On a typical morning during the week I usually try to have my kids take a morning snack and play break at about 10:30 am. I’ll admit there are days when I don’t get them out on time but its not my fault, partially its because we are tying up last minute loose ends from the math lesson or the read aloud chapter is getting so juicy we just cant put the book down. Even with all of this learning goodness- something happens in my classroom. Its sort of like watching a scene from I Robot-because the inner sense and need for play arises simultaneously and in unison they all say Ms. Queenie “it’s play time, its play time.” They run outside and get busy playing. It’s a pretty amazing sight to see because for all kids play is a serious endeavor. Roles, rules and limits are developed sometimes they change mid game and are often forfeited to start a new game. Whatever the case kids are particular about building, playing and having time to move about together as one. The collective ideas that children come up with during play are beyond comprehension, honestly, everytime I watch children play I notice the human capacity to bring good to humanity.
So what does this have to do with a group of parents in Compton California?
Well, about sixty percent of the parents of students at McKinley Elementary School have joined forces, just like my kids do when its time to play. These parents got smart, they were tired of sending their kids to a failing school and that’s when they, like many kids learned the rules of the game. What game you might ask? The game of schooling. They learned of the parent-trigger law, “which stipulates that a district must make radical changes at a school that has failed to meet progress benchmarks for four years when at least 51 percent of parents sign a petition for reform,” as noted by the Huffington Post. As a group you can demand one of four options of the school board: Charter conversion, Turnaround, Transformation or Bargaining power. Whatever way you feel about it, I think its pretty powerful anytime parents get together, learn the rules of the game and start pLaying attention to what’s happening in their child’s classroom and school.
We can learn alot from kids when they play: Team work, collective bargaining power, vested interest, rules & regulations, creative ideas, etc.
In the end Parents, Teachers & Administrators must work together for the common good of the kids! Each party plays a significant role in the development of a child. Just like kids who love to play, my question to you as a parent is are you playing attention to what’s happening in your child’s school?