Recently, I enrolled Lola in a brand new school. The school is a top rated and well respected Charter school that has been around for quite some time, but the campus is brand spanking new. It’s a very exciting time, as the school is developing which makes for a great opportunity for my nosey self to get involved. I was thrilled when I received a letter reflecting a meeting and election for the Parent, Teacher, Principal and Superintendent committee that was being formed, a PTA of sorts. The committee would meet four times per year to discuss budgets, development plans, activities and all that good school “stuff”. I immediately knew that I would be running for one of the two elected parent positions.
Election morning came and I flew out of bed like a wild woman. I quickly dressed Lola, and informed Chris he would be tagging along as well. After all, I needed that extra vote! We headed to the school, made our way to the Kindergarten classroom and one of the parents was already waiting outside of the classroom with his four kids. I immediately sized him up, as I raced inside to grab the best seat, like the nutcase that I am. I sat down in the tiny children’s chair and prepared myself. I removed my notebook, pen and documents relating to the election, and turned to find Chris laughing at me. I was ready!
Following my entrance, the man who I had seen outside walked in and took a seat. Immediately following the man was a woman I had seen at Orientation. This was great! There were only three of us running for the election, but because I brought Chris, I was guaranteed to win. Perfect. I wasn’t concerned with the fact there weren’t others there to run, I chalked it up to being so early in the morning. At 7:30 am sharp, the principal began to speak. As she explained the details of the program and election, I secretly wanted her to hurry up, so to ensure no other competitors filed in and jeopardized my chance of winning. As the Principal ended her speech, she informed us that we would have to stand and speak briefly about why we were qualified for the position. Speech! I didn’t receive any information that stated I needed to prepare for a speech. I have always been a confident person, and have no trouble speaking to anyone. However, I don’t do well speaking to large groups. I knew it wasn’t going to be a problem since there were only a few of us in the room. So, when the Principal nodded at me I stood and made a brief speech. It wasn’t a great speech, but not terrible either. I explained that I transferred Lola from a previous Charter school, that I was extremely familiar with the curriculum, had a strong interest in developing new Aftercare activities and had every child’s best interest at heart. Following my little speech, we all recorded our votes on a slip of paper and placed it on the desk in front of us. I was psyched! I knew I had won, it was guaranteed.
As the Principal moved from her desk to pick up the votes, she noticed out of the corner of her eye a group of parents. NOOOOOOOO! My mind started to race. She better not allow these parents to run for the two open positions, or even vote for that matter. After all, they were late and didn’t follow the directions listing where the meeting would be held. I was devastated when the Principal walked outside and waved the group of parents over to our building. I sat and watched as parent after parent piled into the classroom. To make matters worst, I started to freak out when I realized I would have to present my speech in front of all of them. Once all the parents had settled in, and there were a lot, the Principal asked if anyone else would like to run. I was somewhat relieved that none of the parents raised their hands. Next, the Principal informed everyone that the three candidates would make a speech, and then everyone would vote again. My palms immediately became sweaty, I started feeling nauseous and began trying to memorize a winning speech in my head.
First was the man. He explained how his father was a Principal, how he worked for children’s charities and his career dealt with the Florida Children’s Trust. Oh, shit…how can I top that? Next was the lady. She was relaxed, composed and informed everyone that she has all the time in the world to dedicate to the committee. Finally, it was my turn and the crowd all directed their attention to me. I stood up and my mind went blank. There were parents everywhere, so I began turning to my right, turning my left and looking behind me. I looked as if I had a twitch of sorts. Next I began to speak and became tongue tied. I wouldn’t be surprised if the parents thought I had a nervous tick and a stutter. It wasn’t pretty! I can’t quite remember exactly what I said, but I raced through that speech in under thirty seconds, while everyone including Chris looked at me like I was a bright pink alien. I knew as I sat down that I had sealed my fate, and I would not be a part of that committee.
As the two winning names were read, my name was not one of them. Chris and I began to chuckle, and the chuckle turned into laughter. The ugly display I had just made in front of these parents was quite entertaining and funny. I will be honest, I was disappointed I didn’t win, not to mention that it was a very humbling experience. I am extremely competitive and don’t take losing well, not to mention my main agenda was to contribute to Lola’s educational makeup. But I will be fine, dust the dirt off my shoulders and run for room mother. I guarantee you this, I will have my speech fully prepared and ready for this next election!