We have now been in school over half of the school year and each morning I still see parents standing by the doorways and lingering in the hallways. Do I think parents should not be in our school? By no means. I love parent involvement! But these parents are not involved. They are walking their child to the classroom and standing and watching and waiting for their child to break down and cry to go back home. They need to feel needed by their child. Our school, like many others has a nonofficial “drop-off at the door” policy. I say nonofficial because I am not sure that it can be enforced and obviously it isn’t. Our school has asked parents not to walk their child to the classroom beyond the first nine weeks of school. Some schools limit it to the first two weeks. This angers many parents. It is not that the schools are trying to hide something and wish for parents not to be in the classrooms. If you are one of the parents who quietly walks your child to the classroom door, gives a quick kiss good-bye, and turns to leave then this policy is not made for you. Each year, especially in kindergarten and sometimes in upper grades too, we have to deal with issues caused by parents in the mornings. There are reasons for this policy.
One such circumstance is a girl who cries (actually wails, screams, etc). Each morning when she is pulled from her mother, this dramatic episode takes place. It happens no matter where the child is at, even if the mother walks to the classroom. The crying attacks are so bad that the other children become upset and many also begin to cry. For this reason, we asked that the child be left with a faculty member in a less populated area of the school until she calms down (which happens to be about 10 minutes after the mother leaves).
Another incident in which it is best for a parent not to walk to the classroom is the disturbance to the teacher. One mother insists on walking to the classroom with her child about 2 minutes before the bell rings. She then proceeds to begin a lengthy discussion with the teacher while 21 five year olds attempt to party in the background while the teacher is occupied. It was also suggested to this mother to leave her child at the door.
Dependent children have also caused this policy to take place. Some parents walk their child to the room, take off his backpack and coat, hang them on the hangers, and take out his notebooks for the day. The child sits and watches. Learning to perform the daily routines are a big part of a child’s education. How can he learn them if the parent is the one carrying them out?
The final cause of this policy is the lingering parent. These parents stand and repeatedly hug and tell their “happy” child good-bye. After several boughts of “I’m leaving, have a good day”, the child finally breaks and cries.
Teachers and administrators alike reach a point when it has to be said that no parents may come down the hallway in the mornings unless of course there is good reason. For example, to carry a school project or notify the teacher of a change. It would be very hard to allow some parents the privilege of walking their child to the room and not allow others. Again, parents we want you to be involved and we want your support but please consider the circumstances above and try to be understanding of the schools for not allowing you to walk your child to his classroom. If you feel the need to see what is happening in your child’s classroom, and you have every right to, schedule a day to be a room mom or dad or volunteer to help with special activities.