Could someone admit to not being perfect either please! - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 107 Old 09-17-2009, 11:34 AM
 
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Who does that help? Geez. (Not mad at YOU, but at the chronically-late parents who make lying necessary - and who make you-and-the-prompt-kids wait around. I'm sure all of you have a better use for 12 minutes a day than waiting for latecomers.) I canNOT stand when things - meetings, social events - start the "real activities" late to wait for latecomers. The latecomers get to choose how I have to spend my time?
I absolute agree with you! Sadly, it hasn't helped too much. The chronic offenders are still chronically late.

My students and I decided to problem-solve how we could keep our precious read aloud time uninterrupted. We decided we would lock the door and leave a note saying that the door would not be unlocked until our read-aloud time was finished at so-and-so time and we were in transition to our next activity. We'll see what happens.
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#62 of 107 Old 09-17-2009, 11:44 AM
 
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I absolute agree with you! Sadly, it hasn't helped too much. The chronic offenders are still chronically late.

My students and I decided to problem-solve how we could keep our precious read aloud time uninterrupted. We decided we would lock the door and leave a note saying that the door would not be unlocked until our read-aloud time was finished at so-and-so time and we were in transition to our next activity. We'll see what happens.
That's a great way to teach consequencies to the latecomers AND empower/reward the majority kids! It's the same thing theatres do, not seating latecomers until the intermission. Very fair for everyone.

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#63 of 107 Old 09-17-2009, 11:46 AM
 
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Geez. (Not mad at YOU, but at the chronically-late parents who make lying necessary - and who make you-and-the-prompt-kids wait around.
Necessary is a strong word there. It's a choice.
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#64 of 107 Old 09-17-2009, 02:21 PM
 
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You know what? I'm late ALL THE TIME. And I have been for nearly four decades. For everything. Work, school, parties, coffee, you name it, I'm late for it. 5-15 minutes late. Unless you tell me it's absolutely crucial that I be there on time, and I agree with you, you can pretty much expect me to be late.

However, I've known very few circumstances in which it was actually a real problem. Yes, people who are trained to punctuality and take it very seriously get upset with me. If my tardiness is the worst thing that happens to them all day, they're doing pretty well.

We get no bus service to school and we're a mile away, and generally I think dd can use the exercise, so we walk. Last year we were late most of the time. Not crashingly late; a few minutes. Occasionally dd would get upset and say she wanted to get there earlier. And I'd say, "Fine. Then you need to pick out your clothes ahead of time and stick to your choices, and we can't have meltdowns and fits about things in the morning, and you need to eat your breakfast when I tell you to eat it." The next morning we have a 10-minute drama about hair, and she's no longer interested in getting there early. OK. When she really wants to be there early, she will be.
Wow, this sounds a lot like our house. Except we don't walk to school anymore, because that was making us even later. It was taking about 35-40 minutes to do the walk, but I felt like we should be able to do it in 25-30 so I never seemed to leave enough time.

Just this morning my daughter was late. I knew once we were in the car we probably would be. I pulled up and she said, "Wait, it's all empty now, am I late?" Just then the bell rang and I said, "You are now!" She was not happy. She does have the option to ride the bus if she wants, but she does not want to. I felt bad for her this morning because I never told her the time and I think she thought we were on time, but I knew we were cutting it close. I made french toast for breakfast and then made 2 lunches. Getting up earlier doesn't necessarily help, we can find things to fill up the time. And then sometimes we are early, everything just comes together.

But yeah, the meltdowns about clothing and hair and all of that. Last year I would be pushing and reminding about the time for an hour. Then I'd be practically beside myself, "Come on, you're going to be late!" And she'd suddenly decide she absolutely could not wear these jeans or those shoes, and she'd change.
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#65 of 107 Old 09-17-2009, 06:16 PM
 
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Everyone has a choice... public, private, homeschool, etc. NOW, those options may not be accessible to everyone... but they are still options, which allow for choice.

I have seen parents find (and raise) the money, in additional finding options that were not initially offered to them, when they were motivated to find them.
Oh dear. The day that my state is willing to let the tax money walk with the kids, I'll say, "Yes, I'm a shopper, and I will go shop for something that suits me better. You are genuinely competing, and you earned the right to the language of choice." I don't expect to see them do that anytime soon, though. So I can't take them seriously when they talk choice; it's really just code for "You're an inconvenience in our machine, please go away." (The problem with taking the tax money and making the service compulsory is that you can't really make people go away. Ob la di.) Anyway, if public school people want to talk to me like capitalists, they'll have to act the part.

In the meantime, I see no reason to substitute their priorities for mine, so long as it doesn't lead to legal trouble or serious problems (by my lights) for dd. Yes, I am That Parent.

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I have absolutely no expectation for librarylike silence, even during read alouds. They are 6 year olds! Besides, the best learning they get is when they are talking and interacting with me and their classmates.
Again, I'm sure you're right about your room. But just to see, I asked dd this morning whether it distracted her when people came in and out of her classroom. Her answer: "No." She then went on to explain the bathroom pass system and when various other teachers brought kids in & out.

Dd is in a multigrade room, so there's always plenty going on, and groups working on different things. Both grades study the same subjects at the same times, but there's to-ing and fro-ing as several teachers' 1st-graders move into one room and the 2nd-graders break into groups and shift to other rooms. Like I say, it seems terribly noisy and distracting to me, but they seem to do fine with it.

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FTR: Our school has to "lie" to parents that school starts at 8:40 and I pick students up at 8:40 and give them until 8:52 to chat with me and each other and get settled before we settle in for THEIR chosen read aloud. Now, in all honesty, school technically begins at 8:52, but we have so many problems with tardies that we were hoping this would help.
Why are there so many problems with tardies?

It does sound like you're swimming upstream. If this is an ongoing problem all over the school, and the kids (not you) are seriously distracted by late arrivals, I guess I'd begin the day with something participatory enough that someone coming in quietly doesn't stand out.

But it sounds in general like you're running into the same problem you see here, writ large. You're insisting the parents take a certain value seriously, but they don't take it seriously. They don't see it as you do. Or they do, but their lives are sufficiently screwy that punctuality just isn't going to happen.

I don't think that sign you're talking about would have had any affect on me, btw. I'd just have thought "hooray, free reading time," and sat down in the hall with my book. In fact I might have been motivated to drag my feet on the way to school in hopes of being locked out of the room, just so I could sit and read.
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#66 of 107 Old 09-17-2009, 06:28 PM
 
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I'm fascinated by the opinions expressed in this thread. I've always thought enforced puncuality to be an unfortunate concequence of the industrial revolution...factory system, y'know? I personally don't like living my life in a factory mentality. Why is it that people who are so able to think outside the box on many issues insist on complete, unquestioning social conformity with time?

I'm a schoolteacher too and I do not find tardies to be disruptive. But then it is very rare for me to be playing sage-on-a-stage. The only reason it drives many administrators crazy is that chronic tardies eventually count as absences and mess with school funding. Ah, America...it always comes back to money doesn't it?
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#67 of 107 Old 09-17-2009, 07:47 PM
 
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I have seen examples of how my family or other single-parented families are treated/considered worse based on the same behavior as dual-parented families. . . . I firmly believe I have a responsibility to eradicate such stereotypes. . . . So as a minor part of my considerable lobbying efforts, school-socially, I go the extra mile in social details like making sure dd has neatly brushed hair, all paperwork completed in her backpack by any deadlines, that I fully communicate with teachers, etc. And we're always on time. Because it may seem like small stuff, but in a world where people judge based on appearances and I want to void these judgements, I believe that fixing appearances (rather than rebelling against them) is the best means to the end I desire.
I experienced a good example of this today. It's a couple of weeks into the school year. My dd is always on time, always nicely dressed/brushed/washed, and I have turned in all of the zillion forms and checks and supplies required at the school year start. The teacher assumes by this - fairly or not - that I'm an attentive parent. So when my dd acted up in school today, the teacher emailed me directly, told me what happened and what the punishment was (loss of recess), and I had the opportunity to lobby her for another kind of punishment. (Recess isn't a privilege; it's an essential part of kids' school day with unique learning opportunities - downtime, social skills, physical skills. Yada yada.)

I know for a fact that the teacher doesn't bother emailing or calling parents who she figures are less engaged. So had I been a parent who didn't turn in my forms, brought my kid late - especially repeatedly and without apology - etc., I really doubt I would have been informed of what happened today, and I wouldn't be in a position to help change it (by lobbying the teacher AND working with my dd).

Appearances - following the organization's rules - are the first step in being taken seriously by the organization, and thus being able to lobby for change. Break the rules and you are an outsider - and you suffer. HTH motivate some moms here!

The only thing you owe to others is to behave with integrity.
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#68 of 107 Old 09-17-2009, 10:11 PM
 
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First - We haven't been late for school since I posted the original post.
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#69 of 107 Old 09-18-2009, 02:13 PM
 
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jujyfruit --

how can you insinuate everyone has a choice to work in a situation that is not ruled by the clock, and then justify that the state prevents people from choosing schooling.

do you realize how incredibly lucky you are, most likely by birthright, that you can have such a lackadaisical attitude towards societal norms?

i'm late with the best of them, make my own choices and only apologize where necessary, but i have to say that your thoughts here are coming off as incredibly cocky AND insensitive.
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#70 of 107 Old 09-18-2009, 03:26 PM
 
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jujyfruit --

how can you insinuate everyone has a choice to work in a situation that is not ruled by the clock, and then justify that the state prevents people from choosing schooling.
Most jobs are not school district or military jobs. There are many, many, work situations that don't involve sentences like "We start at 8:52." (I have to tell you that if someone said to me, "Be here at 8:52", I would giggle. Even the train schedule really means "about 8:52, but not before".) I've had many jobs in my life, some fancy and some extremely unfancy, and I can think of only two or three where people were interested in that kind of punctuality. In most situations, a few minutes on either side doesn't make any real difference.

I didn't say that the state prevents people from choosing which school they go do; if the parents have the time or money to do otherwise, the state...well, it depends on where you are. Some states put up a lot of barriers to homeschooling; the teacher's union wants to keep the franchise. But on the whole you can pick your school, assuming you have the money/time.

What I object to is the way that public schools have picked up the "language of choice", by which they pretend to have "customers" and "clienteles", and are just one choice among many in the school marketplace. That's the language of capitalism. I have no problem with their talking to me that way if they're going to behave like capitalists, which means that when the customer walks away, the money goes with. You lost the sale to a competitor. Public schools keep a tight grip on the wallet, though, and tell you that you're free to walk away from it and find something else. And that's disingenuous in the extreme.

Most administrators I've talked to have lived all their adult lives in the public sector, though, and most of them don't know that there's anything funky about their idea that they're "competitors". When they really are forced to compete, wow, do they yell. That happens in failed school districts under NCLB, when the state must give the parents vouchers and the parents really do get the financial power to choose. The teacher's unions cry murder then, and don't understand that yes, Virginia, this is what choice is all about. When you lose the customer, you lose the money, too.

Holland suggests I have other choices. Strictly speaking, she's right. Here they are, as I see them:

1. Change my priorities to fall in line with the district's, and buy myself new business cards with the White Rabbit on them.
2. Scrap my career and homeschool.
3. Find a new career that requires 50-plus-hour workweeks and supports private school tuition. Or find a rich guy and marry him for tuition money. Or stop saving for college or retirement and spend the money on elementary school instead.
4. Cheerfully decide that the school, in all its directive-issuing glory, can probably handle minor tardiness when I don't want to cut off the interest in the butterfly, or the morning conversation about what Kaitlin said, etc.

I think you know which I'll pick. It's the one involving the least drama.

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do you realize how incredibly lucky you are, most likely by birthright, that you can have such a lackadaisical attitude towards societal norms?
I don't know what you mean by "by birthright", but if you mean money, no, I didn't have that.

And I guess I'd say I have a very _careful_ attitude towards social norms. If you'll notice, I didn't say I'm wandering in and dropping off my child at 1 pm. That would be blatant disregard of norms. But I know that, given the norms and the tolerances, it's unlikely that five minutes today, three tomorrow, ten on Thursday, on time Friday is going to trip any alarms. Will it irritate, maybe, depending on the teacher. But the school has significantly bigger problems going on, and only so many man-hours to deal with them, and our minutes won't be top of the list.

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i'm late with the best of them, make my own choices and only apologize where necessary, but i have to say that your thoughts here are coming off as incredibly cocky AND insensitive.
OK.
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#71 of 107 Old 09-18-2009, 10:44 PM
 
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jujyfruit --

how can you insinuate everyone has a choice to work in a situation that is not ruled by the clock, and then justify that the state prevents people from choosing schooling.

do you realize how incredibly lucky you are, most likely by birthright, that you can have such a lackadaisical attitude towards societal norms?

i'm late with the best of them, make my own choices and only apologize where necessary, but i have to say that your thoughts here are coming off as incredibly cocky AND insensitive.
Its not that everyone can choose not to be ruled by the clock, its how one approaches the chore. There is a big difference between saying "my boss says I have to be to work at 8:00 therefore, since I have to be on time, everyone should have to," and "My boss says I have to be to work at 8:00, bleah working by the clock sucks and kudos to folks who manage to dodge that bullet!"

Societal norms suck. They are often randomly and unfairly imposed. Why not fight them where and when we can? Time is just one more of these norms. And you are right that it is often the working classes that get the shaft (if that is what you were insinuating by your "birthright" comment), so its the working classes that should fight the hardest against being held to a standard that those of privilege oft get to opt out of.

I'm actually loving jujyfruit's perspective ...a breath of fresh air IMO. I really don't see how she is being cocky or insensitive. Why take one person's non-compliance with the system so personally?
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#72 of 107 Old 09-19-2009, 10:05 AM
 
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School -- well, there I have no real choice. Kid's gotta go to school. However, I also know that in the scheme of the school's things, chronic few-minutes-late tardiness, with occasional more serious tardiness, is a minor issue.
My kids' school take being tardy seriously. The parent has to sign the child in once the bell rings, even if a teen-ager (and you are teaching your child to be late by being late yourself, it's not going to stop when they are teen-agers). And three tardies count as an abscence. And get enough of those "abscences", the child is repeating the grade. My kids' school goes from K-8, so there are kids of all age groups there.

And there isn't a thing the parent can do about. Which really isn't fair to the child given that it IS the parent who is late.
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#73 of 107 Old 09-19-2009, 10:13 AM
 
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You sure don't mind throwing the first stone do you?
But she's right. It is disrespectful. Especially if it is very late and happens every single time. I have a cousin like that. I usually tell her the start time is an hour before it actually is. And even then she was a half hour late. There was one time that she was 2 hours (it was actually only an hour but I did tell her an hour and a half earlier than the start time) late to a surprise baby shower that I threw for her. As a result, one of her close friends had to leave a few minutes after she got there and she didn't get to visit with her.

What helped her become more in tune to the time was having to explain to my child why she was late for a playdate. I let him call her whenever he asked where ***** was. I figure, she's the one who is late, she can explain to my young son why and when she was actually going to be there. It finally sunk in. While she is not as late as she was, she is still a few minutes late (and since this isn't school or work, a few minutes late isn't going to dry out dinner or be that much of a nuisance) unless it is imperative that she is on time. It also helped that her kids started bugging her about being on time.
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#74 of 107 Old 09-19-2009, 10:27 AM
 
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Why take one person's non-compliance with the system so personally?
Because

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It is disrespectful.


To the teachers, the other students and parents, and even your own children.

The only thing you owe to others is to behave with integrity.
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#75 of 107 Old 09-19-2009, 11:07 AM
 
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My kids' school take being tardy seriously. The parent has to sign the child in once the bell rings, even if a teen-ager (and you are teaching your child to be late by being late yourself, it's not going to stop when they are teen-agers). And three tardies count as an abscence. And get enough of those "abscences", the child is repeating the grade. My kids' school goes from K-8, so there are kids of all age groups there.

And there isn't a thing the parent can do about. Which really isn't fair to the child given that it IS the parent who is late.
Yes, but that's your kids' school. We don't have that rule here, so there's no reason for us to fear a tardy that way.

Frankly, I don't think it'd be tenable here. They're already struggling to get compliance on more basic issues like attendance, and the last thing they want to do is force more kids into repeating grades.

I don't buy the idea that one is "trained to tardiness", by the way. If you have adrenaline and a need to be on time, and you don't have other factors like small pooping/incorrigible children in your care or sudden car issues, transit strikes, etc., then on-time is generally doable. I mean it isn't rocket science.
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#76 of 107 Old 09-19-2009, 11:13 AM
 
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Yes, but that's your kids' school. We don't have that rule here, so there's no reason for us to fear a tardy that way.

Frankly, I don't think it'd be tenable here. They're already struggling to get compliance on more basic issues like attendance, and the last thing they want to do is force more kids into repeating grades.

I don't buy the idea that one is "trained to tardiness", by the way. If you have adrenaline and a need to be on time, and you don't have other factors like small pooping/incorrigible children in your care or sudden car issues, transit strikes, etc., then on-time is generally doable. I mean it isn't rocket science.
Your school should. It would probably encourage the students' disrespectful parents to be on time and show some respect for the child's education.

My parents were on time, I am on time. My cousin's parents were never on time. None of their kids are on time.

When a child is taught that being late is okay, that doesn't go away. Well, maybe it will the first time they are fired for constant tardiness.

Parents really aren't doing their kids any favors by treating being on time in such a laissez-faire manner. Being tardy at times is unavoidable. Being tardy every single time IS. And being tardy every single time is just plain rude.
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#77 of 107 Old 09-19-2009, 11:17 AM
 
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First of all, I wanted to say that even though I didn't read the whole thread, but goodness! Of course we are all humans and are not perfect!
I, for once, almost sent out a really really nasty letter to someone yesterday : and it would not make me proud of myself this morning. The only reason I didn't is because I have a DP who reminds me to do the right thing. Otherwise, I'd be right there with you, beating myself up.

P.S. If it helps, being the teacher, I cried in front of a parent, AND in front of both of my principals... Mortifying!


On a side note:

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Most jobs are not school district or military jobs. There are many, many, work situations that don't involve sentences like "We start at 8:52." (I have to tell you that if someone said to me, "Be here at 8:52", I would giggle. Even the train schedule really means "about 8:52, but not before".) I've had many jobs in my life, some fancy and some extremely unfancy, and I can think of only two or three where people were interested in that kind of punctuality. In most situations, a few minutes on either side doesn't make any real difference.
* Would you still giggle if I, the teacher, habitually came in late?
* Would you giggle if you worked at the store, and now your 9 hour shift turned into a 9 hours + 15 minute shift because the person scheduled to take over is habitually late?
* Would you giggle if you ran a business and a customer came in 15 minutes late on a busy day, which now pushed every single appointment you made for that day? What if your business was family oriented, and now you have little kids in the waiting room?
* Would you giggle if your job meant you can't take a bathroom break without someone else taking over, and that person came in late? All the time?
* Would you giggle if you are a child care provider, and the parents habitually come in late? Meaning that now instead of driving home at 11pm (after a day of a FT job in the morning, FT class schedule in the afternoon, and babysitting in the evening), you will be driving at 11:20 pm. Oh, how that 20 mins matters! Because you know, the next day you are supposed to be up at 5 am.

That describes every single one of 7 jobs I've had. All of it is personal experience. Was I ever late? Yup. I sure was. However, I think it's one thing to make a mistake and apologize for it, but a whole another story to behave like it's not a big deal...

*** More hugs to the OP. Didn't sound like she needed any more guilt coming her way, so this is all much more about the attitude.

New endeavor coming soon...
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#78 of 107 Old 09-19-2009, 11:23 AM
 
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You know what? I'm late ALL THE TIME. And I have been for nearly four decades. For everything. Work, school, parties, coffee, you name it, I'm late for it. 5-15 minutes late. Unless you tell me it's absolutely crucial that I be there on time, and I agree with you, you can pretty much expect me to be late.

However, I've known very few circumstances in which it was actually a real problem. Yes, people who are trained to punctuality and take it very seriously get upset with me. If my tardiness is the worst thing that happens to them all day, they're doing pretty well.

We get no bus service to school and we're a mile away, and generally I think dd can use the exercise, so we walk. Last year we were late most of the time. Not crashingly late; a few minutes. Occasionally dd would get upset and say she wanted to get there earlier. And I'd say, "Fine. Then you need to pick out your clothes ahead of time and stick to your choices, and we can't have meltdowns and fits about things in the morning, and you need to eat your breakfast when I tell you to eat it." The next morning we have a 10-minute drama about hair, and she's no longer interested in getting there early. OK. When she really wants to be there early, she will be.

Holland, I understand your point about interruptions, but dd's school has that dumb open plan. If they can preach me the merits of walls that don't join up into corners & all the noise that comes through, then I think they can handle one more kid walking quietly into the classroom. I also understand that your schedule is packed, but I'm not the one who packed it. Personally, I think that mad dash you guys have to do is craziness. So while I sympathize, I don't see us getting up earlier or skipping the walk to make room for it.

In other words, Seie, I don't apologize. And I don't see that you need to, either. If you're doing what you can, you're doing what you can, and that will have to be good enough for the school. I would just be cheerful about it and remain clear that you're interested in his education. And to that teacher, I'd have said, "Yes, I know. He's my son, so I know about him. We do what we can, and sometimes what we get is not ideal. I'm sure you can appreciate that. Meanwhile, I know he enjoys being in your class, and has especially been enjoying ______." And left it at that.
But all that teaches your children is "we work to our schedule and our schedule alone. If someone doesn't like it, hard luck. We are not going to make any kind of effort to accommodate other people." Not a very considerate or respectful attitude to display towards other people, and not one that is going to win you many friends. If you and I knew each other socially and your attitude is "well, I'm 15 minutes late again and if that's the worse thing that happens to you today, well, you're having a good day" then we would not be friends for long. And if you were my employee I would fire you. And if I were the teacher leading a fieldtrip and your son was late again - I would tell the bus driver to leave at the designated time and your son can miss the trip. Natural consequences.

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#79 of 107 Old 09-19-2009, 11:29 AM
 
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Butting in on the single parents again, sorry, but this discussion seems to be broader than that. Everyone posting on this thread needs to read the part in The Silent Language about cultural perceptions of lateness. This is definitely something that varies across regions of the US as well. I've lived in places where being late is very disrespectful, and in other places where it is not. Just as keeping your shoes on in someone else's house is taken for granted in most of the US (outside of clay-heavy regions) but disrespectful in much of Asia. When I am in New England, I make a point of being early for everything. Where I live now, DS's preschool sent parents a sternly worded note NEVER to bring children in before 8:50 (school is at 9), because it disrupts the teachers' classroom preparations; but when we had to bring him a half-hour late one day, unexpectedly, the teacher smiled and shrugged it off.

I would not be at all surprised if a lot of the disagreement on this thread comes from posters' being in different regions. To me, this is one of the biggest cultural variants across the US.
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#80 of 107 Old 09-19-2009, 11:29 AM
 
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Because

[it's disrespectful]
To the teachers, the other students and parents, and even your own children.
I think you're making some assumptions, among which is the assumption that they mind. When I turn up late for my own classes -- and I often do -- if my professors are annoyed, they give no sign. I think they assume (correctly) that I'm a responsible adult with multiple responsibilities, and that something else may have taken precedence for a few mintues of their class. If they do feel slighted, it hasn't stood in the way of our developing longstanding friendships. I had a lovely visit with one of them yesterday (actually, he was late to that), and am having lunch with another next week.

When I taught, and students turned up late, I'd say, "Oh hello," and keep rolling. It didn't occur to me to feel disrespected, because...er...I assume that life goes on outside my classroom, and that people may (shockingly) find other things more important than what I have to say. If they don't turn up at all, I figure they're wasting their money, but that's their business, not mine.

I have never heard boo out of my child's teachers or admin/staff about the tardies. They do have many days when there's an early dismissal, and I'd sometimes forget that it was That Day -- twice they had to call me while dd sat in the office with all the other forgotten kids. That I was seriously apologetic for, and while they were very nice about it, dd wasn't upset & didn't feel abandoned, and I got no scolding. I did make sure to mark the days in my calendar more clearly, though.

What kept me from being absolutely crimson about the no-shows is the fact that they have no respect for parents who need to support their children, a need I rank far above public schooling. There's no after-school bus for my daughter, and no on-site childcare available; many a kindergartner is walking home alone. I've talked with admin many times about the problem and it's not only an issue that they don't want to touch, but they've convinced themselves that the parents in the parking lot have made a "lifestyle choice" to be home in the afternoons, and they get kind of fuzzy-headed when presented with evidence to the contrary. It all gets lost in how grateful we should be that they provide this (very expensive and not so fantastic) service (that we pay for willingly or unwillingly).

So last year I had to interrupt my work/schoolday daily to pick her up. This year I've arranged something -- and it took a ridiculous amount of time to do -- with other parents to go in on a driver three days a week, so at least there are fewer interruptions this year.

Incidentally, I'd be perfectly happy to do a quid pro quo with them. If they took care of the after-school issue, I'd be delighted to show up with dd on time.
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#81 of 107 Old 09-19-2009, 11:40 AM
 
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* Would you still giggle if I, the teacher, habitually came in late?
* Would you giggle if you worked at the store, and now your 9 hour shift turned into a 9 hours + 15 minute shift because the person scheduled to take over is habitually late?
* Would you giggle if you ran a business and a customer came in 15 minutes late on a busy day, which now pushed every single appointment you made for that day? What if your business was family oriented, and now you have little kids in the waiting room?
* Would you giggle if your job meant you can't take a bathroom break without someone else taking over, and that person came in late? All the time?
* Would you giggle if you are a child care provider, and the parents habitually come in late? Meaning that now instead of driving home at 11pm (after a day of a FT job in the morning, FT class schedule in the afternoon, and babysitting in the evening), you will be driving at 11:20 pm. Oh, how that 20 mins matters! Because you know, the next day you are supposed to be up at 5 am.
Oriole, context is always important. If you're in a situation where tardiness is genuinely intolerable, then of course you can't be tardy. I avoid putting us in situations like that. Our daycare, for instance, has no start time and no end time. You show up whenever, and it's understood that you'll be back before, oh, 6 or so to get your kid, but the guy lives there and is a reasonable person, and he knows emergencies happen. If he needs to go to sleep, his older teens know how to take care of the kids, and another one of the caregivers lives next door. 20 minutes does not matter there.

As for the business example...I wouldn't go with that one. You have to expect that customers will be utter flakes and be pleased when they're not. When my clients say a project start date is X, I know that it might be X, but more likely it'll be a month from X, and in fact the project may fail to materialize at all. So I have to be flexible. In the meantime, if someone hires me with a real contract and project materials, I say to the other client, "Sorry, I'm no longer available." I'll give a good client a heads-up and a chance to get it together if they want to keep me.

I've had retail jobs where other people's tardiness meant trouble for other staff. But that's what managers are for. There were times when the next shift worker was late, and I'd say to the manager, "Hey, Bettina's not in yet, and I have to go." Then he'd take the register, and that was part of why he gets paid more. I understand that might not have been the situation where you were, but I've never been disciplined or fired for going to the bathroom off my stated shift, and I think I'd look to sue if I were.
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#82 of 107 Old 09-19-2009, 11:42 AM
 
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* Would you still giggle if I, the teacher, habitually came in late?

This reminds me of when my son was in 2nd grade and my daughter was in Kindergarten (they are now in 2nd & 4th). I had scheduled the parent teacher conferences back to back, I co-ordinated with both teachers so that there was no overlap. They were scheduled for 15 mintues each.

My daughter's conference was cut short by 10 minutes. Why? Because I was 10 minutes late.

Why was I 10 minutes late? Well, my son's conference was scheduled first and ran late. Why did it run late? Because the first parent thought that there was nothing wrong in being 10 minutes late. Because of that one inconsiderate and disrespectful parent AND the teacher, I wasn't able to completely discuss my daughter's progress with her teacher.

What should have happened is the teacher should have told the late parent that s/he was going to have to wait until after the last appointment to have the conference as it was time for the next parent. She was new, so hopefully, she will have figured this one out because she is my daughter's teacher. If she didn't and it happens again, I will complain to the principal this time.

I also let my son's teacher know that I was not happy about how her running late cut my time with my daughter's teacher short and that it wasn't fair to me since I was there on time. My daughter's teacher didn't let the time run over as she had parents waiting for her at their scheduled time. And I really can't blame her.
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#83 of 107 Old 09-19-2009, 12:02 PM
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It does sound like you're swimming upstream. If this is an ongoing problem all over the school, and the kids (not you) are seriously distracted by late arrivals, I guess I'd begin the day with something participatory enough that someone coming in quietly doesn't stand out.
Yes. Exactly. It seems that it would be much less frustrating for everyone this way. In fact, when I taught in the public schools this is exactly what I did - when I taught elementary school when the kids came in they put their stuff away, moved their name to "bought" or "brought" on the lunch list, sat down and worked through the math warm-up problems on the overhead, and then graphed their responses on that morning's Math Graph. It was a nice, low-key time, and they were allowed to work together so someone coming in late wouldn't annoy anyone and could be brought up to speed pretty quickly.

When I taught high school, the first thing we did was correct last night's homework - I put the answers on the overhead and walked around checking off that it had been done as they corrected it, and then I answered questions about any problems they'd had trouble with. Again, it gave us a nice 5-10 minute window at the beginning of class.
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I'm fascinated by the opinions expressed in this thread. I've always thought enforced puncuality to be an unfortunate concequence of the industrial revolution...factory system, y'know? I personally don't like living my life in a factory mentality. Why is it that people who are so able to think outside the box on many issues insist on complete, unquestioning social conformity with time?
Yes, it's a very culture-specific value, and it also varies according to what the event is... showing up 10 minutes late for a party wouldn't even be noticed among my friends, since it's assumed that 7:00 really means 7-ish.

Even in my university classes, being 5-10 minutes late generally isn't a big deal. People walk in quietly and try not to disrupt, and if necessary they might whisper to the person sitting next to them if they don't understand what's happening in the class. It's assumed that people are not trying to be disrespectful but that life happens and sometimes people are late. I also think that in a good class setting, the late student is the one perceived to be suffering from his own lateness, not the teacher. Presumably he has missed valuable instruction and information that he wanted to know. The teacher is getting paid the same either way,

 
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#84 of 107 Old 09-19-2009, 01:17 PM
 
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Yes. Exactly. It seems that it would be much less frustrating for everyone this way. In fact, when I taught in the public schools this is exactly what I did - when I taught elementary school when the kids came in they put their stuff away, moved their name to "bought" or "brought" on the lunch list, sat down and worked through the math warm-up problems on the overhead, and then graphed their responses on that morning's Math Graph. It was a nice, low-key time, and they were allowed to work together so someone coming in late wouldn't annoy anyone and could be brought up to speed pretty quickly.
The first 12 minutes (8:40-8:52) of my morning are ALL about greetings, getting settled down, checking in with each other, doing our problem of the day, etc. And that is exactly what I wrote in my post:

"I pick students up at 8:40 and give them until 8:52 to chat with me and each other and get settled before we settle in for THEIR chosen read aloud."

Now, I don't sit their staring at the minute hand waiting for the EXACT minute... I am 1st grade teacher, nothing is exact, especially in regards to time! More than half the time I am chatting with a student or parent and we don't get going until 8:55 or 9:00.

But, when a parent is late after we begin (which is NOT on the dot at 8:52, as I stated above), I register students as tardy. It is during that time, after our initial greetings, problem of the days and check-in, that we begin our story.

In our district, after 3 tardies, students are marked absent. After 3 unexcused absences, students are met with by district "officials" and given a warning, in addition to the opportunity to problem-solve what would help the parent and student. Any unexcused tardies/absences after that "official" warning meeting, truancy reports and fines are issued.
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#85 of 107 Old 09-19-2009, 06:29 PM
 
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In our district, after 3 tardies, students are marked absent. After 3 unexcused absences, students are met with by district "officials" and given a warning, in addition to the opportunity to problem-solve what would help the parent and student. Any unexcused tardies/absences after that "official" warning meeting, truancy reports and fines are issued.
I think other posters are correct, and that these things are specific to the culture of the place or social group. Here, for instance, a policy like that -- if it were actually followed -- would be viewed as unhelpfully punitive. I think it would be reserved as a tool to use only if, say, the family had other obvious problems and officials were looking for ways of bringing things to a head in court. I know we do have such rules on the books, but I haven't seen or heard of them being used. My guess is they were developed years ago in response to a particular problem, but that they turned out not to be a useful solution.

What's interesting to me on this thread is the indignation on the part of people who place a very high premium on punctuality. What I'm hearing you saying is that it's rude to you if someone's late on your time, and that in your circumstance or culture, it's perceived as being extremely disrespectful, even cavalier. But can you see that reasonable people might disagree on this issue?

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But all that teaches your children is "we work to our schedule and our schedule alone. If someone doesn't like it, hard luck. We are not going to make any kind of effort to accommodate other people."
I would (as you might expect!) differ. My message to my child is:

"Dearest child, throughout your life, people will tell you that you must do this or that. Sometimes they'll be right, sometimes wrong; sometimes they'll have your interests in mind, sometimes they won't. You will have to figure out which is which, while guarding and keeping whatever you love and find important. Generally more options are available than are advertised."

If a beleaguered single mom whose schedule is so tight it squeaks is meeting me for something, sure I'll show up on time. A friend who's made the effort to come visit me and has limited time? Of course. Someone off to save the world who's cleared ten minutes for me? Naturally. An interview? Without doubt. But for employees of a large bureaucracy, just because? Nope.

This is an interesting thing to me, because on another board, I've been talking with 40-, 50-, and 60-somethings who are beside themselves with anger at having followed all the stated rules and now find themselves unemployed & unable to find work again because they're old. Not too helpful to say so now, but it looks to me like yes, they followed the rules -- the wrong rules. They didn't look out for themselves, or think about whether the rules were reasonable and if not how to get around them or out from under them; they were just good citizens and ticked off all the boxes, did what people thought they should do, and accommodated themselves to whatever system they were in -- committed themselves to it, in fact. Well, the system fell down and took them with it. I do not think this is a good strategy, because systems fall down with some regularity.

So. I hope my daughter will learn to think first about what she is interested in & finds important, and then try to find a way of life that accommodates it well, and -- if that's not possible or sensible -- find and use whatever leeway exists until she can do better.

And slylives, yes, I am sure I would not be your employee. If in an interview I hear the boss talking about clocks and timeliness, I usually say "thank you" and go. Because what it says to me is that a) the boss is a bit of a control freak and views herself as an enforcer; b) more important, unless this is a very unusual boss, the boss values timeliness over quality. There are people out there who are committed to both extremely high quality and punctuality -- Martha Stewart is one -- and it's worth working for them because even though it's an abusive experience, the discipline involved in turning out that level of quality to the whip-crack on the boot can teach a great deal. I still wouldn't do it with a child in tow, though; I don't mind putting myself through that, but I wouldn't drag a child along for the ride.
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#86 of 107 Old 09-19-2009, 09:21 PM
 
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What's interesting to me on this thread is the indignation on the part of people who place a very high premium on punctuality. What I'm hearing you saying is that it's rude to you if someone's late on your time, and that in your circumstance or culture, it's perceived as being extremely disrespectful, even cavalier. But can you see that reasonable people might disagree on this issue?
So you are saying that the parent who was 10 minutes late to the parent teacher conference, which directly led to me being late my second child's conference and only having 5 minutes when I should have had 15 was being polite and reasonable?

Sorry, it was just plain rude and unreasonable on the part of the parent who was late and the teacher who didn't make the tardy parent wait until the other parents had their conferences. It was rude to my daughter's teacher, it was rude to me. It impacted my ability to communicate with my son's teacher. I knew I was late because of this ONE parent (and teacher, I don't think she will do that again. She will probably make late parent reschedule or wait until the end this year if it happens) and was worried about getting to my second conference.

Reasonable people don't think that it is okay for their behavior to negatively impact someone else. And that is how you come across.
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#87 of 107 Old 09-20-2009, 02:29 AM
 
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So you are saying that the parent who was 10 minutes late to the parent teacher conference, which directly led to me being late my second child's conference and only having 5 minutes when I should have had 15 was being polite and reasonable?
No, and I can certainly see why you would've been upset. However, in other contexts, this happens all the time, and life goes on. When you go to the doctor's, I bet you don't expect that your appointment will actually happen when scheduled, but you have some idea of how long you have for this appointment, and how long you're willing to wait.

In my daughter's school, I don't think your conference circumstance would've been so serious an issue. One of three things would've happened:

1. Tardy parent would've been greeted and told politely that she had only five minutes before the next appointment, and would she prefer to come back or talk on the phone another time.

2. Your child 2's teacher would've hastened to apologize for the way everything was scheduled so tightly and offered another meeting time, in person or by phone, and you'd have had a makeup conference within the week.

3. Your child 2's teacher would've met with you for the full 15, and the tardy would knock on down the line. If you made it clear that your schedule was very tight and that meeting later would put you out, single parent working all the time etc., this would likely be the outcome.

Really, they're very flexible about meeting and communicating with parents here. I've gone in sometimes to schedule an appt with the principal, and been ushered in to see her instead. Even though I know she runs a large operation & is a busy lady with dozens of meetings each week, she'll sit there with a parent for as long as it takes to deal with an issue. I used to think that wow, the way they accommodate parents in this district made a lot of work for the teachers, and that it wasn't fair. And then I realized that between sal & ben, the teachers were making around $70K and the principal more like $130K, both of which go a long way here. If they're making that kind of salary and have essentially tenured jobs, then OK, yes, they're round-the-clock people, and they're lucky they don't have travel as part of the job.
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#88 of 107 Old 09-20-2009, 04:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Juicyfruit - thanks for your clever and creative thoughts I would employ you

Sure it can be really disrespectful to be late - but it really depends on the situation. And being 2 hours late sure isn't the same as being 5 minutes late.

And again - I think it's fair that the respect is mutual. If I am to respect other peoples time, they should respect that I am doing my best and if I for some reason dont make it on time, I have a good reason. Respect is something that should be mutual - and telling other people that they are being disrepectful is - well disrespectful IMO.

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#89 of 107 Old 09-20-2009, 04:50 AM
 
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woah this thread got interesting.

lot of good thoughts here.

i too belong to the group that says 'punctuality' is overtly stressed in our society - even when one does not have to be. 'just because' is not reason enough for me - neither is 'building of character', requirement for discipline in our routine. it is all so unsupportive. many people even live their lives that way. meeting a friend for lunch. 10 mins late and they get angry. it really is disrespectful both ways i think - wanting the other person to be on time and having that being an expectation out of you.

however life is getting so complicated. and time is being fast eaten up, that we can be nothing but slaves of time.

i must say if anything time should be an area of connection between friends and family, instead of an area of stress. if my friend tells me she only has so much time for lunch then i know i have to be there at the time we set up, otherwise i lose out on spending time with her. i hate living my life by the clock. always on the go go go.

i am lucky that in all hte jobs i have had i have only in a couple of them had to punch in the time card.

i really dont think we need to value punctuality as much we need to value honesty. of actually stating when you HAVE to be on time - for a particular reason i think is the way to go.

and so i feel yes tardiness should not exist. but it does due to funding. sad but true. esp. the first few grades. even today at 2nd grade being to school on time really takes a lot out of our monring. i notice within myself when a time is NOT given, i am always on time.

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#90 of 107 Old 09-20-2009, 06:17 AM
 
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ahh the dilemna of being late.

My oldest is sometimes late as expected when you have more than one kid. In fact, they help each other in the morning get each other ready when I am getting ready as well. I have a rule:
for every child add 5 minutes to your schedule- I have 4. so my oldest has to be at school at 8:45am.. we leave at 8:20 it takes 5 minutes to get there on a good day...

with that said when the oldest is late for their school I simply say we tried our best.

Sometimes life puts a train in front of you or a very slow driver, as long as you and your child know that you are trying your best and making a valid attempt, then you should feel no guilt and know that being late is not fun for your ds but you know that and yes you could get up earlier and yes you could make lunches/breakfast whatever it is, but somedays you are going to be late and that is life mama.

As for the teacher, i had the discussion a few years ago when I was pregnant and mobility was not my forte. I told her as long as she made my child feel uncomfortable by making a big deal or saying backhanded comments to them, it was very hard for me to make them feel comfortable in attending and education/knowledge is a wonderful gift we give our children and I would feel bad if their negativity impeded my child's will to learn...
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