May I Have Your Attention Please?

“May I have your attention please?” started my official day as school principal for many years. It’s not like I thought anybody, especially the kids, would hang on my every word even if they could hear over the normal chatter and the hustle and bustle of the beginning of the school day.  When your your child tells you, ” I didn’t hear the announcement!” believe him. There are legitimate reasons they don’t hear that important announcement telling them band practice is cancelled or the baseball game has been moved to another location and it’s the last day to reserve a yearbook.

Every morning as principal, I pulled an assortment of papers of all shapes, sizes and colors, and legibility from a magnet near the public address system., which was in a well traveled hallway, not in a nice little office somewhere. The quality of my announcements was then directly related to the scribbling on those papers, often thrust into my hand as announcements were being made.  Rydell’s principal McGee on Grease and her “If you can’t be an athlete, be an athletic supporter,” is a classic. And, yeah, the quality of PA systems in schools is usually great if you are standing in the same room!

Now, once announcements are started, many things could possibly happen to keep my voice from reaching your child’s ear.  It’s quite likely that the cute girl two rows over or last night’s homework being hurriedly scribbled will take priority over my melodic voice. And, unbelievably, some teachers can’t keep kids quiet for five minutes, or simply don’t care to. Your child’s twirling brain has 15 friends, personal appearance concerns, overdue assignments, soccer practice and the fight she had with her brother at breakfast twirling through her brain!

So, cut your kid some slack if they didn’t hear the announcement and you can’t find the baseball field, band practice or your sanity! I promise it’s a legit excuse.  But, just FYI, announcements are NEVER the only way kids get the info!