Saturday, December 6, 2008

Literacy Themed Saturday School, November 6, 2008

Well another Saturday School has come and gone. Usually I get to roam around, take pictures, shoot video footage of families, and help out here and there. Today, I stayed with our visiting author, David Schwartz. He presented to the upper grades and then the lower grades and their families. I always dread family presentations at schools. I have not seen a time where parents supervise their children when teachers are present. I spent my time asking parents to quiet down, chasing small siblings of our students and then matching them with their families, and asking students to pay attention to the speaker. It was pretty exhausting. The worst part was watching parents have full conversations on cellphones and with each other while the author talked about writing, his books, presented an interactive readaloud. I will never understand the lack of empathy I witnessed today. How do we teach our students to behave in social situations when their parents are modeling a non-example?

*Exhale*. It's over.

Lessons learned/Things to consider/Reflection:
*The author speaks for no more than 20-30 minutes when families are involved.
*Students will sit on the floor in front of the author (parents in chairs behind) instead of students sitting with their families.
*Start searching for an author 6 months to a year in advance. It's impossible to book an author, in less than 2 months, who is bilingual and/or who writes about the Latino culture...oh...and for $1000 or less.
*Scratch author visits during family days/nights and save them as a school day assembly for students and teachers.
*Make an announcement at the beginning to remind parents to pay attention to the speaker stop talking on their cellphone not allow their children to run around and scream during the performance set an example for their children by listening to the speaker...sigh... I'm too frustrated to come up with a PC way to say this to a grownup. Any ideas?


null said...

"Our children model what they see us do parents, so please put on your listening ears and sit quietly during the presentation to ensure your little men and women will do the same"

Monarch's Librarian said...

I think they need more. I almost feel that we need to do a skit of "what not to do" before every presentation. Act it out with a couple of teachers, an upper grade student and an lower grade student. Make fun of them (parents), get them laughing, and ...hopefully...prevent the behavior.

Peggy said...

As a retired elementary principal I have experienced exactly what you described many, many times and was always disappointed in the parent conduct! Besides doing some "assembly role playing and training" in individual classrooms prior to each event, we also had pretty good success with doing a brief intro at the start of each program that gave guidelines about how to respond appropriately--clap, smile, etc. I just attended a youth theatre presentation that did something similar and it was very effective. I'll see if I can get the script for that for you. He said things like "when there's something you like show me what you do" and everyone clapped. "When you hear something funny, show me what you will do" and everyone laughed appropriately--no whistles, hoots, etc. He specifically mentioned cell phone use and provided the guidelines about taking photos during the event.Kids seem to know the answers better than the parents. Don't give up! It's really important!

Monarch's Librarian said...

Peggy, thanks for your comment. I would love to get my hands on that script. I could even write a skit about what actually happened in would be pretty funny as an opener.

Lunasoul said...

You're on the right track. I like the positive language bent as well, say what TO do, not what NOT to do, using liberal doses of humor. A skit sounds like lots of fun!

Andrew Torris said...

I usually DEMONSTRATE turning off my cell phone in a situation like this, and then make a joke about the sound of multiple cells turning off together sounding "sweeter than ____ fill in any particular sound you like here___".

Then if one goes off, the parent who interupted is glared at by all the others! (smile)