My mom has been
right about so many things.
- I do regret that tattoo.
- That boyfriend in high school was indeed no good
- My daughter shouldn’t have eaten that whole jar
of prunes in one sitting.
Never was that more on display than when I took
that same daughter, our firstborn, to the bus stop for kindergarten. She wasn’t
scared. She wasn’t shy. And no, she didn’t miss me. I cried more. Mom was right again. She was a
kindergarten teacher for many years, so I’m not quite sure why I questioned
her. She knows how little people are when they arrive at school. Apprehensive, sure.
But scared? Nah. They’re so happy to be there.
So much is the same as when my mom
was in the classroom. Yet, so much has changed. The biggest evolution is the network of networks
that our schools use, and how we as parents rely on them to understand and
follow along with what our kids do every day.
I’ll admit I was very overwhelmed
when things started happening. Sign up for this program online. Remember your
password for that software. Pay for lunches here. Get your bus stop location there.
Geesh, if we think the kids are uneasy, that’s nothing compared to parents’
Perhaps I wouldn’t
even think about it as much if I did anything else for a living. Our lives at
CommScope – in the office and in the field – revolve around networks, so I
notice them more. Now I have a whole new appreciation for the Connected
and Efficient Building! My child has a computer-generated ID number that
stays with her through high school. She has a lunch code to remember. My
husband and I have several different websites we need to check to get
calendars, lunch menus and pay for field trips. Teachers encourage email over
phone calls. Our school has its own app. The parent-teacher organization has a private Facebook page.
I’ll play the “back in my day…” card
and say – we showed up for school, got lunch by standing in line and paying
with cash, and got on the bus to come home. If teachers needed to talk to
parents, they waited until after school hours to call (gasp!) the land line.
Our biggest piece of technology was the huge calculator I needed for Trig and
Calculus, and man, my folks were not thrilled to shell out the cash for that
monstrosity. Now, Network World has
its own back-to-school
gadget list for kids, and elementary school kids have a newer version of
the iPhone than I do.
I’m actually not complaining; I’m
impressed. Some people might say all of this technology takes the teaching away
from teachers. I believe that the opposite is true – it brings them together.
The connectivity it takes to run a school is awe-inspiring. It also forces
parents to become even more involved; transparency is stronger than ever. The
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
says both parents worked out of the home in
nearly 61 percent of married-couple families. It’s nice to know that a mouse
click can alert me to a late bus or if our daughter’s lunch money is running
low – all from my desk at work.
People run networks, and I’m proud to work for a company that helps them
do that. It keeps the first-time kindergarten moms like me from pulling their
gray hairs out, even if my own mother said I had nothing to worry about.