Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

Your Job as a Kindergarten Teacher Is to Torment the Parents

with one comment

Sarah, this schedule for the end-of-year kindergarten party needs some work. You made the mistake of leaving the kids time to eat something.

When we schedule these things, we specifically make them at dinnertime. To give the parents the illusion that some nutritious food will be available immediately afterwards, we rely on them to bring pot luck food, but inevitably they all bring cake of some sort, or at least cheap store-bought cookies. Starting any time after five means we might inadvertently give some families a chance to get some non-crap comestibles into their systems, and we can’t have that; not when we’ve spent the whole year plying them with sugary snacks when the parents aren’t looking.

Start by announcing that pickup time is early today – say, eleven-thirty. That will give the parents several unanticipated hours of conflict between work and child care, establishing a firm base of resentment before we even start the festivities.

What we need to do is call the event itself, for, say, a quarter to five. People will straggle in, as they always do, and we won’t actually be ready to start for another forty-five minutes to an hour. I’ll get up and make some long-winded announcements of thank-yous to various people: you, other staff, various parents. We’ll have an hour’s worth of performance by the kids: some singing, some dancing, some reciting lines, some interactive stuff with the parents. I see you’ve already got some parents preparing a skit, which is good; they won’t want to waste their preparations even if things are running late.

Following the kids’ display of whatever pathetic moves we’ve taught them – to dangerously amplified music, of course – we’ll crowd everyone into another room for an educational bit: some storytelling, a moral lesson, a bit of history. When we’re finished, and people think it’s time for the fathers’ skit, we’ll get everybody back in here for some more kid-centered activity – a bit of dancing to more loud music should do it – and then we’ll do the skit. They’ve already been informed that the skit should end with more music and dancing, so we’ve got that aspect covered and then some.

When the skit ends, it should be almost seven o’clock already, and everyone will expect to go eat and leave. But that’s when we’ll allow time for the parents to show their appreciation by taking a few minutes to give us some gifts and shower us with disingenuous praise through gritted teeth, to much forced applause. Thinking it’s over, a number of families will get up to leave, but that’s when we’ll start the slide show. It was supposed to be limited to ten minutes, maximum, but in fact it goes almost fourteen. Then we can let everyone go eat.

It will be past dinnertime by then for most of these four-year-olds, so they’ll go to where the food is and begin gorging. Inevitably, there will be no flatware, even though someone will remember to bring a knife to cut the frosted cake. So that cake will go uneaten, causing bitterness all around, but the rest of the junk food will get finished quickly. Some freak parent might even bring a fruit platter, but its nutritional value will be far outweighed by the fat and sugar in all the other treats.

That’s where we’ll have various take-home gifts for the kids: badly cropped and stretched photos, flimsy plastic doodads of dubious utility, and just enough other detritus to make carrying it all, plus a now-tired, hungry child, an exercise in frustration and resentment. That is how to cap off the year, Sarah. Let’s get started.


Written by Thag

June 26, 2011 at 11:55 pm

One Response

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  1. There is no other reasonable explanation for this evening’s proceedings. None.


    June 26, 2011 at 11:55 pm

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