Open House Frenzy

The high school principal’s voice is over my speaker phone as I drive to get some errands done. I have forgotten my blue tooth, so I use the old school way of driving hands free. It is a recorded message telling me that Monday is open house for the high school and how important it is that we come and learn about the school, and go through our child’s daily routine, meeting their teachers and understanding their curriculum. Four times I get this message.

On Friday, I go to the school counseling center and pick up copies of my four kids schedules. I feel the panic begin to set in as I wonder how the hell Scott and I are going to get to 28 classes between the two of us.

On Sunday, at our family dinner meeting, we get out the schedules and discuss with the kids who they want us to meet for sure, and what ones can wait. In typical fashion of my kids personality this is how it goes down. John are there any teachers you for sure want us to meet at the open house tomorrow night? “Open house? uhh no, you don’t have to go to any of mine, I really don’t care.” Isaac? “I really want to make sure you meet my basketball two teacher” he says in a serious voice as his eyes crinkle in a smile he can’t hold back. Christian? “So do you have to meet all the teachers? I mean like will you introduce yourself to all of them? Do I have to go?” Jessie what do you think? “ I love all my teachers and would really like you to meet them all, but I guess if you have to miss one it could be my gym teacher.”

I spend the evening mapping out a plan for Scott and I to get to as many teachers as possible. All in all, I come up with a way we can hit all but one of each of the kids academic classes except for Isaac who we will miss three. He of course says that is fine, and Jessie wonders when I can get into meet the one teacher I will miss. John again reiterates his lack of concern over our meeting any of his teachers(which of course makes me want to meet them all the more)and Christian is worried we will embarrass him in some way.

I then e-mail all 26 teachers the following:
My name is Kari Johnson.  My husband Scott and I will be attending the open house Monday night.  We have four kids now at Bend High, and have split up the schedules as best as we possibly could. Unfortunately, we still cannot be in every class for each of our students.  We wanted you to know that if we do not meet you tomorrow evening it will be because we can only stretch so far.  Isaac is a junior, John a sophomore, Jessie and Christian are freshman.  We are so thankful to have all our kids attending the great Bend High.  We are very involved and want you to know that we are here to support you and your class in any way possible.  The job you have chosen as a teacher to high school age kids is a daunting task.  You are over-worked and under-paid and certainly did not pick this profession for the money or the classroom size you are now dealing with.  Thank you. Thank you for what you do, and for the time and effort you put in to helping our children succeed.  We are well aware that our children are not perfect, nor do we expect them to be.  We do have high standards and expectations of their behavior inside the classroom and out.  If there is ever an issue with disrespect, integrity or laziness please do not hesitate to contact us by email or phone call.  

We love our kids and think they are pretty great.  We want them to have fun, learn tons, and have every opportunity for college in their future.  You are an integral part of our dreams for their future, and we are so glad you have chosen Bend High School to share your talent and knowledge.   Thank you, I look forward to meeting you in person in the future.  If you let me know your favorite cookie or treat they might show up in your box as well.

Over kill? Kissing up? I hope so. Our teachers, especially in the upper grade levels are dealing with negative parents, kids and an overstuffed class sizes more than ever before. Be the different one, stay involved even when they are in High School. The response from the teachers to the email was tremendous, a little appreciation can go a long way. Let’s make sure that our teachers and administrators do not only hear the negative. It might just make the world a little nicer to be in.


7 Comments so far
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Comment by Kathi

“Four times I get this message.” If I find a cloning spell floating around today, I’ll send it your way!

I am marveling at the lack of teacher overlap between your four kids. Seriously? That’s a cruel joke of the universe for sure.

Comment by Alissa

Alissa, we survived last night and it was good. It was funny to hear the different teachers reactions to the e-mail. All very positive. I did find out that Jessie and Christian have the same PE teacher, John and Jessie have the same Spanish teacher and Math but at different times and levels so any way we made it through and only had to come home and drink a glass of wine to wind it down.

Comment by Kari

You are AWESOME, Kari! I know that every single one of those teachers will be so pumped to get that kind of an email/response from a parent. It may likely be the ONLY positive feedback they hear. Hope you have a great Open House :).

Comment by Amanda

So great to hear from you. We did have a good open house last night and it makes me very sad to think you may be right about the feedback. Give your family a big hug from ours!

Comment by Kari

You guys are Awesome. I am proud to call you friends.

Comment by Anonymous

thank you

Comment by Kari

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