Ignore crying kids on playground? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 09-11-2010, 02:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Is it normal Montessori practice to ignore children who are crying on the playground?

My friend called me in tears tonight to say that she's considering withdrawing her child from the school because of what she saw on the playground. My DD was supposed to start at the same Montessori preschool this week but stayed home due to sickness. Now I'm thinking about dropping the school, too.

Friend was concerned about how well her 3yo child would handle the transition to school, so she watched the kids playing on the playground before they went to their classes. She saw that her daughter was in tears and that none of the supervising adults seemed to notice. Child was crying for ~30 minutes. When the kids lined up to go inside, my friend saw another small child standing in line, crying and with wet pants. At no time did she see any adult express concern or comfort to either kid.

What possible good explanation could there be? It's the first week of school and there are ~80 kids on the playground, many of whom are new and very young. Why wouldn't the adults be watching like hawks, and facilitating friendships and play?
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#2 of 4 Old 09-11-2010, 05:08 AM
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No, that''s not Montessori, it is just plain old lack of proper supervision. That can happen in a school of any philosophy if it isn't well run and staffed.

That never happens at DS's school, I observed for ages at the begin of DS's first year, b/c he was very anxious. If a student is upset, the teacher tries to comfort him/her. If the teacher is unable to comfort the student within a few minutes, the student gets one on one attention from the director. The director usually takes the student for a walk outside and talks with them. If the student really just can't calm down, then they call mom and suggest trying again tomorrow.

Students are never left in wet clothing. There are always enough teachers available to take a student inside immediately to use the potty or get changed during recess.

I would find a new school, if you trust her description. If your in any doubt about the accuracy at all (mommies get separation anxiety too sometimes,) then you might want to observe yourself before you decide.

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#3 of 4 Old 09-11-2010, 08:26 PM
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No, that is DEFINITELY not Montessori. That's not any educational philosophy that I know of, except the neglectful kind. There's no excuse for those things. If they can't properly supervise 80 kids, they shouldn't have 80 kids. I'd pull her.

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#4 of 4 Old 09-11-2010, 08:34 PM
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Yeah - not acceptable. It has nothing to do with Montessori, and everything to do with poor managment of the staff who is on duty at the playground.

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