I recently found a calendar in the pocket of Laylee’s school folder. It’s the folder that we use to send communications back and forth from home to the classroom. Her young, fun and perky teacher is always coming up with new exciting ways to motivate and reward the kids and I assumed the calendar was part of this rah-rah go-team-ishness.
Every day Laylee’s calendar came home marked with an orange stamp that said, “GREAT WORK!” I assumed all was well. Each day I’d check the folder and each day the orange stamp would appear… for the first couple of weeks. Then all of a sudden on one day she came home with a black stamp that said “good job.”
“What!?” I asked Dan. “I don’t want to be one of those parents who’s overly involved in her kids’ schooling or who freaks out when she gets a ‘good’ instead of a ‘great’ on her report card but I want to know why she’s fallen from her pedestal on the stamp scale. She’s not even getting orange anymore. Today’s stamp was black and I want to know why. I think I’ll email the teacher and get to the bottom of this.”
Dan offered some sage words of wisdom in regards to, “Do NOT do that. If you do that then you ARE one of those parents. So she got a lower level of stamp one day. It’s really not a big deal.”
“Well, at the very least I want to know what the different stamps mean. If a teacher’s going to use a complex rating system for our kids, represented by random stamps, I at least want to know what the different levels mean.
“It’s like if the government came up with a new terror alert system but didn’t tell anyone what the different colors meant. Like if they just came on TV one day and said, ‘The terror alert level is purple,’ but no one in America knew what the ‘Purple Alert’ meant.”
“You should just ask Laylee what they mean,” Dan responded.
“That’s all well and good,” I replied, “But if I want to know what a ‘Purple Alert’ is, I’m sure as heck gonna want to hear it from the administration, not from the crazy old guy waving a shotgun outside the gates of the White House.”
“So, who exactly is Laylee in this analogy?”