Should Schools Make "Volunteering" Mandatory? 35037

This is a sample of Facebook feed from yesterday: "Anybody in the same classes with Ryan?" (and accompanying pic of Ryan's schedule), "We got Mrs. G for kindergarten. Post who you got," "Why isn't my mail here yet? Not knowing Jeremy's teacher is driving me mad." As you can surmise,  many families with kids in my local public school district received notifications about their child's teacher, and, if they had kids in middle or high school, a full schedule of the classes. Kids got into the act too: texting and FaceTiming each other and, if they had an account, posting their teacher and class assignments on Instagram.

No doubt that social media is changing the first day of school. Sure, when my middle-schooler was in kindergarten, I called a few moms of her preschool friends to see if their kids were assigned the same teacher. I continued making those calls throughout elementary school. It was comforting for my daughter to know one or two kids who were in her class—and have a couple of days to digest the disappointment of a BFF getting a different teacher than her. She also had many happy surprises on the first day when she discovered that a friend she hadn't talked to all summer was in the same class. But I fear that those days are gone.

Just a few hours after one of my daughter's friends pulled the letter out of her mailbox, she said she knew already knew 15 kids who were going to be in her math class thanks to the slew of texts and social-media messages that she and her mom received. And since school doesn't start for another two-and-a-half weeks, there's a lot of time for her to dwell on not being in any classes with her BFF—time that could have been spent enjoying a care-free summer!

Since we're never going to be able to return to pre-social media era, I'm hoping that schools will send out assignments later next year—just a few days in advance. Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I really don't want to think about school when there are plenty of trips to the playground and pool left. What's your take—do you want a heads-up way in advance or are you okay with a few days notice? Tell me in the comments.

Karen Cicero is Contributing Nutrition and Travel Editor at Parents. Find her on Twitter @karencicero or on Instagram at Karen.Cicero.