Why Bother?

First weeks back to school are a juggling time, with all the outside activities starting, the missing school supplies, tryouts, and open houses.  Everyone I know is busy, just learning their new schedules.  We re-districted our school this summer, so there were many new faces at the elementary school open house this week.  Familiar faces, nervous lost faces, smiling faces, hopeful faces.  I had to go early, as one teacher does a presentation before the meeting starts.  A room of parents, some single, some coupled  with children in 3rd through fifth grade, there to listen to Mr. C.

Of the 20 or so parents in the room, several people stood at the counter that aligns each classroom.  I was stunned, and embarrassed as two dads stood at that counter the ENTIRE half-hour and played with their Blackberrys, texting, checked their emails, surfing internet Porn.  Who knows?  Right in my sight line, I could not stop glancing at them, just waiting, hoping that they would put their metal and plastic appendages away.  How incredibly rude!  Were they so important that they couldn’t listen to the teacher?  If they cared so little, why did they bother coming to the early presentation?  I  hoped that they would find a decorum of civility and put away their toys–but one even had his reading glasses on.

Why not sit and hide it in your lap, under a desk?  Why such a blatant lack of respect for the teacher?  And what a great lesson it would have been for their kids, if they had been present: I am more important than you or your teacher. You have to listen to the teacher, but I do not.  C


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