Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Finally, someone who gets it

It's been over 13 years since I lived in the DC area, but I still read the Washington Post on-line regularly.

This article by Sandra Tsing Loh on parents and public education is brilliant.

Ever since Palin came on the scene, I've been reading blog post after blog post mocking the "PTA Mom." Each author assumes that PTA moms are all stay-at-home women who like to bake cookies and think that running the PTA is their life's ambition. They feed into the stereotype that we are type-A overacheivers who have fallen off the career path with no outlet for our creativity except for building a better bake sale.

They don't get it. They don't get what it is like to be deep in the trenches of an urban, poor school.

We aren't volunteering because we have nothing better to do.

We are volunteering because over half of our son's class didn't eat breakfast and probably won't eat dinner. We are volunteering because the time we brought in oranges, half the class lit up with joy because they'd never seen an orange before. We are volunteering because one third of our son's class doesn't speak a single word of English -- Gee, ya think the teacher might need to spend a little extra time with those kids?

I think I might be developing a PTA-mom crush on Sandra Tsing Loh. Of all the articles I've read over the last month, she is the first one who truly gets it. At least from where I sit.

5 comments:

Bridgett said...

I heart Sandra Tsing Loh as well.

When I was teaching in the inner city, I would have genuflected if a parent like you came into my room.

LisaS said...

but my dear K, in the suburbs--which is where most people assume PTA/PTO happens--it's not about the big issues you and I see. it's about that other, trivial, mommy-war stuff.

(and who's doing your school lunch program? even Sodexho, who sucked, brought in quasi-fresh apples and oranges every day .... )

K said...

These were Kindergartners so they had not yet been exposed to the full wonder that is our school lunch. But our school lunches are awful. There is fruit, but it's not very fresh! Nothing is prepared at the school - it all comes from some central processing unit.

Magpie said...

Tsing Loh is great. Thanks for posting that link.

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

You should check my math: but I think that according to this chart, 17% of American workers with children have an at-home spouse.

http://www.halfchangedworld.com/2008/09/composition-of.html

How can there be such a thing as a "mommy war" when 83% of moms work?

I haven't seen any of the PTA-mom-bashing posts. Thank god. My blood pressure is high enough.