Even though I used to be a teacher, I've fallen short as a school parent many times. Mostly because I worried about what other people thought -- the teachers, the school, other parents. I've learned the hard way what is important -- not the perception of others, but making sure my children's educational needs are met while balancing their physical and emotional development, too. Read my lessons so you won't have to learn them the hard way like me.
School mistake 1: not speaking up
As a former teacher, I cringed at the thought of being that parent. I let my year 1 child endure a chaotic classroom and distracted teacher, watching as she fell behind in every subject. Mid-year I stopped volunteering because the noise in the classroom was too much -- even for me. I tried to be the nicest parent ever, hoping that would change the situation. It didn't. And my daughter lost a year of learning. In fact, it took until year 5 -- three years! -- for my daughter to catch back up in maths.
Lesson: Advocating for my child is my job. If I don't speak up for her needs, no one will. Now I communicate frequently with the teachers, knowing that I can still be nice while advocating for my child.
School mistake 2: guilt volunteering
I knew when I signed up for class mum, that it was a big mistake. I work. I'm kind of disorganised. And, I don't love meetings -- which was a big part of the job. Somehow I got through, but it was a big mistake.
Lesson: I'm great with in-class volunteering and helping in the library but not great with field trips or parties. I'm okay with not being great at everything. Now I try to only volunteer for tasks that fit for my personality and schedule.