Hey teacher – my kid is listening to every single word you say.

Pretty much the title here says it all. My daughter is a Junior at Bella Vista High School in Fair Oaks, California. The reason I’m blowing my cover and giving out a location is because I want to give credit where credit is due.

One of the mantras on this blog is to talk with your kids. That said, my kids talks to me about everything that goes on at school. I’m not saying that there aren’t frustrations and difficult issues. The workload is insane. The pressure of AP classes is insane. I’m sure there are also social issues I don’t know about that wear on a young mind and heart.

A lot of what I do hear is about the teachers. Even if the work is hard, the teachers are good. They’re great.

Dear Teachers,

  • My teenager likes you. All of you.
  • Mu teenager respects you.
  • Even when you’re assigning difficult and completely confusing projects she likes you.
  • Why? Because you treat your teenage students with respect.
  • Because you make an attempt at humor.
  • You never make any of the kids feel stupid in front of other kids.
  • You call out kids who are being jerks and deal with it.
  • You don’t treat your students like babies.
  • You make the subjects interesting.
  • You know the kids are all going to be desperately trying to get into college soon and respect that panic. You know the difference a grade can make.
  • You encourage parents to talk to their kids before they call you.
  • You encourage your students to think and have original thoughts.
  • You challenge your students to think for themselves.
  • You answer your students questions.
  • You respect the teenagers and acknowledge that they are valued as future human beings.
  • I know my child is in good hands.
  • I wish all teachers were like you.
  • This is for the AP History, AP English, Chemistry, Algebra 2, Ceramics teachers (you know who you are, I hope. I’ll let you know personally later.)

Thanks,

Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Keep Calm We're Teens

Zombies in the Morning – The Horrors of School Funding

This morning around 7:40 am I saw a line of what looked like Zombies staggering along the side of the road. They were coming from all directions to a main meeting point. Their heads down, their feet shuffling, their eyes glassy and nothing could stop them.

“What is this horror?” I thought.

Then I realized these are not Zombies but high school kids carrying 40 – 60 pound backpacks full of heavy text books.

So much for news stories about school being “online” and every kid having online books, tablets and their own laptops. These kids DO have computers/tablets at home but don’t dare bring them to school.

They have to carry books. And these books are heavy (and don’t give me that story about you walking to school 5 miles in the snow wearing flip flops and a hair shirt.) They have to carry their books because they don’t have lockers. They don’t have lockers because the schools can’t afford security.

The school can’t afford sets of books for every classroom. They can’t afford online books or computers in every classroom.

The school can’t afford library books either. The brilliant librarian gets donations for books, kindles, nooks, computers and whatever else she needs.

In California, where I live, we have a state lottery that makes a lot of money that is supposed to go to the schools. I wonder where all of the lottery money for schools goes? I wonder where all the money we vote in for school use every year at each election goes? Not to our schools. The teachers and librarians and school staff gets by on absolutely nothing. Parents volunteer and donate. Where is that money going?

We don’t have bus service either but we’re dealing with that too.

But even with a future of back problems and no computers the school succeeds. The teachers there could teach the kids under a tree with a slate and a piece of chalk. They’re that good.

So while our State Government and elected officials prove time and time again that they can’t do their jobs… the teachers and school staff proves time and time again that they CAN and WILL do the job, no matter what, hell or high water, budget or no budget.

We don’t need more over priced studies that tell us what schools need. We don’t need more consultants to tell us what we already know. We need the funding to buy books and supplies and services that our children and their teachers need. Write your State Representative and ask them “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING WITH OUR MONEY?” If enough of us do that maybe they’ll listen. If not vote them out of office. And please, send a link to this blog post while you’re at it. Thanks.

And to those Zombies – make sure you eat right, get plenty of sleep, do your homework and TALK to your teachers and parents. They might not be able to do anything about your heavy load but they’re here for you on everything else. And I mean everything!

So your assignment today is to hug a teacher or librarian. And hug a Zombie and maybe even give it a nice shoulder rub.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

zombie baby and cat