried about teachers this time around as something different came up.

Not a bad concern, just a parenthood observation.

As a parent you know they’re getting older because their pants and shirts and socks don’t fit them quite right anymore, getting a little snug. So you make a trip to Target. You notice their little faces and the expressions are still the same, but they’re not so little anymore.

And you realize the season is about to change. Granted it’s not a giant step into middle school, high school, or college and you’re not balling your eyes out, but it’s still a step ahead and you pause because you’re actually feeling it. You’re feeling the step and the growth right in front out you. Not in a slow motion, but just right in front you and you caught it. The kind of moment you want to save in those mason jars.

Pride and smiles because they seem to be on the good path. You’ve done a good job … so far. They know when to act crazy silly and when it’s serious Crayola Crayon time. So as always, first day of school love-you-you-can-conquer-the-world-notes in their Star Wars and Minions lunchboxes and a great feel good song to start the day, the kind that rocks you into a good mood and good grove. Ready for anything that third grade and kindergarten can throw your way. Starting this year on a good note …


The Justin Timberlake kind. It was a unanimous decision, we’ve been listening to it all week. Buen Camino my friends.




I’m Pretty Sure My Kid Has Miss Viola Swamp This Year

17 Aug

3 out of 4

It seemed liked the odds were really in my favor, my son’s favor. It really did. But then I looked at the list and there it was the 25% that bit me on the ass.


I stood there about ten minutes, hoping that I hadn’t read it right. Hoping that for some reason my Jedi mind tricks could magically rework the list. Hoping, no not really, praying that my kid would not have this chick as his teacher.

I had met her once before at the Open-House-Meet-Greet-Show-Off-Your-Kids-Work Conference. She was next door and they had encouraged all the parents to stop by all the classrooms to meet the possible future teachers for the following year.

I usually like everyone. It’s rare when people rub me the wrong way, but this chick with her negative attitude, dismissive nature, and non-welcoming personality burned me out. I would have understood if it was the end of the evening, but it was just an hour into it. I know a lot of teachers too, I know they put on their best face when parents come in, but this chick apparently forgot. This chick was Miss Viola Swamp. I left the room thinking, dude I hope my kid doesn’t even pass her in the hallway.


Miss Viola Swamp

And then there he was on the list. Room 29.


I shook my head in defeat, he would be at the mercy of Miss Viola Swamp. After a couple of hours, and some chocolate, something came over me. I got a little parent crazy for a minute. For some reason I found the need to investigate. Yup. If this chick, was going to be hanging out with my kid for seven hours a day, I figured I get some information on her. Maybe she was having an off day, when we met. Maybe she was hormonal. I don’t know. I was thinking of all kinds of excuses as to why someone would give off such a negative vibe.

Have you met this teacher? Do you know the type?

I was curious. The crazy overprotective parent in me wanted to find out more. But I wouldn’t say I went into stalker mode, more of an unlicensed private detective in search of answers.

There’s a lot you can find out about a teacher on the Internet, people put a lot of unnecessary information on Facebook, but nothing to excuse someone of jackass behavior. And you know she probably doesn’t even remember being a jackass, but I do. Meeting people matters.

I was never a huge fan of first impressions, I always tried to give people the benefit of the doubt, but they do seem to form 80% of my opinion. It’s like if you meet your all-time favorite actor, singer, player, author, or musician, and you’re so jazzed to have the opportunity to meet (although to be clear I wasn’t jazzed about this meeting, I was more just meeting someone and checking out the scene) and you have this picture of them in your head and then when you meet them, they just suck. Whether it had anything to do with you or not, that meeting taints your whole outlook on them from that point forward, and it takes a lot of work to change your perception.

So here I am, tainted and burned out by the fact that my kid ended up with the one teacher I wish he didn’t have.

I was so not looking forward to the beginning of the school year, although I had to hide that from my son. Didn’t want him going in with negative thoughts, so I just told him I didn’t know much about his new teacher, but that I’m sure he would get to know more about her on the first day of school, and that it would be a great day.

The day was done and my kid survived his first day without incident.

However, next week is Back To School Night, I don’t know if I’ll be able to say the same thing. Stay tuned.