Sunday, February 10, 2008

DCMM: Ready, Set...ENROLL!

When you think about showing up somewhere at 5 am to be the first in a line, what does that bring to mind? Getting concert tickets? Waiting for a Running of the Brides wedding dress sale? Getting a good starting place for a running race?

Did you think about preschool enrollment?

Okay, many of you are parents, so you might have thought of that, but, c'mon, who else thinks it's ridiculous that you have to get up at the crack of dawn to get your child a spot in a preschool where they will fingerpaint and eat playdough?

I'm the person in charge of enrollment at my kids' cooperative preschool, so I've been living in this world on a regular basis. This weekend was our registration for new members and I didn't want to do it.

I didn't want to do it because we had at least 20 kids that wanted the three spots we had open for two-year-olds. I felt fortunate to have 10 spots for three-year-olds, but if you had a four-year-old, we didn't have a single spot. All of our returning members took those spaces.

We traditionally haven't been the get-there-crazy-early kind of preschool, but they are out there. I've heard of local preschools where people will pitch tents and sleep out all night. I've heard of preschools that open up rooms for people to bring sleeping bags and sleep there all for the hope of getting a spot just on the wait list.

I had to force myself to leave the house for registration because I didn't want to have to dash the hopes of multitudes of people. It's just not in my nature.

I've done this job for the past three years, so I've seen all the heartbreaks: The woman who was first on the waitlist and didn't get in because no one dropped out. The woman who enrolled one twin in hopes that her other would get a spot and then had to lose her deposit when it didn't materialize. And it's always the person who shows up fifteen minutes before registration ends who has the mistaken impression that they already had a spot and just had to come in to drop off a form.

No one cried today. No one yelled at me. But there was definitely some disappointment. Although it's really fun to sign those people up who get there early enough to get the spots.

When I first registered for preschool four years ago, I showed up at 9:30 for a 9:45 registration and got a spot. But I think I was lucky. What are your preschool registration stories?

You can read about Jean's adventures in preschool at Stimeyland.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting! May you be visited by unicorns and kittens.