Monday, September 14, 2009

Seeking Your Thoughts and Opinions

1. The act of promoting or the fact of being promoted; advancement.
2. Encouragement of the progress, growth, or acceptance of something; furtherance.
3. Advertising; publicity.
pro·motion·al adj.
pro·motion·al·ly adv

Self Promotion:
self-pro·mo·tion (slfpr-mshn)
Promotion, including advertising and publicity, of oneself effected by oneself: A television talk show is an excellent vehicle for self-promotion.
self-pro·moter n

Are you currently saying to yourself, 'uh, yeah, I know the definitions of both those words?'
Great! It'll save you time from scrolling back up and re-reading the definitions. Especially when you determine how to best offer your thoughts, based on my perplexity regarding promotion.

It's about this:
"Peer Pressure"
"Everybody is Doing it!"
"If You're Not On The List, Everyone will know!"

Sure, there are many of us that would say, "who cares," right? I didn't fall prey to peer pressure as a young adult, stuff my bra with my baby sisters socks, so that my chest would equal the rest of the girls that actually had boobs. Nooo, not me!

Now we're adults. Or at least our age dictates that we should be in that category. We have kids. We have kids in school. We have,......


Every Friday after school, Jack and Sully come home with big Friday Folders, filled with their past weeks work, any order form for any upcoming book.picture.brick.marketday.wrappingpaper, event.

I actually LOVE (and I am serious about this) the way they manage this. They send home letters from the teacher and principal and on occasion enriching parenting articles, (Yes, I love those too!!-I'm serious, I do!) about how to improve this that or the other. Oh and any homework assignment for the weekend.

Each of these former trees I adore. It makes me happy to feel connected and aware, in tune and understanding of the progress of my sons. For example, my Sullivan is having a very difficult time (between us and you-he's not going to be made aware of this) in kindergarten. The majority of his little friends are already writing, aware of phonics and are actually reading. Sullivan is facing some challenges in those areas.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not "upset" about Sullivan's progress at all! Rather, I'm grateful that he's in a district, school, classroom, with the right types of people to help him with any learning disability, age appropriate or not. He has a case of the Fine Motor curse as well as a lot of reading and sound difficulties. Not a problem! His amazing kindergarten teacher noticed it, (what we have already been working on with Sully over the summer), and we are all taking the right steps to help aid Sullivan so that he's not the "child left behind." He'll be working 4X a week with a reading specialist as well as an occupational therapist. I'm loving this!

Don't worry, we are not treating Sullivan as if he has a "problem." We are trying our best not to label anything that has to do with this situation and himself, (ie: "Sully sullied his name on his paper), and rather, approaching this extra assistance as a "only the awesome ones are doing this." The, "you're doing so good, that you get to leave the classroom and work with cool teachers that give you special tricks that only you get to learn about, because they think you are such a cool Sullyburger." (His gym teacher's nickname for him).

None of that is bothersome to me. I'm not upset, worried, scared, insecure or concerned about the extra help Sullivan needs. Personally, we all could use extra help in our lives, even as adults. We just don't want to admit our weak points to anyone. Fortunately for us, we don't have Districts,Schools, classrooms and teachers following us around 5X a week to notice our "disabilities."

What bothers me, again, is,..THE PTAs way of promoting the "Everybody is doing it," "Who's Who with What." As adults we should be curbing that type of behavior in order to help it not creep so obviously into our childrens classrooms, therefore making them more aware of the ones "behind," "disabled," "not participating," "not contributing." Sure kids are going to pick up on these sort of things themselves, it's typical of social growth, as unfortunate as that is, there will be social situations that they figure out status levels. But for goodness sakes, let them learn it on their own, and not from their parents.

I know I'm talking to a wall here, and I know there are so many grown big persons that love to see their name in lights. (MOMMY BLOGGERS- hee-hee!) They just love to see their name mentioned and listed under a long list of all that they've done to help support the school, because they are such fantastic volunteering parents. I wonder if they follow the PTA board members around until they realize that they're there? As if the Board needs more things to worry about. Leave them be, people!!

But I can still say it's not really appropriate, or that I don't think it's the correct form of school etiquette, to list the names of people that have "already signed up as members of the PTA."

Or, that have already ordered an engraved brick to be placed on and around the new benches the school will be getting in honor of our principal that will be retiring at the end of this year. Especially the bricks. After all, we'll be able to browse and read through the precious thank yous when the benches and bricks are in place by Springtime.

For those of you that are Chicago people, a couple of years ago, the Chicago Cubs offered you the opportunity to buy a brick, and have it engraved, and it would be placed just outside the ballpark around the sidewalks that will lead you to the entrance of Wrigley. Did you see them sending us out a list of every person that have already bought a brick? A letter that also says there's still time for you to purchase a brick in thanks for the Cubs, now did you? No, you didn't. You saw the bricks and what was engraved, when they were in place on the sidewalks outside the ballpark.

I don't need to get a letter from the PTA telling me who the families are, that have already signed up to be a member of the PTA. That for $10, checks made payable to the school, I too, may become a member of the PTA. Let's practice proper PTA etiquette, people! You know, just like it's not proper cell etiquette to text someone a happy birthday message if you're a family member, or close friend? Like that. No, you pick up the phone and say happy birthday. All I need is a letter from the PTA explaining that I can, if I would like to, sign up to be a member of the PTA, for $10.00. Period. Check #2705 in the amount of $10.oo made out to my sons school.

Is that wrong for me to be bothered by it? Sure there are many that could give two hoots about a list of names, and into the recycling bin it goes. But no matter, it starts with the parents. In situations such as this, I believe it's just not necessary to list the names of the families that have already spent $10 to join a club that chances are they'll never attend, and $75 and up for the purchase of the engraved bricks.

It has nothing to do with whether or not I like to stuff my bra and be a follower versus a leader. Ah, no, it has to do with the fact that this is not a student pizza selling contest for the local Cub Scouts. It's just us old ass adults. Why promote ourselves based on what we've bought and what club we've joined?

What do you think?
Am I just a freak? Maybe. After all, I am just one crusty mom.

Parent Teacher Association