In just a few weeks the school year will officially be half over. That means a semester change, which means my junior high and high school sons will be bringing home more of those ridiculous disclosure statements (a.k.a. behavior contracts) teachers now make students and parents sign at the onset of new classes. Yeah, yeah, I know teachers do it because they’re sick of hearing parents whine when their darling little Einsteins get Fs for not turning in homework, even though on day one each teacher explains how easy it is to get an ‘A’ in their class in such detail that even a mentally disabled Chihuahua could score above ninety percent. I get it.
However, that doesn’t mean I have to like it. Reading all that pseudo legalese gives me a migraine and takes up valuable time I already I don’t have. So under the category of “turn-about is fair play” I’ve decided to come up with our own family disclosure for each of my children’s new teachers to sign the first week of second semester. (Full disclosure: I actually sent this out at the beginning of the school year to ALL my kids’ teachers, and believe it or not, most of them signed and returned it to me, along with THEIR comments, which were very entertaining.)
THE DYMALSKI FAMILY DISCLOSURE (Overview)
The Dymalski Family has been in existence since 1986, although it wasn’t really a family until 1995 when our first child came along, thus putting an abrupt end to romantic late night dinners, club hopping with friends, and impromptu globetrotting with celebrities to places like Las Vegas, Monaco, and Turks & Caicos.
Since you are teaching one or more of our children, you will become a defacto member of the Dymalski Family for all or part the 2011-2012 school year. And as such, WE expect YOU to adhere to the Dymalski family guidelines, as follows:
MATERIALS NEEDED (by the Teacher)
A good sense of humor
Having grown up around comedians the Dymalski children have been raised with a fair dose of irony, exaggeration, witticism, and general smart-ass remarks. Although as parents we abhor physical discipline we are not above the use of sarcasm and mockery to show a teenager the error of his ways. Thus, the Dymalski children have developed their own brand of quick-witted humor, and as their teacher we expect you to keep up. That’s not to say we insist you tolerate any teenage sass, but rather be prepared to give back at least as good as you get without breaking any school policy regarding appropriate language. We really don’t care about that. Believe me, our kids have heard it all. But the School Board might have something to say about it, given they each had his or her sense of humor surgically removed once elected.
An entertaining demeanor
We cannot tolerate our kids coming home whining about how boring you are as a teacher. If you cannot put on a dog-and-pony show that is compelling enough to keep our kids awake in your class then that’s your problem. Don’t be calling us in for some P-T conference on how we can “all work together as a team” to motivate our children to do better in school. On the contrary, to alleviate the issue we expect YOU to put forth a little extra effort by learning a few magic tricks, the art of hypnotism, juggling puppies, plate spinning, the can-can (in full Parisian garb), some comedy shtick, or whatever it takes to keep the little darlings fully engaged while their seats are firmly planted in your class. Lesser effort will not be tolerated.
The text required as a result of having our son in your class is Confessions of a Band Geek Mom (available on Amazon.com) by Stacy Dymalski. This is an excellent single volume work by a self-proclaimed expert on parenting, even though she has no formal training on the subject, other than the emotional and physical scars of bearing and raising two children. We feel that this book will give you a complete understanding of the dysfunctional family dynamics that have become second nature to us. And as such we expect you to adjust your schedule and teaching style to conform. (PLEASE! No excuses.)
The Monday after Easter you will be given your first quiz on the material in Confessions of a Band Geek Mom. This means I expect you to study up over spring break, regardless of any plans you have. And if you do have holiday travel scheduled I honestly don’t want to hear about it. Since our kids have become involved with music we spend more money on lessons and instruments than Charlie Sheen spends on hookers and hooch, and thus we no longer have the means to travel anywhere beyond Orem, UT, unless it’s to chaperone a school band trip. So just keep your high-flying, jet-setting, champagne-swilling, Donald-Trump-like, teacher ways to yourself, because…um, I…uh, where was I? Oh yeah, the rest of the quizzes will be unannounced. Be prepared!
Read every night until you have finished Confessions of a Band Geek Mom. If you have questions ask one of our children, after all they lived it (although they do take issue with some of the events depicted in the book). You may schedule an appointment with either child Mon – Fri, 2:30 – 5:00 in the high school band room, as they spend just about every free moment in there practicing one of eight instruments that we cannot afford.
You are also expected to LIKE the fan page for Confessions of a Band Geek Mom, which can be found at www.facebook.com/Confessionsofabandgeekmom. I post funny quips every day in regard to family and school. At some point I will say something on there about you or your class, so if you want to see what all the hubbub is about, you’d better get on there pronto.
Trust me, you really don’t want me coming in there for any negative reason. Just ask the administrators of our elementary school, as well as any of the past FOUR (count ‘em, FOUR) superintendents our District has had since my eldest started kindergarten. Please, I’m begging you, unless someone with whom I share DNA is about to flunk, I don’t want to be directly involved in your class. I assume the hiring committee that selected you had sense enough to check your references, so I’m guessing you’re qualified to do your job. Just be reasonable and we’ll all get along fine.
As an indicator that you have read and understand what we require of you as a teacher, please sign this and return it to me. Doing so is a homework assignment and will count toward your grade as a teacher, which is basically word-of-mouth around the neighborhood, and thus far more damaging than any real grade you ever received in high school or college.
Thank you. I look forward to an uneventful semester with you.
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Stacy Dymalski is a stand-up comic who gave up the glamorous life of coach travel, smokey comedy clubs, and heckling drunks for the glamourous life of raising kids (who happen to be bigger hecklers than the drunks). This blog is her new stage.
For more of Stacy’s comedy check out her hilarious book Confessions of a Band Geek Mom available in paperback and on Kindle on Amazon.com.