Thursday, October 02, 2008

That's One Way of Looking at It

Here we are, almost one month into our respective new school years and I've been enjoying the fact that McRae has not come home each week with a bulging manila envelope full of homework packets for me to grade -- hard, challenging, so difficult that I need a calculator homework packets belonging to children who will no doubt be running our country effectively some day (one can dream).

You see, I've grown lazy over the summer in regards to my alone time. And nothing sucks alone time away more than correcting homework every week.

Plus, it hurts my brain, but that is another situation for which I can happily excuse myself from said homework duties and pour another glass of red. [The teachers love it when I correct homework while enjoying a nice pinot or petite syrah.]

Anyway, I thought I'd dodged a bullet. The thought of those gigantic piles of homework packets did not even cross my mind. I clapped happily and jumped with glee while emptying the contents of my 4th graders backpack, knowing that among the large quantities of paper in it, there were no homework packets waiting for me to correct! I relaxed and grew complacent. I did not give it a second thought.

Of course, not giving it a second thought was the worst thing I could have done because today, today of all days - I dug deep into Wyatt's backpack and withdrew a suspicious beige envelope.


There was a cute little sticky note on the outside: "Carrie, could you please correct this homework? Whenever you have time is fine! Signed, The Teacher."

I grumbled and groaned, wondering how this teacher, this new teacher, could have possibly known to send homework to me. When I filled out my volunteer information there was not a place to check for "will correct homework until I am blue in the face." There was no way she could have known that I had been doing this for years and I was convinced that the Teacher's Lounge was to blame.

"You've got a (insert my last name) in your class? Send your homework home to his mom! She'll have it corrected in a jiffy!"

And then they all raise their glasses of wine.

Okay, not really. But I do think there is a conspiracy going on behind the doors of our elementary school.

I was telling my husband, who loves to listen to me yammer on about such things, about my conspiracy theory and he just rolled his eyes at me.

[Nothing like a husband to tell you like it is.]

"So, let me get this straight," he said, looking at me like I'd completely gone off my rocker, "you're irritated because you are known as the mom who corrects the homework?"

"Yes!" I shouted, so happy that he finally understood what I was talking about. Being the mom who corrects the homework is no easy walk in the park. Oh, I wanted to grab his face in my hands and give him one . . . right on the kisser.

"Would you rather be known as the crack whore mom?"

[Nothing like a husband's perspective to snap one right out of La La Land, huh?]


The Scott Family said...

Well I have to tell you that as a teacher, I did not know of such a phenomenon as sending homework home to parents to grade.
All this time I have been staying up late (after I put my baby to bed,) grading it all myself.
This completely fascinates me. And I'm terribly jealous of this teacher.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I have never heard of this practice. I'm pretty sure it violates some privacy rights--I'm not joking, I believe there's beens some sort of court case over schoolwork privacy.

I'd send it back with a release of legal liability and see if she still considers you the mom for the job.

Sandy Toes said...

I was a teacher...word gets around must be a "great" "yellow star" parent...that every teacher wants in your class!
-Sandy toes

Love the title of your blog!!!

wyliekat said...

It does seem deranged that the school system requires mom's to correct the homework. What does the teacher do at the end of the day?

Still and all, your husband is correct - better to be "that" mom than the "other" mom.

Tracey said...

Ummmmm... isn't that what we pay the teachers to do? I would be livid if some other parent were correcting my kids' homework! That is no one else's business. And, though elementary school homework is easy enough, the teacher DID go to college for several years for the right to do this, right?

My sister teaches high school math: Calculus, algebra, etc. She has WAY more homework and tests to grade than an elementary school teacher does and still manages to get it done.

You are a better mom than I am, to volunteer for such a chore...

carrie said...

I think I need to clarify something here: I have been correcting homework and kids projects for the past 6 years and correcting the homework at home is no different than correcting and helping in the classroom. I am not upset at the teacher, AT ALL! I think our teachers sending some of the homework home for a responsible parent to correct is fine, I was just hoping to have a year off!!!! I've paid my homework correcting dues! :)

Our teachers have a lot of work to do and don't get me wrong - I appreciate every unpaid minute they spend making an enriching learning environment for my children.

ps - some of the 4th and 5th grade accelerated math homework is waaaay beyond my expertise! I'd die without a key! It is HARD!

OHmommy said...

Thanks Carrie, I am going to have to remember not to volunteer for that. As it is, my first year w/a kid in school, I have volunteered as the lunch mom, the art helper mom, and the room mom. LOL.

At least there is no homework in kindergarten.

The Mrs. said...

ah but point out to your husband that the crack whore mom isn't sitting around grading papers right now.

but I'm glad your the homework mom not the crack whore mom. probably a better wardrobe and less STD's

Grim Reality Girl said...

Wow. I spent my student teaching semester getting 4 hours of sleep per night because I was correcting papers. I can not imagine sending it home to a parent to correct. I was not being paid, but it was MY JOB. How would I know their work if I wasn't the one to go through it? I'm confused.... I appreciate what you are doing, but as a 2nd career teacher I don't get it.

As secondary education English teacher, I want to yell at the teacher to suck it up and do her job. I realize that you are not begrudging her.. but hello? I am! What the heck? I had 5 classes of 32-35 kids. Think about what it is like to correct an essay (20 minutes each even after I got good at it). Part of the teaching gig is correcting papers. I would prefer the instructor to do the job so that the instructor truly knows where the instruction is needed. You deserve the year off. I need to go drink a glass of wine because my righteous ass is irritated with teachers who don't work as hard as I did (and yes, I'm still looking for a job!). Okay... sorry for ranting....

Anonymous said...

Random thoughts:

Being an instructor myself, I always welcome volunteers because it frees me to spend more time with the actual students. I always look over the work that IS checked.. and I can give extra help to the ones who need it on any particular assignment.

I never ask volunteers to correct writing.. essays.. and the like. But boy, do I learn some things about families in the writings!

We all know teachers are underpaid for what they do. We have choices.. but if we choose to do it all ourselves, then we suffer the consequences. Makes us think about how much homework is necessary? (another topic).

And certainly there are those who can't give up the control of doing it all themselves.

And those who simply feel it is a privacy issue. We have some strict guidlines in my institution regarding what cannot be shared. And Carrie, you have NEVER told me anything about any of the papers or students' names in those 6 years!

Some schools have paraprofessionals helping out.. but in this economy they will be the first to go.

So I vote for the volunteers, with discretion.


Momisodes said...

LOL! At least if you were labeled the crack whore mom, they wouldn't send homework your way to correct ;)

painted maypole said...

correcting homework? insane. um, I will be sure to never volunteer to do such a crazy thing.

Carol said...

Erm....aren't the teachers actually paid to do such menial tasks themselves?

Too funny though that your husband helped you gain a change of perspective.

Liz said...

Like all the others here...I've NEVER heard of a teacher sending work home for a mom to grade for her. Maybe they just don't do it around here. We're asked to volunteer for plenty of other things, but not that.

Christy said...

Well, the "crack whore mom" IS more glamorous...

Queen of the Mayhem said...

The man makes a good point....BUT...if you were the crack whore would be getting paid for it! Just sayin'! :)

Oh...and we teachers LOVE you volunteer moms! COULD NOT LIVE without you! (SERIOUSLY!..This is me...raising my glass!) :)

Domestic Spaz said...

I commend you for being the mom who grades papers.

I'm currently holding the title for "mom who shows up to drop her child off to school with no bra on and a pair of sweat pants" and I'm runner up for "mom who consistently forgets to sign the permission slip on time"... so your title is much better. :)

You're October's Little Fish, by the way! Congratulations. :)

Jeanne said...

LOL and I'm the Mom who chases the four year old around the playground while he drives his toy car on other parents...

But seriously, I'm intrigued...

This homework that you check - is it from your child's class? Is your child's work included with it? (As in, you can see what they do in class, how well your kid fares in comparison to the others, AND you get to learn some of what they are taught?). I think I'm jealous!

Kimmylyn said...

Your husband does have a point.. lol

But I have never heard of a mom correcting the class homework.. I will make sure to never raise my hand for that.. lol

carrie said...


Yes, it is the work for the entire class and Wyatt's work was included. I even hasseled him about one of the worksheets because he got it wrong!