Parenting

My Day As a WatchDOG Dad

One of the most interesting things about having a child entering the public school system for the first time is you get to see how different education is from how it was (or at least how you remember it from when you were a child). For instance, when my wife and I attended orientation for Gleason Elementary in Cy Fair, they told us about the WatchDOG program, something that I'd never had anything like when I was a kid.

Essentially, it's an international program designed to get fathers, grandfathers, uncles and other male figures more involved in children's lives by having them volunteer at elementary schools their children attend. It's been a huge success, and more than 4,000 schools participate. Considering that roughly three quarters of all American teachers, and the vast majority of elementary school teachers, are women, according to the Department of Education, it's a great chance to bring male figures into school.

"Plus, it's been shown that having more men on campus reduces the chance of intruders," a school rep happily chirped when describing the program, as if we didn't need any more reason to be terrified in this day and age.

Still, I signed right up, and let me tell you something; one day, just one, as an all day helper in a school can change your perception of education forever. In my case, for the best.

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Jef Rouner (not cis, he/him) is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner