The local school district informed me this morning that a new district policy had been put in place. Further, if I was to volunteer to chaperon my son’s upcoming field trip to Darien Lake, I would first be required to take a one-hour mandatory volunteer training course.
I was shocked. After all, I have been volunteering in this district for 9 years. I’ve organized and judged science fairs, chaperoned a previous trip to Albany, conducted classroom demos and workshops, etc. Hell, I’m scheduled to spend tomorrow afternoon teaching 6th Graders to program Lego Mindstorm robots. But I never stopped to think that I was completely untrained for this. I thoughtlessly never considered the risk that I was taking with the well being of the little lives and minds in my temporary charge. After all, there’s no way that 13 years of parenting, and 4-plus decades on the planet punctuated with stints of coaching kids and teaching adults has in any way prepared me for the task of supervising 6th Graders on a trip to a local amusement park. Hell, I took 4 kids to Orlando in February. What was I thinking? I wasn’t trained for that!! They might be scarred for life!
I can hardly wait for this engaging and informative seminar that will finally qualify me to be in charge of children. I expect we’ll learn things like:
- Bus Safety – “never use children for wheel chocks”
- Zero Tolerance – “never share your beer with kids while on school property”
- Classroom Control – “sometimes a stern word can be as effective as a nuclear dope slap”
- Respect for Authority – “don’t let the kids cajole you into spit-balling the teachers”
- Tort Law – “if the district is ever sued for your behavior, swear they trained you not to do that”
This is gonna be sooooooo exciting…