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Rude Waldorf experience - Page 3

post #41 of 45
If only the administrator in the situation would follow your very reasonable recommendation for improvement. I think that what the OP saw is a result of him or her performing none of those steps. As for the OP, I think she has already done precisely what you recommend.
post #42 of 45
i think that one of the element that is difficult about this scenario is that in an information session (which i assume this was), the director/teachers are actually there for the parents.

in the information sessions that i've been to--in a variety of schools/settings (public, private, montessori and waldorf)--the teachers/directors are there to give information and answer the questions of the parents while the children have some kind of free play.

in such instances, i'm there with a *baby* and i watch him carefully because many 2-4 yr olds do not know how to play around a baby. it's ok, honestly, i know they're not being malicious.

but, most of the kids are varying degrees of "bratty." you know, they're little kids and they want and they assert and they will put up a fuss and form little units/teams and just be "bratty." please note that i say this in a light hearted way. in fact, they're just being 2-4 or 4-6 yrs old and for the most part the behavior is harmless at every level.

what i notice when i'm there is that one parent usually follows the kid to ensure safety, manners, and what not, while the other parent is there with the other parents and teachers and director asking the questions. it's more like a play-group setting than an actual educational/child-care setting *during these meetings*.

this is not to say that i think that you were wrong in your assessment, that there isn't a problem of bullying within waldorf (or any other aspect of society) that needs to be named, contemplated, and resolved, but that it may be a situation where the directors had no intention of becoming involved because, in that moment, it wasn't his/her job to be involved. s/he may have been waiting on parents, and the parents may have more tolerance for their child's behavoirs or for 'working out the squabble' or whatever you might call it (brattiness or bullying too), than the directors and teachers might, and obviously more than you did.

in the actual classroom, it may be different. i don't know if i would risk it in this instance, either, but there you go.

and as for a statement fromt he admin saying that "this place isn't for you" and wondering how they stay open. . .

it's a statement i make frequently myself. i teach yoga. i teach it in a specific way. that way isn't for everyone. i have enough students to support my business and i attract more than enough new people to keep it growing. but, truly, it is NOT for everyone. there are lots of other yoga teachers out there who may be a better fit, and i even recommend some to certain folks. honestly, it's not just egotism or whatever. it is ok to say "this place is not for me" and for someone of that group to reflect that back to you "this really isn't a good space for you, you might prefer x."
post #43 of 45
I know this is an old thread but I need to respond. I am so disappointed to hear of you and your dd's experience. I actually found this thread as I searched for "mainsteam" and "Waldorf" to see if there were any posts about this exact subject. We are a relatively mainstream family considering a local Waldorf preschool because I was turned off by emphasis on academics in all the MDO programs I've contacted. Sadly, the one we are considering is the same one in Houston that you probably visited. We are attending the visitor morning tomorrow. I was not planning to bring my daughter to observe, but perhaps I will in order to see how she is welcomed. Am I correct to assume that your dd did not enroll?
post #44 of 45
Rather than justifying the kids' behavior, I'd like to just maybe add another perspective...I think the kids were being unacceptably mean, but I'm not sure their behavior was unusual for that age. My boys both went to Orthodox Jewish religious schools, not terribly right-wing places AT ALL, but still at that age my kids made a big point of seeing the whole world as "Jewish" and "not-Jewish," where "not-Jewish" was definitely bad. That wasn't something modeled at home (we have several relatives who aren't Jewish and a lot of our family friend's aren't) and it also wasn't taught in school. I like to think we are kind people and good parents. But kids at that age really do see the world as black and white. Same thing with plastic toys in our house being not allowed...yes, they've made comments about neighbors' plastic toys. Our children are being raised in a way that is outside the mainstream. That deserves explanation, so parents and teachers are providing that explanation. At 5 or 6 years of age, it becomes hard to process the idea "it's ok for them but not ok for me" and that's why it's an age that can't really comprehend what could be termed "hypocrisy" in the bad sense or "tolerance" in the good one. I also think you have to understand that Waldorf schools are built on a particular philosophy, and if you don't share it, that your child will be in a bit of a bind, since one thing will be taught at home (plastic or media or whatever is ok) whereas another will be taught at school (plastic or media or whatever is not ok). I think honestly that either you have to buy into their philosophy and reinforce it at home or find an alternative, since...as harmless as you see your daughter's Disney doll being...that's exactly what the parents in that school are trying their damnest to escape, so they probably won't be sympathetic to your (unwittingly) undermining their efforts to raise their kids without that stuff...and (even more tricky) without their kids coveting it. People who are outside the mainstream will always have stronger opinions, since they are the ones who have to "fight the tide" in raising their children to be different. That's not necessarily a "Waldorf" thing.
post #45 of 45
chaunacey,

I want to chime in briefly here. I know the school that the OP is referring to. I also know many of the children, parents, and both teachers. If it was a typical visitor morning, the parents that were present at the time were parents of other visiting children. I think it is rare that a parent of an enrolled child would be there during visitor morning. It is very possible that the 'ringleader' or some of the other children who were pointing at the doll and visiting girl may have been visitors themselves.

I have brought my boys to this school for visitor mornings and several festival days and have had zero issues with bullying. Quite the opposite in fact. Many of the children take special care to watch out for my infant and help him up if he falls. At a recent outing, some older boys (this was a mixed outing with other waldorf families, not just families of that one school) were playing football and my toddler went up and picked it up off the ground between plays. The older boys very politely asked for it back and waited patiently for my toddler to put it into their hands, rather than grabbing the football from him. I was very impressed! Another boy didn't want to start playing again until my toddler was a fair distance away because he didn't want my little guy to accidentally get hurt.

Fair or not, I do think that a part of the problem was bringing a character doll into the school. It's something that is specifically against school policy and I would have been upset to see it there if I were a parent of one of the enrolled children. Now, that does not excuse the way the children behaved toward OP's dd. I think the director should have approached the OP about it in an effort to thwart any issues revolving around the doll specifically.

I think the make-up thing was just kids being kids. I've wear makeup every day and know other parents who do, too. I've never heard any ill comments about it from anyone.

Best of luck in your search for the perfect school.
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