Well this didn’t take long did it? It is only the second day and I feel as frustrated with my school district as I have ever been. If you are a professional organization you should act like it. I know that school districts across America are held in low regard (Click Here) and some of it is well-deserved. However, I am ever hopeful that my school district is not one of those who have gotten a bad reputation. If I had to vote today I would side with the American public. We have got to do better.
The school district is a behemoth and can be intimidating to some. Tons of departments and red tape make getting something done difficult at best and an absolute nightmare at worst. Try visiting with an administrator and you will be peppered with so much jargon and so many acronyms it can make one’s head spin. Each child has such a large folder by the time they arrive in High School it takes hours to navigate through it. I understand the need to protect the school district from any liability in this ultra-litigious society, but it makes clear communication difficult.
So you would think something as easy as a bus schedule and dropping off your first grader would be a breeze. Not today! Our transportation department cannot seem to figure out if a bus runs from a certain school or not. Five calls today gave me three different answers. Really? I dropped off my first grader this morning at school and was almost accosted by a woman (a teacher I believe) who told me there would be no more of this going into to school to drop off our kids, it must me done outside of the school or you will have to go in and get a badge. This would make a 3 minute task into a 20 minute task. Clearly not something I want to do everyday, but at six years old you might need your daddy for the first couple of weeks of school. A call to the office had the woman lecturing me on the merits of raising children to be responsible.
Now I don’t mean to bash, but come on! I am a teacher and I was ready to pull my hair out, how would an outsider feel? Frustrated!
Here are my suggestions:
- Answer the phone (two calls to our high school at 8:00 am were not answered),
- Return calls in timely manner (called bus barn this morning and told them I needed to know which bus to put my child on urgently, called me back at 1:00 pm),
- Don’t argue with your customers (students and parents) and
- Have a plan this is communicated well.
Imagine if we treated our students and parents in a more professional manner, what would that do to overall morale? I think I am going to give it a shot, heck, it can’t have any worse result than today.