Isn’t it interesting how no matter where you go you can find stereotypes? I just returned from a testing event at a local elementary school. I’d like to find out if my son, who misses the Kindergarten cut off by a few weeks, could still go to Kindergarten this fall. The only surprise was how many kids it appears they’re testing. I was originally thinking about 100 or so but after today I’ll bet it’s at or over the 500 mark.
As I sat there it was impossible not to take in some of the personalities of the room. They told us in many workshops for my daughter’s acting that the best advice for any mother is to avoid other mothers at an audition. Women are generally caddy anyway but in these competitive settings the stories of what takes place were down right brutal with many moms trying to intimidate and eliminate as much of the competition as possible on their own. I’ve met a few of those “stage moms” and it’s not hard to picture those scenarios they warned us about. Today was no different watching some mothers interact. I suppose there’s one in every batch, but in the third wave a new mom entered the scene which fit the “barracuda” bill most perfectly. She dressed in intimidating and professional black attire, wore smart looking glasses and was extremely confrontational and loud. She immediately started asking the staff for percentages in front of the entire room. She wanted to know how many kids are tested and of those what percentage qualify, etc. A sweet woman (who obviously has dealt with this type before) simply told her none of them have that information as it is handled at district office and they simply help with the testing. She promptly sat down a little agitated, but not before making a big scene about her son telling her the colors of several markers in a box and giving him a paper to trace his name on. Then she proceeded to initiate discussion with a woman next her about how much better things were done in New York when she lived there. The conversation remained dominated by her sharing how brilliant and gifted her son is and how much better he is than all his other classmates combined. I had to suppress a giggle or two at the flashy show and self importance of it all.
And it makes me question the motivation of those present. It’s small of me I know, but I doubt that there are as many parents there for the best well-being of their child as there were for their own agendas and personal conveniences. How many have primed and pushed their kids to avoid another year of arranging and paying for day care or to have them reflect well on themselves and how many are really in touch with their children and have their best interests at heart? I know it only matters what I am there for and the needs of my child, but it was so in the face for me that I couldn’t resist the wondering about others.
It’s sad to see so many adults making education a competition. Isn’t the world full of enough competitive reality already? Barracuda’s breeding future barracudas….yikes.