Tuesday April 5th, 2016

So, I don’t know about other schools, but ours is far short of adults to supervise before and after school on campus.  We have very little parking in our neighborhood as our community agreed that a larger playground was more important than a parking lot.  Therefore, each teacher must do three duties a week, acting as crossing guards around school.  I filled in for a teacher this past week on a Thursday morning and didn’t realize I’d be risking my life.

We have had some issues with parents not respecting the posted signs – primarily dropping their children off in the “No stopping or standing” zones.  We have handled this by sending out a kind and gentle reminder to offenders.  One particular dad has been a repeat offender.  He clearly has no intention of ever following the rules.  In fact, on this morning, he dropped his child (my student) off in the “No stopping or standing” zone right in front of me.  I held up my little stop sign so I could remind him of the law.  He rolled his window down and pulled up next to me.

“Hey there.  Just wanted to remind you that this is not a drop off zone.  You are free to pull up the block there to drop off M.”

“What’s wrong with dropping him off there?”

“Could you stop your car so you don’t roll over my feet while we talk?”

“Maybe you should move your feet so I don’t run over you!” were his last words as he roared off in his truck.

Wow.  I was stunned.

I have spent the last few days thinking about this in terms of how I can help my students learn that while we don’t have to agree with common rules and laws, we need to respect them for the sake of not creating chaos (or a child run over by a truck!).

Yet again, it isn’t about the fractions, the compare/contrast writing samples or the test on the Constitution.  Most of the critical things I teach my students are about how to be good humans.  How can I turn this situation into a teaching moment for my class about civic responsibilities?  I decided to pull out an old favorite, Brother Eagle, Sister Sky.  We are PARCC testing this week and this will be the perfect read aloud to get us ready for our class meeting on Friday on how we each can to do our part to make this world a good place for everyone, now and in the future.

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9 thoughts on “Tuesday April 5th, 2016

  1. I think the book you chose is a great one to teach kindness. I have no patience for parents who disrespect safety rules in the name of convenience. It’s wearing me down this year…can the local police get involved? Maybe they could offer safety suggestions?

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  2. Thankfully as a high school teacher I don’t see this situation that often, but have heard about it from others. I also don’t have much respect for parents that demonstrate to their kids the fine art of not following the rules. Sadly those are the first parents to complain if something happens to their kids.
    I would say check into getting the police involved, maybe they can help supervise. Would be terrible if a little one was hurt because a parent didn’t want to follow the rules.

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  3. We had a similar problem. We had some safety people come from District Office and they watched pick up & drop off for a few days and came up with some suggestions that really helped traffic flow.

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  4. Our custodian had a great idea to slow down and remind parents of where to drop off their students. He placed a large teddy bear on a school chair in the middle of the parking lot, right by where parents used to stop to drop off their child, but where they weren’t supposed to. Now they have to pull forward so as not to hit the teddy bear. It really has made a big difference in more careful drivers and less speeding.

    Also, I love the way you decided to turn the negative into a positive with the perfect read aloud choice!

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  5. Bravo to you for choosing to teach through a book- I often think we teachers have to take the somewhat more indirect route to teach important lessons at times and it seems you found the right way.

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