Are you a Young Parent

Do you have children about to start or attending Primary School?

What do you know about the school they attend? Are you interested or aware of any problems?

Does your responsibility end when you open the door of the SUV to drop the darlings off with their satchel up market school bag, lunch money or tuck box, leaving you several hours to get on with your own life before charging up once more to stop – bang in front of the gateway – never mind the lay-by that seems to be compulsory for Health & Safety regulations. Is that it?

Who decides on the text books your child uses or how the subject is taught? I am sure you think it is that distracted school Principal losing his ability to smile. Before you criticize, walk a mile in his shoes!

How does he spend his evenings?

For ‘homework’ I have: * 6 policies to proof read and correct * 3 others to continue and * 1 to start.

Does he have help?

…..It is just not physically possible to teach and administer at the same time. All my waking hours are consumed by school … school and more school.

Only last week did I stay in school until 6.00 p.m. cutting the grass and tidying up. It’s a case of DIY or it remains undone. I have been patching holes on the roof, brushing the yard, painting classrooms, etc. …. you name it I’ve probably done it!

Our school accounts are in the black ‘cos we’re careful (not mean) with the spend.

I’m overwhelmed at times …. free education is a laugh …. someone is usually paying for it …. and it’s usually me with my time!

…..I have asked the parents in my school to get involved in policy development and/or help out around the school …. (I ask regularly) …. how many volunteers did I get? …. NONE! … yet they have no problem complaining if a decision/procedure/policy has been implemented without their input. Even when they get the policies to read … they don’t!

Nobody survives in a vacuum. An exhausted Teacher cannot give of his or her best to the children in their charge – YOUR CHILDREN.

Education is the right of all children, but that does not give parents the right to abdicate responsibility for it at the school gate. If your child showed potential in Bunge-jumping and ‘Gold at the 2012 Olympics’ was mooted, I’m sure you would travel the length and breadth of the land so they had every chance to gain experience. Would that enormous effort on your part, be for the child, or for the reflected glory that you would gain?

Gold loses its shine in time and the Bunge-jumping may not put food on the table for long, but an energetic enthusiastic unencumbered teacher can set alight the fire of learning within a young mind setting them on the road to being the next Brahms, Brontë or Brunel. So give that hour or odd Saturday, you might even surprise yourself and enjoy it. There is the chance to get to know the teachers as ‘real’ people and also earn kudos big time with the offspring.

11 thoughts on “Are you a Young Parent

  1. Pingback: Grannymar - I’m embarrassed now! | Paddy Bloggit

  2. Thriftcriminal

    I’m with you on backing up Paddy, and we take an active interest in our kids school and education. We also have the advantage that the principal of the school is a good friend of ours and my wife is full time at home with the kids.

    The thing is this whole Celtic Tiger business has made productivity is the watchword of the powers that be, and the lifestyle that is encouraged is one that I believe robs the family environment to feed the false god of economic growth. Yes parents need to take responsibility and be involved, but by God the government has a lot to answer for in encouraging them to abdicate that responsibility.

    Sorry if that sounds ranty, it’s not directed at your good self 🙂

  3. Grannymar Post author

    Thriftcriminal worry not I am glad to have your response.

    I made a conscious decision to be a full time wife and mother. Time was the one ingredient I felt was important. We were always available to the school helping with PTA’s and fates etc. I filled the car and drove to hockey matches, I helped out on school outings and stuffed envelopes when needed.

    Elly was my child my responsibility, a gift for life and not just for Christmas. All the time I and her teachers invested in her was well worth it. She is a very well rounded independent young lady, well capable to stand on her own two feet, deal with people on any level in any part of the world.

  4. Baino

    I haven’t read Paddy’s post yet *off there in a minute*. Few of our principals actually teach unless in very small rural schools where the student quota cannot justify the extra body. I worked full time when my children were at school (not by choice) but still managed to take part in working bee’s, cake drives and other fund raisers or repairs as they were run on a Saturday (not just for the school but the soccer club and netball as well) but it would be the same group of parents who contributed each time. The only thing I couldn’t do was school canteen. I also think that the pressure on Primary teachers is much greater than secondary who have a few non face to face hours to do their marking etc. Primary teachers are full on, multi talented and multi tasking and frankly paid badly for their efforts. Sadly this is a sign of our disintegrating ‘sense of community’.

  5. Ian


    I will read Paddy’s post, but my first reaction is that if I was a member of the board of management of a school where such comments arose I would be embarrassed in the extreme and would be looking at what could be done. (Last Friday I assisted the caretaker carry a new teacher’s desk up four flights of stairs!)

    When I see pictures of bad facilities, I ask ‘what’s the board of management doing?’

  6. Paddy Bloggit

    Our facilities are good now.

    We still have dampness but self-help has made the place presentable, clean and a fresh coat of paint works wonders.

    A new Board of Management was put in place last November ….. the previous Board were well versed and well informed by me as to the daily routine, work and requirements but it still didn’t stir the Board into practical action. The Board were happy to talk til the cows came home but not many volunteers to do the work.

    Having learned the hard way …. it’s easier to DIY it than to ask/beg/appeal for support…… one can only ask so many times for help.


    My use of the word ‘fictional’ in relation to the story of Jesus is subjective to me and is not intened to offend other people’s personal beliefs!

    My blog …. my thoughts …. and the word ‘fictional’ applies to how I view the the story of Jesus.

  7. Jo

    I listened to a radio discussing with the head of the Principal’s association about primary schools and funding.

    He is disgusted by the fact that parents pay so much for free education, when they already pay taxes on that money. He pointed out how ridiculous it would be to see the gardaí holding a bakesale, or colleges fundraising.

    He told a story of one principal who’d been given a new school, but the money ran out before it was furnished. SHe’d got a personal loan to get the kids back in. Insane.

    He suggested that it was coming near time for parents to start refusing to fundraise and force the govt to take responsibility. He was pretty outraged, on all our behalfs.

    My kids are going to go to our local Project School, and they’re always struggling – so we’ll be involved whether we like it or not, though that’s one of the reason’s I’ve chosen it. Primary school needs a huge overhaul in Ireland in so many ways. I wish there were more alternatives, but as yet, there just aren’t.

  8. Grannymar Post author

    Paddy, If you do yor best Nobody, but nobody can ask anymore.

    Jo, you will never regret the time you invest in your children

  9. Magpie 11

    Oh Boy… I dashed over to paddy’s blog as asoona s I saw the link….been out of circulation… I’m seething with thoughts and ideas, opinions and sheer anger at the ignorance of politicians about education.

    I’m feeling physically sick…lunch is just about to be put ont he table so will have to go but I mght return.


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