Being parent of a student in a Montessori school

So here I am as a new parent in this Montessori school.

Our eldest daughter had returned in January (there was no spot for the start of the September school year, but a spot had become available afterwards), and as early as February, curious and positive after the first few weeks, I see an invitation for an “extraordinary general meeting” of the parents’ association. Let’s go !

A surprising parents’ meeting

And now… how can I say this? The meeting is clearly not what I expected…. It must be said that there was no precise agenda except for “organization of activities for the end of the year”, a rather vague title. At least in my memory, because it goes back a few years already! I say this in case some of my readers have attended the same scene and have a very different view of it, I will be happy to discuss it with them.

The current president welcomes us, and begins to explain that this is her second year as president, that the first year has been great, that so many projects have been proposed for this year but she is no longer doing well, that she has too much to do, that she is not getting enough help, that everyone is always willing to organize events but that after that when we get down to business there is no one left. And that she can’t take it anymore and quit! In the middle of the school year (it is February and it is particularly important to prepare for the end of year celebration).

The audience was obviously taken aback, no one was aware of it, except that some felt that something was wrong. But they had no idea about this decision. Several people try to get her to reconsider her decision, but nothing works. We have to face the facts, we will have to elect a new president. 

And of course, no one volunteers: many voices are raised to say that of course they are willing to help, to participate to ensure that the planned projects can take place, but not from there to become president. e. Problem…

Engaging in an associative school

I already had quite a few years of associative commitment behind me, mainly in the professional world: at the time of this meeting I was a director of the ARADEL association, the Rhône-Alpes Association of Local Economic Developers, the people who work, for the most part within local authorities, to welcome and support companies; and I had been a director in a local Crédit Mutuel bank, you know the bank “which belongs to its member-clients”. Two very different experiences, but which in any case made me no more afraid of becoming president than that. 

Even if it was a little bold, just a month after arriving in school. 

These are sometimes (often?) the accidents of the path of associative governance.

In any case, after a former president (who was going to leave school the following year and therefore did not want to return to this position) assured me of his support and guidance, I am the only candidate, and valiantly elected president of the parents’ association. The honour is safe, things can continue. For my part, I am not finished seeing any more green and ripe steps regarding the functioning of associations. We will certainly talk about it again, it is one of my main concerns….