Back to school – trauma for parents

As educators, we often think of ‘Back to School’ in terms of how it affects us. Yes there will be an extra consideration for those children going to school for the first time but have you ever thought about the trauma that many households go through every September until the children have left college?
In the hilarious post ‘The 9 Traumatic Steps‘, Katy Cox explains some of the angst that we may never have though of. Here I have chosen some of them and posed questions for teachers to think about:

Despite reaching your limits entertaining the kids day in and day out for six straight weeks (and feeling great comfort in knowing that this period is finally coming to an end),  you realise that you have no idea whatsoever when school actually starts back.

How do schools make sure the date that was sent out at the end of term has been remembered?

 Leg it down to the local school uniform shop the week before school starts to find the place is jam packed full of panicked parents snatching jumpers and ties off the shelves in a frenzy. It seems that they too share your gift for being organised.
Grab two jumpers that are two sizes too big so that they will last: you know that you’re going to tumble dry them to the death anyway. You could always roll the sleeves up in the meantime.

Having uniform available at school for a central collection can help but does that make your uniform more expensive than it may be?

The best part of all?…. Shoe shopping.
Coerce your child (with a suitcase of Haribo and the promise of a trip to McDonalds afterwards) into going to Clarks.
Cough up the cash for a week’s worth of groceries just to buy a pair of shoes that are 1cm larger than last years.
You wish you could get away with using last years shoes but can’t because they look like they’ve  climbed Everest and waded through a field of dog turd before sky diving 14,000 feet and landing inside an active volcano.

Has your school got a strict shoe policy or can they wear trainers? What about shoeless learning?

Panick that your child hasn’t done a single bit of the holiday homework suggestions that were left in his school bag (which is now covered in a thick film of dust)
Suddenly force your child to read 17 books and scrawl the alphabet 800 times on a piece a paper to try and regenerate the brain cells that have been destroyed due to excessive iPad and television exposure over the holidays.

Do you set holiday homework and if it is not as part of exam prep, what happens to it when the students return to school with another teacher?

Cram your cupboards with an abundance of convenient breakfast foods that you know you can shovel with ease down your child’s throat as you ransack the house looking for his shoes and school bag every morning at 8.32am for the next year.

Does your school run a breakfast club or provide a tuck shop for those not getting any breakfast?

Parents worry and panic. As a head I often thought they chose the wrong things to get upset about but this list does explain why the return to school may not be a stress free as you had hoped.

If you are a parent, does this list ring true? If you are a headteacher, can you do something to ease these worries?


Post originally posted at Carry on Katy a great blog that will have you in stitches!

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  • Thanks Julia for the mention and for the kind words about my post!
    I would love it of my school dished out breakfast and let the kids wear trainers! It seems that school shoes for older students can be up to £100 according to some of the comments I received. I had no idea! I better get saving now!

    • 5sc1

      Just to cheer you up, I have just bought my son his school shoes. I have always bought them & having a birthday in August is just right for presents. BTW he is 39 & a headteacher!

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