(Names have been changed to protect my ass as a Board member of My Charter School.)
Unfortunately, I was in Mama Rant mode the other night at the My Charter School info session. At the beginning of the meeting, we Board members gave a little intro on our backgrounds and why we got involved with our school.
I made the mistake of mentioning that I live a couple of blocks away from a neighborhood elementary school. I said I decided not to send my kids there since I heard bad things about the school. I said I was facing driving my kids 40 minutes round trip twice a day for the next 20 years and was thrilled that My Charter School gave me a local education option.
Then a parent asked me what bad things had I heard, and I proceeded to tell the whole room about a lousy teacher, low academic expectations, and average test scores. I completely fell into the trap she set for me, and while I was falling I managed to insert my foot squarely in my mouth. S-T-U-P-I-D.
Of course a parent complained via email to our enrollment coordinator and she forwarded the email to me. I knew I had screwed up at the meeting right after I opened my mouth, but didn't realize the seriousness of the matter.
So after asking our coordinator if I should do something about it, I sent the parent the following email apology and thank you:
You commented that you were disappointed with my comments and felt that I bad-mouthed and slandered my neighborhood elementary school. Mrs. Parent, you’re totally correct in your observations.
Please accept my apologies for my negativity and unprofessional behavior. Your comments reminded me I’m representing the charter school at these meetings and am not “Mama Rant Private Citizen” who enjoys complaining about everything from gas prices to my in-laws.
At My Charter School we strive for excellence and want to be good neighbors to our community and the other schools in our district. Unfortunately, on Wednesday my negative comments showed just the opposite. Thank you so much for pointing this out.
I’m new to serving on a board and am learning every day, whether it’s about education or public relations. I really appreciate you speaking your mind. It’s taught me a valuable lesson, and hope it will make me a better board member as well.
Please feel free to contact me or any of the other Board members any time you have concerns. Thank you again.
Like I said, it's been a hugely valuable lesson, not only as a board member but as a person. I tend to be on the negative side and love to complain about things. That's a downer for some people and not very professional as a Board member of a charter school.
Today's lesson - be positive when talking to people and leave the negativity for the blog.