Tuesday, September 09, 2008

I don't want to be that parents, but.......

So The Phi has been in school for a week now. She is doing great. She loves it, has no problems getting ready or going to bed early, being dropped off or picked up. She looks forward to it everyday and is sad on the days she doesn't go. I on the other hand I am having some problems with the school and how they are running their pre-school program. I don't know if I am just being way too over the top, or if my concerns are valid. Some of the things that are bothering me are.......
The school has 2 pre-school classrooms with two different head teachers. When The Phi was first enrolled they had her in teacher A's class. Well from the first time we had went to tour the school teacher A did not sit well with us so we asked that she be switched to teacher B. The first week was spent with the classes combined and mostly teacher B with the kids. Fine I had no problem with that because I was assured that The Phi would end up in the other classroom with teacher B. When we went to school on Monday I was informed that she would be dropped off with teacher A and spend 1 hour there until teacher B came by to take her class to her classroom. Then at lunchtime the classes would be combined at an outside picnic area. After lunch all the kids are brought back to teacher A's classroom to watch a movie! This means that The Phi will only spend between 2 1/2 - 3 hours with teacher B. 
So whats the big deal? Well teacher A is mean. In the short time I have been at the school and in the classroom. And this is just a tour and dropping off and picking up The Phi I have heard her yell, yes raise her voice at the kids. Yesterday for example, when I picked up The Phi the kids were watching a movie (oh more on the whole movie thing later) and one little girl was not sitting with the group and instead was leaning against a near by table.  The teacher A yelled "you need to sit down".  A minute later she yelled "sit down!" and then a little later she yelled even louder "you are not listening to me! sit down!" I was stunned. I couldn't believe a school teacher would talk like that to a kid in front of a parent. Here is how I think the situation should have been handled. The teacher should have walked over to the student and asked her to sit back down. Not yell from across the room. Even take her hand and lead her back to the group and explain that she needed to stay seated. Am I wrong here? The thought of her yelling at The Phi like that makes me more angry that I can tell you. 
Teacher A is not only harsh with the children, she is also harsh with the parents. Last week when teacher B was with the students she would give a brief report of how The Phi did that day. She would tell me if she ate well and a little bit about what they did that day. When I picked up The Phi from teacher A I stood there waiting for the teacher to give me my report, instead she said, "Did you have a question or something?".  Well indeed I did have a question regarding Back to School night since the school has neglected to send me any kind of paper work regarding calendars and lunch menus! She answered my question and that was it. So I have no idea how The Phi did in school on Monday. I know they have a class full of kids, but really there is only about 10 kids in each class. Is it too much to ask for a very brief report on how my child did that day? Am I asking too much here? 
Another concern  I have with all this classroom switching is that The Phi only has at the most 3 hours of actual "school" time. The first hour is spent playing and waiting for her real teacher and the last hour is spent watching a movie. Now we are far from those kind of parents that don't allow their kids to watch TV. In fact I think one of The Phi's first words was "spongebob". While at the office with me she has watched the same movies over and over and over again. I was happy that school was starting and those days of sitting in front of a television were over. Apparently they are not and now I am paying someone else to put The Phi in front of a television. Is watching a movie daily standard pre-school practice?
These are my main concerns right now. I am not sure if these concerns are valid or if I am overreacting. PR Dad is on the same page as me. We feel that we are paying for this education, not day-care and we are not rich so sending The Phi to private school is a sacrifice for us. One of course we are willing to make to give our kid a good education. I feel that we are being ripped off right now. Please people I need to know how you would handle this? We have back to school night on Thursday and I am not sure if I should voice my concerns. I don't want to be that difficult parent who the teachers hate. I run the risk of making school hard for The Phi if she is the daughter of the parents who are always complaining. 


  1. Okay...movies at preschool? Thats completely ridiculous. If I wanted my kids to watch TV, I could keep them at home and they could do it for free. I have never heard of that happening in a preschool before! About the teacher...of course she shouldnt be talking to kids that way! Unfortunately, not everyone who is a teacher is really cut out to be one. I would just request the other teacher if possible. Also why do they switch between teachers? Transition is really hard for a lot of little kids. Anyway good luck! But in my opinion, dont be afraid to ask for what you think is important for your kid!

  2. Be that parent. The Creep just started preschool as well and the teachers are kind and patient, never raise their voices and are teaching the kids the days of the week and geometric terms (dude, I just saw a four year old say "bisected cone") - the kids are loving it. The Phi deserves a terrific preschool experience too. Are there any other schools in the area that she could transfer to? I don't think it has anything to do with cost either because ours is a cooperative and half as much as any other school around.

  3. If you don't stand up to this teacher, things will only get worse! Take it from my experience - try talking to the teacher about the problem and if that gets you nowhere, then go to the principal.

    I wouldn't stand for watching movies or TV in preschool. What are they accomplishing by watching the boob tube?

  4. Anonymous11:53 AM

    Listen to your friends mija, they make alot of sense.and they are right, Let the teacher know your feeling.
    Love Pops

  5. Uh, yeah... I would be SO in the office talking about the attitude of the teacher and lack of academic interaction time. My son is also in preschool and I get a sylabis every week about what they will do everydy all day. In the combined years that both of my boys have been there I don't think they ever spent an afternoon watching a movie with the exception of a few Veggie Tales here and there. You have every right to be angry and concerned :)

  6. Anonymous4:43 PM

    Friends ask me constantly what they should look for in a preschool. One of the first things I say is, if they have the kids watch movies, RUN in the other direction!
    And about teacher A, trust me, if she was willing to yell in FRONT OF YOU, imagine what she might do when no adults are around. Trust me, I think that there are many, many great programs out there, and TONS of really bad ones, as well.

    I wish you were closer to Riverside, and I could get you in at our program. It is one of the best I have ever seen.

    If you do decide to leave, call licensing and let them know what is going on.

  7. Anonymous6:25 PM

    No, no, no- not right! Pre-school is supposed to prepare you for Kinder and Kinder for 1st, 1st for 2nd...you get the point- foundation is everything! Lis' voice your concerns to the teacher and if that doesn't work go straight to the principal/director. If that doesn't work I think it's time to shop around for another pre-school. :(

  8. No, movies are NOT standard practice for pre-school!!! Is there any other pre-school in your area? Talk to the Director.

  9. talk to the director about teacher A and about watching movies. it is not normal to watch movies in preschool. that is saved for rainy days. they switch around probably for schedule reasons (time coming in to work/breaks). the hour in the morning of playing is "school" time cause she is learning social skills and many other things through playing. she is probably getting all the structured education stuff with teacher B, which is good.


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