need advice on problem with my montessori school - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 02-06-2005, 04:13 AM - Thread Starter
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I have a sensitive subject to discuss with my almost 3yr olds' montessori guide and need outside opinion

she repeatedly uses harsh tones and says unkind things to him and other children. example: " hurry up and hang up you coat your mother cannot wait for you" and to an older child "i have told you how to spell that word already, i am not going to tell you again"

I arranged a meeting to discuss his districability in the classroom, and it turned into a lecture about my parenting style, and that if I dont' make him put away one toy before gettign out the next, he won't inprove in teh classroom ,
I said that I generally do that, although sometimes I felt that I was being was too strict, and she said that i must not be making him clean up because oterwise he wouldn't go from one thing to the next in the classroom.

A gentle reminder would generally suffice for him, when i used an example of me being to harsh on him and the resulting erratic behavior because he was frustrated, she began lecturing me on my parenting!!!!! I was trying to give an example of how when she comes down on him for everything, he balks.

At parent night ( i did not see the arm grabbing) my husband said she grabbed his arm because he got out the sweing activity that he had not been given a lesson on!!!!!!!!!!

I am trying to think of a way to bring this up without causing too much of a problem, I'm not sure how recpetive she will be. The owner of the school is not receptive at all. She has repeatedly mentiond my young age ( 24) and I do know that I am at the fourth plane of development, but that does not mean that I am not a competant parent, I think I try to learn more than many parents who are ten years older than me.

The teacher has been sick , and we sent her a care package with herbs and tea for colds ect. maybe she is just too stressed,maybe if someone shows her kindness she will feel better and be kinder to the children, but it is not cool to always s be harsh with the children, especially after telling me that saying "no" was not a good thing to do.

She accidentally gave him a cupcake yesterday ( he is allergic to several foods and has his own treats) then called me, but did not give him benadryll, ( this is the third time, once he snuck one and once a child gave him some of her cookie "on the down low" )
I have sent books about food allergies along to school ( as is common to share books) and the owner acts as if I'm overreacting, (but fails to give the meds he needs after he has eaten something allergic)

she did call later to see if he was ok, that was before the worse symptoms started. She opened up a bit, said thanks for the care package and did say she loves all the children and that they keep going/ her sharp.

I am afraid that sending him on Monday may be irresponsable, but don't want to be over reacting either
I need to discuss her harsh words, maybe she is just burnt out, we are killing ourselves to send him to this school and it's just been added stress and actuall danger for our little one!!!!! IF we find a new school I think we should get our money back for all this stress!!! But I don't want to switch him and have to re-adjust if it' sgoing ot be better from now on. I can handle the owner looking down on me if my son is being nurtured in the classromm and is eating safe foods only ( i provide them regularly and have treats for b-days in thier freezer)
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#2 of 7 Old 02-06-2005, 12:11 PM
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listen to your gut mama. it does not sound like a good match.

i can hear the concern in your voice for your son and hate that they have made you doubt yourself.

even if you talk to them, i seriously doubt that it will change the way the teacher talks to the students. it sounds like she has no respect for them or for you.

food allergies are a serious issue and they are not taking it seriously. red flag!!!

i would start looking for another school. there are some great resources on the board about montessori and many knowledgable mamas.
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#3 of 7 Old 02-06-2005, 12:20 PM
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That sounds awful!

Our son's Montessori teachers are extremely gentle and softspoken. They seem to have that "teacher magic" that allows them to command respect from the kids without shouting.

The harsh speaking is one thing, but the ignoring of the medical needs is worse. I would hesitate to send a child back into that environment.
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#4 of 7 Old 02-06-2005, 02:16 PM
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YOU know what is best for your son. My children are both in Montessori schools and I have never heard disrespectful talk about or to the children from their teachers. Also our shcool has one child with severe allergies and the school has made many accomidations including teaching all teachers and staff how to adminster epi pen injections. There is also a laminated sheet next to each phone in the building listing the food allergies in catagories of life threating to less serious with procedure to follow for each and all the phone numbers they would need. The staff also sent out literature to other parents to help decrease the chance of contamintion at school and had his parents address the other parents at school meetings to help with the learning process. Does your school have a parent organization? If so that might be another place to take your concerns if you are still not sure what to do. If there is no parent organization I would be concerned anyway. Montessori schools should foster community and collaboration not point fingers about "bad" parenting.

Good Luck
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#5 of 7 Old 02-06-2005, 03:16 PM
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I think as montessori parents, we will let our children stay in bad situations because we do believe in the basis of the philosophy. I know I did, and I finally withdrew her after winter break. Hating school, at 3 years old, was so disheartening. In a different style, and more importantly, different staff, she's thriving now. I think you have a teacher issue, not a montessori issue. I would be concerned in traditional preschool with that sort of teacher - please try to find another option. I thought "sticking it out" was better, but the change, even mid year, has been night and day with my daughter. Her home behavior has improved, too. Perhaps it was her age, or the failure to mesh with the head directress, but either way, we were unhappy although her classroom behavior was fine!
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#6 of 7 Old 02-07-2005, 03:22 AM
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I pmed you.

Your son's teacher has a problem. If she will grab your son's arm and speak to him harshly right in front of you (when you would expect her to be on her "best" behavior) then what is she doing when you are not around?

Please understand that this is a teacher issue, not a Montessori issue. Montessori education stresses respect for each child, not harsh reprimands. If she is having a problem with behavior in her classroom she should be having lessons in grace and courtesy to "prevent" issues rather than always reacting to them.

Good luck!
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#7 of 7 Old 02-07-2005, 12:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you to everyone for "listening"
I should not have let them doubt my mothering intuition, we are searching for another school. We may not be able to afford it, but if we can't, I could purchase some materials and let him use them as he wishes at home. Maybe think more about getting my montessori certification, I have been thinking about that for quite a while.

I could move him the school's other children's house classroom in another town, however the owner's attitude towards young parents will not change, they act as if they are food allergy experts, yet they didn't follow my directions about my son's treatment , giving benadryll is not difficult. He has had bloody bathroom problems and hives and scratching all weekend, typical allergy response, but it was still hard for him and should not have happened.

AMI certification does not mean they are a great school!!!!!! The "just"AMA certified school is 2 grand more per year, but they are much more professional, have a nicer facility with better security, and they do have a opening. There are also only 24 children in the classroom, not 32 as with his current school. The guides are not AMI trained, however. It means 30 min one way on the free-way, and finding a 10hr per wk job in that town, but I'm pretty sure it's worth it.

He will miss the assistant terribly, she was wonderfull, but that can't make up for the unkind actions of the directress

IF anyone knows of a montessori school near Valley Forge PA please send me the information I am specifically looking for a small school with fewer children.

Thank you all again
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