My family and I recently moved to a very small community. Due to the fact we didn't know anyone and there are not opportunities for social interaction outside of school, we decided to put my son in public school for kindergarten. I'm starting to rethink this decision. I don't have a problem with the education he is receiving so far, and being in a small conservative town, I think the values taught will line up well with what we are teaching at home. But what has really made me take a step back and reevaluate my situation is what happened last night.
Last night was the first PTO (parent, teacher organization) meeting of the year. I will admit I get a little nervous in new situations and I'm shy in a group of people I don't know, but my son's education and school are very important to me, so I left my 3 kids home with Dad and headed off to the meeting. I got to the meeting at the school which serves about 200 students to find myself, one other mother and 6 teachers who were willing to take one hour of their month out to try to make a difference in the school. I was horrified to see that no one else was willing to make an effort. It was obvious in the eyes of the teachers that they were very frustrated and discouraged. These teachers give their time and energy everyday to teach and instruct their students, and on top of that, they stayed at school to attend the meeting, but the kids' parents weren't willing to give a few minutes of their night to put the effort in for their own kids. The meeting ended with the dissolution of the PTO and instructions to the teachers that they will have to do their best within their classrooms for raising money and providing activities.
I'm speechless and disgusted by the lack of parental involvement and support at this school and I'm sure mine is not the only one with this problem. My current thinking is becoming, "if I'm the only one who cares anyway, maybe I should just do it on my own and spend my time and energy on my own kids instead of wasting my time on kids whose parents don't care."
Thank you for all of your encouragement to parents out there to actually be parents. I just wish the people of my community would listen.