(Originally posted on Servant Principal.)

By Walter A. Kozlowski


by arztsamui

My wife and I usually do not see each other on Tuesday. In fact, we rarely even get a chance to talk. Her shift begins an hour before my day at school ends. I leave the building with barely enough time to pick up one child from daycare and scoop up another to deliver to dance. While the oldest is at dance class, the younger two get fed, backpacks get emptied, mail gets checked, Wednesday lunches get made, and the various needs of a one-year old and three-year old get tended to. Then, we head back to the studio to retrieve our little ballerina, returning home on time to begin the bedtime routine. With the children safely in bed, I finish tidying the house, then sit down and try to accomplish what I can with the energy that remains after being on the go since my 4:15 AM wake up.

We do not do homework on Tuesdays.

The way our schedules work, my wife and I each have a lot of time when we are the sole parent on duty. We joke about how it can feel like being a single parent, but we know that those who are raising families on their own really have it much more difficult than we do. At any rate, this has helped me to develop an understanding of how difficult it must be for somebody who has such responsibility.

We do not play board games on Tuesdays.

Our Tuesdays have also helped me to realize that, like us, families have things to do in the evening. Tuesdays have made me aware that family members are not always on the same schedule. Tuesdays have made me see that, sometimes, there is a good reason that homework is not completed. Tuesdays have taught me that the agenda of the school or of a classroom teacher do not always mesh with the agenda at home.

We do not attend school functions on Tuesdays.

My children are young and will develop greater independence. There will come a time when they are able to accomplish tasks on their own, while I am taking care of other things. They will also become busier. There will be more places for them to be. There will be more things for them to do. There will be more complicated assignments. There will be greater demands. Our Tuesdays of today will look nothing like our Tuesdays of tomorrow.

We do not eat the healthiest of dinners on Tuesdays.

My children are being raised in a home with two professional parents. We are fortunate to be surrounded by family members who are available and willing to assist. We have the means to provide for the needs of our children and the experience to help them succeed. Yet, a traffic delay, a snowstorm, an illness or a host of other common occurrences could completely destroy the delicate balance that is our Tuesday.

How many of the families we serve have a week full of Tuesdays? How many families are not fortunate enough to have the help of others? How many of the families our students come from simply survive day after day, difficulty after difficulty, emergency after emergency? And how can we blame them for not being at our school functions, for not having homework ready, for not having the time or ability to provide the background knowledge we want our students to come to us with?

More importantly, how do we respond?

Image credit: Courtesy of arztsamui at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Walter A. Kozlowski, Ed.S is Middle School Principal. He shares his insights on his website, Servant Principal. Follow Walter on Twitter at @ServantPrincipl.