That time LivingTree broke up with me…

True story. One day, 3 years ago, the hubs asked me “hey, did you see that LivingTree post Ms. Lemoine sent out?” No, no, I did not. Then my friend asked me, “what’s this post Ms. Folse sent about?” I had no clue.

This continued for a couple of months. I was essentially clueless about the goings on at the school. Then, one day, I had the bright idea to actually log onto LivingTree on a real computer and go to my settings. It turned out that somehow, through the magic of computers, that my notifications got turned off.

Basically LivingTree broke up with me without even as much as a postit note.

I view LivingTree as a necessary evil. We need it and it is deeply flawed. Try posting something to the school wide calendar when it’s not on the daily setting and you accidentally tell the ENTIRE SCHOOL that there is a spirit night at Sweet Frogs on that very afternoon, which happened to be a gorgeous Sunday, and everyone thought it would be a great idea to get some yogurt and support their school, when the real event was actually months away. That happened. To me. ?

So here are my basic tips to navigate it:

1. Make sure you are set to central time or else you will be an hour late to everything.
2. Make sure your notifications are turned on, so you get the emails.
3. Sometimes, the app just doesn’t work and you have to use a real computer or iPad. Especially to send a group direct message.
4. When in doubt, call the help desk, not me, because I am as clueless about it after 6 years as I was on day one. Well, maybe not completely clueless, but still…

Now: here’s my advanced tip—

Read the posts people send you. Repeat that. Read the posts people send you. Kara D’Agostino is probably the most organized, OCD sufferer and anal retentive person I know, and I say that as a compliment and she will take that as a compliment. Every week, she is sending you a message with everything you need to know for the week on it. Read it. And be grateful for her because if I sent you a sneak peek it would say something like this, “ummm…yeah, stay in school kids.”

If your teacher sends something, read it. She, or he, is telling you about what is going on in your kid’s class. It’s not just for grins.

There is a real, true phenomenon that scientists have studied called “LivingTree fatigue syndrome” wherein the affected individuals don’t read posts because they ignore their emails in the unrealistic hope of reading them later.

If this describes you, it’s ok. We’ve all been there. I am there right now. But don’t be upset if you miss red shirt-crazy hair-spirit sock-free dress day. Well, you won’t miss it, because you already did the third grade, but your kid will and likely be scarred for life, simply because you ignored an email.

Don’t let this happen to you….let your kid be scarred for life over some other valid reason, like you made them comb their hair and wear a clean jumper with knee socks on picture day.

That’s a much better reason for talk therapy later in life. Not because you didn’t read a sneak peak.

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