I still can’t believe I have a Kindergartener. I am not organized enough to have a Kindergartener – I can’t remember to take my OWN lunch out of the fridge on the way out the door how can I remember to give Mike HIS lunch? He doesn’t have a desk drawer of random semi-healthy snacks to rely on! And we budget for the inevitable monthly overdue library fees so remembering Mike’s weekly library day seems so overwhelming. I know we will figure it out, but there is SO.MUCH.PAPER. I know it is only week two and we will eventually get our shit together, but Mike better grow up quick and get a damn day planner.
Also, his school just started using the DoJo app, which seems to be pretty popular among the ‘mommy communities’. Cool, cool. It has a feed like Facebook for the school (our’s currently has 2 pictures), the ability to text message teachers and a section where parents can see when their kid gets a ‘DoJo Point’. Since Mike’s school is a Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) school the are focusing on reinforcing positive behavior by acknowledging it. SO – when Mike or his class does something good he is given a point which he can use for a prize. I am not sure how I feel about all this yet, but after chatting with my Mom she hit the nail on the head when it came to verbalize my intial reaction. Teachers (and their support staff) complain about the rise of ‘helicopter parent‘, and rightfully so. But this instant access to my child’s behavior? I think that’s feeding into that culture. I am literally getting a concrete number to compare him against his peers. I can instantly text his teacher for clarifications or ‘check ins’. How is that NOT enabling helicopter parents?
I know S. and I struggle with the thin line between being an involved parent and being a helicopter parent. We like to know how Mike is doing and how we can work with him at home because we view education as a partnership. And now that he is in Kindergarten we know NOTHING. He tells us NOTHING. I have no idea who his gym teacher is. No clue what they read. No idea who he sits with at lunch. If it isn’t in his take home folder I don’t know about it. He just doesn’t share that information despite asking 100 different ways. I fight the urge to email his teacher (she seems slower to respond on DoJo) to just check in on a regular basis. Trust me, I know she doesn’t need that. I am sure there is someone else doing that (there is one in every class).
I feel like we just floating through this experience and if he walks out the door with a lunch then we have had a successful day. It gets better, right?