One of the worst things about teaching first grade is the "what happens after school" deal. The kids come to us with no information about how they get home! I don't know a bus rider from a parent pick up to an after school program kid. They are all just faces at 9 am!
Most of the time, a parent, grandparent, guardian, stranger off the street will be with the child on the first day, show them where to line up and talk to the teacher for a brief moment. I always introduce myself first, say hi to the kid and then ask the parent how their child gets home. I like to know since it is pure and utter chaos when school gets out. We have "parent pick up". This is an area where parents can drive thru to pick up their kids. Or they are supposed to anyway. It seems like half the parents can't wait in line and walk up to get their kid. Nothing like 200 parents yelling and screaming for their kid who is behind a gate! Crazy! We also have an after school program, or as I refer to it "free babysitting til 6 o"clock so I don't have to be a parent and my child won't do their homework but they will learn to act worse in class" program. I understand the idea of the program, but I don't like it.
Anyway, yesterday morning, I have my little clipboard with my kids names on a list of how they get home. I hope to meet all the parents so I know. Of my 21 kids, I met about 16 parents. Not bad, but not great. All of them told me pick up, except one. He rides the bus. And his mom is the bus driver! Score! He won't get lost. Then I have to ask the kids who didn't come with a parent how they get home. They all told me pick up. OK, this could work and be good!
Then recess comes to an end at 2:30 and one of my girls tells me she goes to the after school nuthouse. Um, no one told me that! And, her parents just dropped her off. She has an older sister, so she will be OK, right? Then school ends and I have a student tell me she goes to the back gate (which goes through a park and into a neighborhood). Um, really? I tell her to wait for me, turn around to talk to a parent and then she is gone. Well, shit! Time to worry and wonder where she went! Luckily, she was to go there and made it home! And, to top off the fun, I had a students' fathers' fiance come yell at me cause his son was to be in the nuthouse, but he told me he picked him up. I guess I forgot to ask what time he was picking him up! Oh well, always something fun.
I am amazed at how many parents let their kids fend for themselves. When did 6 become old enough to be self sufficient?