My very first open letter. I may just frame it.

I took Helena for a walk this past Monday at 1:00 p.m., in the frigid, arctic air because it was either that or hop in the car and drive it up the nearest wall and I couldn’t find my keys.

Monday was a “Superintendent’s Day” when the elementary kids didn’t have school because some geniuses in administration smoked too much crack and decided that Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans’ Day, Thanksgiving week, Christmas week,Β  New Year’s week, Martin Luther King Day, February recess, Good Friday, Easter, spring recess, Memorial Day, two unused snow days, an assortment of mysterious “exam scoring” days, not to mention almost three months of summer vacation, isn’t enough down time for the students.

I wonder how many of those geniuses have children?

Under the age of 10?


And so, on behalf of moms everywhere who played 72 rounds of Go Fish this past Monday, I present my first open letter, addressed to superintendents everywhere:


Dear Superintendent,


Would you be so kind as to clarify the purpose of a Superintendent’s Day?

What do you do on your special day? What can’t be done while kids are learning fractions and the anatomy of earthworms within the confines of brick walls and tiled hallways and whiteboards and little desks, far far away from anything remotely resembling a hall closet filled to the brim with WHAT CAN WE PLAY NOW, MOM? CAN WE PLAY THIS NEXT? AND THIS AFTER THAT? MOM? MOM? MOM?

Do you need the classrooms for something? And the gym? The library? The cafeteria? The auditorium? The cafetorium? Locker #62 down the hall from the Principal’s office?

You are aware that we have 7 elementary schools in our district, right? That’s a lot of lockers, I think.

Are you throwing a party? Exactly how popular do you think you are? And how come I wasn’t invited? Not that I could have made it anyway, since I had a child at home that day. But you knew that already, didn’t you? Of course you did.

If you’re having a party, why not rent out a banquet room at the local Holiday Inn Express and leave our children happy and content in an environment funded by our tax dollars? Isn’t a Holiday Inn Express supposed to make you smarter? That’s what the commercials say. So you get smarter and our children get smarter. Doesn’t that qualify as a win/win?

Why, yes it does, according to the The Big Book of Mom. Asks all the moms in our district, if you’re skeptical. They’ll tell you, but only after they wake up from their MOM! I’M BORED! WHAT TIME IS IT? THERE’S NOTHING TO DO comas.

Are you worried it would be too expensive? Concerned about the budget? You know, I bet every single one of our moms would chip in a buck or two to make it happen. Although you might want to wait a week or ten before you ask them. Yelling DO I LOOK LIKE CHUCK E. CHEESE all day and begging kids to play a new game called “Hold Your Breath Until You Turn Blue, Whoever Faints First, Wins” tends to suck the happy right out of you, not to mention oxygen, especially if you’re really good at it.

Do you require that all teachers be present and accounted for on your special day? I’m assuming so, as apparently there is no one available to teach our children. Although I have heard of this nifty new concept of a “substitute teacher.” Look it up.

Are you just looking for some “me” time? Some grown-up time? A playdate with your peers? With conversation that doesn’t include WATCH THIS, MOM! NO, WAIT. OK, NOW. WATCHΒ  ME, MOM! DID YOU SEE IT? WATCH IT AGAIN!

Well, guess what? So were the 5,000+ moms who had no time to grocery shop over the weekend and thus served stale crackers, onion powder and a pickle to their kids for lunch on Monday and then to their husbands for dinner that night, because they were too tired to grocery shop after having been woken up at 7:00 a.m. that morning, with a poke and a stare and a few renditions of MOM, I’M BORED. THERE’S NOTHING TO DO.

Didn’t they teach this stuff in superintendent college?

By the way, why does your special day fall on a Monday? Aren’t Mondays hard enough simply by being Mondays? You have seven days to choose from … why Monday? Did you know that Monday is the day that God set aside for moms to do all the stuff they can’t do on Saturday and Sunday because the kids are home from school? It says so in the Bible. Go ahead, check. I’ll wait.

On second thought, no, I won’t.

Here’s a novel idea … how about scheduling your special day on one of the umpteen breaks the kids already get during the year? You’ll have your pick of seasons. Bonus! Just think about it … you could go skiing or swimming, skating, leaf collecting or golfing. Whatever floats your expensive,Β  overcrowded, bureaucratic boat.

Or hey, how about scheduling it on the weekend?

The unused snow days?

Before school?

After school? You could take the late bus.

During the assortment of half days scheduled for parent/teacher conferences?

Or how about on those vague, mysterious, “exam scoring” days?

Or … now I know this might sound a bit loopy but let’s throw it out there and see if the cat licks it up … how about during the nearly three months of summer vacation?

I know, right? It just came to me! Out of the big, vast, entity we like to call BLUE.

So, my dear superintendent, just to be clear, in case there is any doubt … I wholeheartedly reject, as a classic example of UNECESSARY STUPID, the entire concept of your special day. With so much time off of school during the year, I see no valid reason to pull the kids out on a perfectly good Monday unless toxic fumes or flooding is an issue and even then, suck it up, put on a gas mask and move to higher ground. Are we a nation of wussies, for heaven’s sake?

And please know that I write this not because I’m cranky from shopping at Helena’s Magic Gift Shop Emporium three hours straight on Monday.

I write this because on the worldwide, supersonic highway that we call education, I’m tired of feeling as though we are putzing along on the inside lane in a rusty, old beater, stopping every couple of miles so that the ancient and decrepit radiator that we’ve repaired eleventy billions times already doesn’t overheat and seize up our engine.

*whooooosh* *whooooooosh* *whoooooooooooooooooooooooosh*

Did you see that, superintendent?

It was the blur of other countries whipping by us at the speed of light, while we’re stuck on the shoulder, trying to fix a flat with a broken lug wrench.

*cough* *cough* *cough* *cough*

And that’s us, choking on their dust. And all the bugs that just flew into our mouths.

I don’t like bugs.

So, my dear superintendent, please take a second look at your calendar and schedule your special day accordingly.

And now, I’m off to hop in my car and scour the neighborhood in search of my right buttock that froze and fell off during our walk this past Monday. Regrettably, it did not take its brethren on the left side of my fanny with it, leaving me a bit … lopsided. Regardless, I shall forward any and all medical bills to your attention.


Half Assed


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34 thoughts on “My very first open letter. I may just frame it.”

  1. Avatar

    haha … I LOVED this? Mail it, please mail it. We must rage against this thing called superintendent’s day!! … Like we pay them to take vacations. I smell an AIG scandal here!

  2. Pingback: Anonymous

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    Oh AMEN sister. I could’ve written this letter myself yesterday.

    Yes, I said yesterday. Not *Monday* like your district, but *yesterday* – *Tuesday* to be exact.

    Because the super-duper-super geniuses that pass for administrators in *our* district? They not only schedule these Superintendent’s days, but they schedule them for TUESDAYS.

    So, we have the weekend off, then the kids go back to school on Monday, then BANG, they have Tuesday off to get all out of kilter, then whoops, it’s Wednesday and now the kids have to go back to school. So jarring and disconcerting and weird and WTH? and wrong!

    So, at least you don’t have *that* issue to deal with in your district, that’s all I’m saying here.

    Now pardon me while I go floss these bugs outta my teeth. Bugs are a good source of protein, right? That’s what all those Survivormen keep telling my husband when he watches them on the Discovery Channel. You know, the ones named Bear…

  4. Avatar

    Love the letter!

    We just had Thursday and Friday off last week for ‘in service days’. If they are in service, doesn’t that mean they should be teaching? We had the Friday before that off for “Administrative day”.

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    I need a daily reminder to get my butt over here. Being miserable from pregnancy, labor, and a newborn are no excuse to miss out on what you throw out there. I am rolling on the floor man.

    I’m still wishing spring break was shorter. I didn’t think I’d make it through last week.

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    Woot! Woot! Woot! Don’t even get me started on the mysterious “teachers just don’t get enough free days” days off.

    Funny you bring this up today, because I was getting ready to draft a letter to the junior high school principal, asking why things like fall sports sign ups, open house, and other such things are all being scheduled at 10:00am on a weekday.

    I realize that I’m one of the miserable slob moms who [shhhhhh….don’t tell anybody, I have to work!] isn’t a stay at home country club PTO mom.

    These things irk me to no end.

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    Oh my Gosh-it’s AIG all over again! When will Americans stand up and say “No more Superintendent’s Day” as a million seconds away from kids bonus? Is there an online petition we could sign….? (Just kidding)

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    In defense of my profession, those days (required by federal and state governments) are usually spent going over school and student data, learning new teaching mandates, being trained on new programs, and getting stuff done in classrooms that can’t be done with 30+ children breathing down OUR necks :0) And while most teachers do go in early and stay late…we need some catch-up days just like the rest of the population! So rest assured, the superintendent/in-service days aren’t all that fun…just necessary.
    (our system usually has them on Fridays though. Which makes much more sense to me!)

    Funny letter though :0)

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    Andrea, you have to simply re-orient your children. In my house, days off are Chore Days. They get a list in the morning and they have to complete those chores before they can do anything fun.

    If my kids ever say to me “I’m bored” I give them the reply I got to that as a child “Well I am sure we can find lots of chores for you to do around the house.”

    If your children do not want to cooperate with chores, simply take away all their fun things like Nintendo, favorite shoes, etc., until they agree to see things your way. Make them earn back those things.

    You are too nice. LOL

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    Amen, sister! Way too many days off school. And on top of all of those, the teachers get sick days, personal days and vacation days. Are you freaking kidding me?!

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    The FULL days off I can deal with, it’s going in for TWO hours that kills me. They do NOTHING at school yet we must drive them over and turn around and come back. Just so they can count it as a half day…. this is the stupidest thing EVER! All it does is royally mess up the day.

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    These are the reasons I work outside the home, and Cowgrit is the stay-at-home parent. She has patience for this kind of stuff, I not so much. I might have taken the kids to school and dropped them off to stare in the superintendent’s window.

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    OMG! That was funny! And smack right on? Those “extra days” that these kids get, drive me up the wall, cuz I know where my keys are. I wish you would mail that letter. That would be a hoot!
    Get this. The kids in our county, they no longer get to do travel sports. So evreyone in the school who tries out gets makes the team, and they divide them into teams that play each other.
    Why is this? Because there is no money in the budget!

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    I didnt realise other countries had those days too. Here we call them ‘pupil free days’ and they always seemed to be on a Friday or Monday. Funny that! As for the bored thing…..I always used to say to my kids ‘intelligent people never get bored’ and it used to drive them crazy which passed the time on those endless days home from school.

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    You crack me up!!! I feel your pain! We do not have Superintendent’s Day here in Canada – at least not where I teach. We do have 6 professional days a year which are always filled with workshops, data analysis and other truly exciting stuff. The kids always love them because they get a day off school. Not so sure what the parents think of them. Maybe they are all writing letters like yours to our superintendent!!!! If you wait long enough your daughter will become pubescent like mine and want to spend all her time in her room and say “go away” every time you try to open the door and you will vaguely remember that you really did give birth to a child many years ago and you just hope that the day will come when she wants to have anything to do with you again! I hope that you send that letter – it would be too funny!

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    hmmmm….as another teacher, I would also tend to defend this, although we don’t have “superintendent’s days.” We do have occasional (twice a year?) inservice days in which we are required to attend meetings and things.

    And to commenter number 18…I have 150 teenagers in my classroom every single day. I arrive at school at 6:45 in the morning and I don’t leave until 4:30 in the afternoon. Sometimes I bring work home and work on it weekends…when other people are hanging out with their kids or shopping for shoes. I work on lesson plans and take classes about teaching during the summer and I even dream about lesson plans that will somehow motivate my recalcitrant sophomores (remember being 16?) to want to learn about things like the Industrial Revolution and Agricultural Imperialism. So if I take an occasional day off (and I mean 2-3 PER YEAR), I think that might be ok.

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    You know, I don’t think my son’s school has a Superintendent’s Day. I think because we’re in Wyoming and there are too many potential snow days. Ugh.

    The other day my son got sent home early because of snow and then he basically just stared at me the entire time, waiting for me to entertain him. He was all, “Can I paint? Can I cook? Can I jump off the couches?”

  18. Avatar

    ROTFLOL!!! Ok so ours aren’t called Superintendent’s Day BUT of course there’s a ton of other names for them πŸ™‚ Umm..hope you don’t mind, I just copied/pasted that letter, will change appropriate words and of course give YOU credit πŸ˜‰ and yes! I will mail!! From a different post office of course πŸ˜€

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    Feel free to send the excess days off this way! Our local school district got their President’s Day and two days of spring break taken away to make up for the snow we’ve gotten. Going three months and then another month and a half without a break is tough for kids and teachers alike!

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