How should I approach DS's preschool teacher? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 01-23-2008, 10:30 AM - Thread Starter
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DS attends a "preschool" class one day a week for 90 minutes. It's really more like a play group where the mom's don't stay. They do a craft, have circle time, sign songs, but mostly they just play.

It occured to me yesterday that the teacher never has anything positive to say about my son.

When it is time to pick up the children, the mom's gather in the hall outside the classroom, and the teacher comes out to give a rundown of the morning to all of us at once.

Sometimes during this time, she shares stories about one of the children, if they did something especially cute. Twice she has used this time (in front of the group) to tell me that DS "made her a present". In other words, had a BM. Maybe none of the other kids has ever pooped at school (which I find hard to believe, they are all 2 or early 3 yo's), but she's never mentioned anyone else's bowel habits to the group.

Last week, she told everyone about how, during the craft activity (which involved choosing either a penguin OR a polar bear to color) DS wanted BOTH, and when she told him "no", he proceeded to sneak over and get the additional one when her back was turned. When he tried to get a third, she again told him "no", he got mad and sat in a corner (typical behavior for him when he's mad. He does this at home, too.). After a couple minutes he got up, said he was sorry (also typical of him) and rejoined the activity.

Yesterday, the only thing she said to me was "he didn't want his nose wiped", but the way she said it, you'd think he was doing something evil. I mean, he's 3. How many 3 year olds want to stop playing to get their noses wiped? Just wipe it!

It wasn't until I was driving home that it really occured to me that she never says anything nice about DS. I used to teach, and when I was teaching I always found at least one positive thing to say about each child to their parent. Especially if I also had something not as positive that I had to bring up. And I tried not to talk about the "bad" stuff in front of other parents unless it directly involved them. I'd ask the mom or dad if they could stay for a moment to talk privately.

I know that, right now, he is being a very typical 3 year old. He wants to do everything himself, and he wants to do it all "his way".

Also, my husband deployed in November, and DS is going through a very trying time. Sometimes he's really mad, and he acts out his anger by being really stubborn and throwing tantrums.

I'm not saying that he deserves special treatment, but I get the feeling that she (his teacher) is not being respectful of the huge change that has recently taken place in his life. This is the first time since DS was born that DH has been deployed.

How should I approach his teacher? DH thinks I should wait a couple weeks and pay close attention to the things she says to other parents. He wonders if she's like this to everyone, and I admit that I don't really listen as she's talking to the other moms (while we are in the classroom getting coats on and collecting bookbags, etc.). Maybe she never says anything positive about any of the kids.

I'm inclined to wait after class next week and approach it in more of a "how is DS doing since his dad has been gone" sort of way, and give her the opportunity to tell me what the problem(s) might be.
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#2 of 4 Old 01-23-2008, 06:53 PM
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If you haven't been paying attention to what she says to the others perhaps it might be a good idea to listen as she talks to them to see if she's like that with them. See if this is a general pattern with her or if this is something that seems particular to your child. Her comments don't seem that mean to me but I get where you're coming from.

You could also ask her straight out "So tell me two good things DS did today" or "What cute or funny things did he do today?" if she goes off on a tanget about something like poop or his resistance to some activity.

Not every teacher is going to love every child or parent but the teacher still has to be professional and fair and it's not hard to find something positive to say about a child.

Normal is just a setting on your dryer.
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#3 of 4 Old 01-23-2008, 08:34 PM
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Are you friends with any of the other moms/dads who are at pick-up? I'd probably ask one of them if they've noticed a bias. If they have, I'd try to figure out a way to approach the teacher (which, I have to admit, would be hard for me).

What kind of a place is it? Y? Community Center? Is there a director? What does your DS say about his teacher?


Momma to 8 y.o. DS and 5 y.o. DD. Married to a Maker!

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#4 of 4 Old 01-23-2008, 09:32 PM
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I think you have to ask yourself what you're really worried about. If you think she is treating your ds like she treats all of the other children, fairly and kindly... maybe she is just a bit insensitive when it comes to dealing with parents, you might just want to forget about it and move on.
If you feel that she may be treating your ds unfairly, or maybe just doesn't like him for some reason, I would casually ask to observe a class. Just say you want to come in and see what ds has been doing, and how he is adjusting. Then take the opportunity while you are there to bring up anything you see as far as your ds's behavior (or her behavior towards him) is concerned. Good luck!

sarah, mama to e & j 8/08, and big brother 8/06
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