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Old 03-02-2011, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi! I'm new to these boards and would love to share in some collective wisdom. Educating our kid has become quite an adventure!

So my husband and I moved mountains and upset our current provider to get my 3 year old DD into a great part time program . Max 4 kids, totally project and child driven environment with this AMAZING teacher. Little did we know that she's incredibly radical politically and ultra crunchy. We thought it would be fine...

Well, on the first day it seems we did a lot of very bad things by just walking through the door. Literally. No marked entrance or exit, so DD and DH were instructed to go back out and in correctly. In the rain. Okaley Dokaley. The doors are within 2 feet of each other.

I totally get the ban on toys and no shoes on. An action figure was found inside a shoe in her back pack . But the teacher searched my Kid's back pack and sent my DH away with anything she didn't like.

The instructor also disallowed my Kid's backpack and sippy cup, too, and sent it back with him.So this is where I am stumped. This is a part-day program, and some days my DH drops off and I pick up, because we have staggered work hours- sometimes it'll be vice versa. Well, we go places and do things afterwards. So, if she isn't allowed a back pack or sippy, how do we make sure she has what she needs for the rest of the day?

She uses a regular cup, but she needs a sippy for rides in the car. Same for the change of clothes, extra sweater, shoes, lunch, etc. She may not need all that stuff while there, but will need it for later in the day after she leaves. If it stays in her cubby, I don't see what the issue is.

As much as I want to be cooperative, my head is swimming at the logistics of taking my kid from place to place and not being able to pack a back pack for her for the entire day. I can't figure out how to be prepared for other activities like swimming, gymnastics, care provider and play dates then nothing for new place). That on top of lunch,

My DH takes public transit and parks his car in a lot, so we can't have stuff hanging out the cars. There are times my DH and I tag team so he might pick up or I as well as drop off depending on work and other responsibilities. So having proper stuff on hand would be a huge pain if she isn't allowed a back pack.

How do you all do it? I had no idea there was anything "wrong" per se about a back pack or
sippy? I carry a water bottle and roll laptop bag with alot of stuff and doing so has served me well. Tips?
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Old 03-02-2011, 07:32 PM
 
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Have you had a discussion with her about the need to send this stuff in her backpack. What exactly is her objection to the backpack and sippy? Can she offer alternatives which help you and she can live with?


Mama to two loqacious and bouncy boys.
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Old 03-02-2011, 07:46 PM
 
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The backpack thing is weird!!....I would discuss your individual concerns. Maybe you can store a bag in the office or another area for the sole purpose of you and DH needs rather than for preschool. I cant see how that would be a big deal.

 

The teacher may not want to have the back pack in the cubby if other students arent allowed due to rules, but if you kept a bag in another location (ask her where!) for the specific reasons you stated I cant imagine why it would be a concern.

 

If you dont bring in a backpack- how do your kids take things back/forth to school?? We (I work at a preschool) send all sorts of art and papers home. A backpack is essential for keeping it all together.

 

Do they not allow a change of clothes?? That again, is odd. We keep a change for all students in their cubbies. Preschoolers have bathroom accidents, get really messy/dirty, spill on themselves, and/or sometimes  need to change for various reasons. I cant imagine NOT having extra clothes for each child!

 

We dont allow toys from home, but if they *do* (and they do) come to school in a backpack- we just leave them in the backpack. No harm. I dont think we ever 'search' a backpack unless we are looking for a change of clothes for a student or they are looking for something specific (glove, etc) and we help them.

 

The sippy may be a Health Dept. rule.  At our preschool- outside/open drinks are not supposed to be brought in unless they are kept in hand (a parent carrying a coffee) for health reasons. Kids drinks/cups are provided at school- special dietary needs are also provided so parents do not have to bring it in ( ex: child that does not drink dairy, school provides soy milk.). Food/drinks kept in cubbies (even stored) can attract mice and other creatures- esp if they accidently spill or leak.

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Old 03-02-2011, 08:36 PM
 
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it sounds really strange,  my children have been in 2 diffferent preschools and 2 different elementary schools.  All were required (including kindergarten) to have a ziplock bag of extra clothes, just in case. This stayed at school for the year so there was no carrying back and forth. All require shoes inside, I think it is a fire regulation. They also all have fire drills as that is mandatory, so i don't see how you could go without shoes. Toys were not allowed and if brought had to stay inside your backpack or cubby. The elementary schools this was a locker outside the classroom, toys only came out at recess. preschool, 1 it was a cubby and a hook outside the classroom, one was a hook and shoe basket inside the classroom. you came in took off your coat, took your indoor shoes out of the basket, if you brought a toy it stayed inside that basket until you left at the end.

 

 

Did she happen to look in the backback and see these abjectionable things, or did she purposely go looking for things? If so that is really strange!

 

I;m not sure why the sippy cup is so objectionable, would a spill proof sports bottle go over better?

 

I totally see why you need to have those things there, when someone else is doing pick up, I think if they cannot accomodate you they are being really unreasonable.

 

 

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Old 03-02-2011, 11:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for the responses. We had a nice talk when I came to pick DD up. It appears our family is an oddity for her program. The other kids have a parent home full time, so I guess the teacher didn't consider the shuffling and juggling that occurs with two parents who work ( flexible, strange hours, too). That's what makes it possible for DD to go to a very hour-restricted but incredibly wonderful program.

Once I explained a few things, I could see how relieved she was. DD uses her sippy for on the go water access, but leaves it in her back pack, and yes indeed drinks from regular cups. And yes, she had three pairs of shoes-- athletic shoes, rain boots and slippers ( for the indoor play time since it's a no-indoor-shoe place). And yes, she had a sweater, a puffy coat and a raincoat-- all of which she was going to need in the various places DD was going to be over the course of the day. And yes, she had a HUGE lunch, with GASP, a child sized cliff bar. DD knows to not eat the granola bar until after nap or after pick-up. I showed the teacher the special pouch to put any food in DD's lunch that was not allowed to be eaten until after program.

I made it clear that she needed the back pack and accessories not for the program, but for the rest of the day. She was so relieved to know that my kid is very easy going and not wedded to her "stuff", that bringing in a fully loaded back pack was something she admitted without prompting was a necessity.

Things will go great now that the teacher realizes we aren't going to send DD to school with HoHos and Disney DVDs. My husband and I do not appear to be crunchy types, but are actually pretty much in agreement with her philosophy and style of her program. I made it clear that we wanted feedback and really did not want to interfere with her program because we want our kid to have the magic of what she offers.

And lastly, she understands that we are blessed with a great kid who jumped right in and had a blast doing a project with a little kid who doesn't even speak English! They became pals immediately because DD didn't know Danish and thus, played a lot more collaboratively than the girl who kept telling him no ( neine?). The teacher took all these pictures sequentially and is going to write up the dialogue.

So we're all very excited that DD has the opportunity to blossom in this fabulous learning environment. We decided to go off the grid a bit after witnessing the toll a fake Montessori program ( aka Pre K bootcamp with cool toys) took on her creativity and self-assurance ( "Oh mama, I can't eat that, that's messy food. Teacher says I'm the messy one so I can't use the paint.")

After recovering from the shock of figuring out how bad the program really was, I got her into this wonderful, very cool cutting edge place. And yes, she can be as messy as she wants!

I guess the new teacher needs to realize we are neither commercial nor uptight, and we'll be fine. I think she already knows DD is totally into it!

So we're looking forward to learning more from all the other parents who are embracing emergent learning for their kids .


Whew!
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Old 03-03-2011, 06:41 AM
 
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Glad it all worked out with some open dialogue. When I read the first post, I wondered if "ultra crunchy" was unhappy because the backpack and sippy cup were Disney/t.v. character logo'd items and/or there simply wasn't a lot of room in the cubby area for a lot of "stuff" and she was trying to reduce the clutter.   

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Old 03-03-2011, 11:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, you are correct! Ding ding ding! DD's back pack is pink , sparkly AND has Dora on it! Our DD really loves all things pink, purple, sparkly and blinky. We don't try to curb her tastes much, either. So yes, 90% of what DD possesses has been purchased by indulgent grandparents residing in the Midwest. And boy does she look the part! (we live in northern California...)

However, it would be unwise to judge a book by its cover. DD has minimal commercial or media influences. She has at most 1- 1.5 hours of screen time total per week --usually prerecorded Little Bear. The doctor gives out stickers and asked her if she liked Princesses. of course DD said yes. Dr. asked which was her favorite and she said Tinkerbell. D'OH! DD gets stuff with characters on them all the time but she has no idea who they are and what the significance might be. We ignore it and so does she. DD is thrilled to have shoes that blink. She doesn't care about what's on them.

This is why we're watching the teacher squirm and we're smirking to ourselves. We refuse to dress our kid in earth tones like a refugee to satisfy some preconceived ideal of crunchy. It sets off these red flags for the teacher and it totally cracks us up. She was shocked to hear that DD was a home birth baby, that we coslept, that she never had a crib, that she was potty trained looong before she was weaned, etc, etc.... Because my DH looks like a cornfed Ohio boy, I don't have dredlocks and my DD wears pink, sparkly, blinky Princess shoes, then we must be stunting her growth with artificial flavors and colors and raising her on stereotypes and battery operated toys. Not so.

What I like though, is that the teacher is aware of her own thought processes and is trying hard to not stereotype our child. And sure enough, she is falling in love with our little girl. DD is a great little kid.

And what makes it even more funny is the teacher suggested we bring in MORE stuff. For nap time we brought a blanket and that's all. DD doesn't have a blankey or special stuffed animal she needs to have to sleep. She has napped for a year fine without anything extra. Now teacher is saying to bring in a pillow and stuffed animal too . Sure, no prob!

So yeah, we're having an interesting time watching how the conformity trap exists everywhere. But the really cool part is I am seeing how the teacher is actively grappling with it and is able to not be knee jerk about it. If she can continue to be open to and inclusive of my mainstream *** appearing***** kid, she is in for a really neat surprise.

What fun it is for DD to have such a cool role model! Who knows, maybe for DD brown will become the new pink....
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Old 03-04-2011, 01:14 AM
 
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JenX, I really enjoyed reading this because I really identify with a lot of things - particularly not meeting people's ideas of crunchy, having a kid with character stuff who has no idea who they are, etc. The only difference is I have a boy and he likes blue. wink1.gif

Never doubt that a small group of committed, thoughtful people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead
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Old 03-04-2011, 07:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm relieved that there are other parents who never got the handbook. smile.gif But, at some point it would be nice to get a briefing so I know better what's going on. I guess that's why I popped onto this board so I can have a better understanding of some of the philosophical underpinnings of the educational approach. It may not change what DD wears or how many times I am politically incorrect in a day, but it'll at least give me some insight into the teacher ( who seems to be 1/2 Mary Poppins, 1/2 mad scientist!)

Thanks!
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Old 03-09-2011, 07:15 PM
 
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I've enjoyed reading this thread.  It reminds me of when I was leaving high school and beginning college.  I was hanging around with a fairly 'radical' crowd.  I have never expressed my individuality through my clothing or hair or makeup.  I have plenty of friends who do, and I appreciate it but it's not my thing.  If it is comfortable, not worn out or stained, I wear it. LOL  Anyway, at that time I ended up looking fairly preppy, traditional.  I remember being at a party when this guy gave me a hard time for being such a conformist.  I said, 'Dude, look around.  Who in this room doesn't look exactly like everyone else."  LOL  He had to admit I had a point.

 

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Old 03-10-2011, 12:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, you are so correct! And, in the midst of dealing with the strangeness of today's events, (see part 2) I said the same to her. I told her straight up that it would take awhile for her to fully process me, DD and DH and she will need to reconcile what she thinks we are about with who we really are. I told her that it was cool to feel put off by me, that I would be leery of me if I walked into my office, too. Intold her that I make no attempt to be normal , so her hesitance and discomfort with me is likely totally justified. I told her to take her time and that I hoped she would conclude thaat underneath it all we are very similar.

That's what makes this situation refreshing. I know DD loves it there and is getting so much from " the laboratory". Yet, the adjustment is so interesting. Teacher is indeed a strange bird, but I am able to communicate with her on a very real and immediate way that puts it all out on the table. We'll see....
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Old 03-10-2011, 04:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2ponygirl View Post

I've enjoyed reading this thread.  It reminds me of when I was leaving high school and beginning college.  I was hanging around with a fairly 'radical' crowd.  I have never expressed my individuality through my clothing or hair or makeup.  I have plenty of friends who do, and I appreciate it but it's not my thing.  If it is comfortable, not worn out or stained, I wear it. LOL  Anyway, at that time I ended up looking fairly preppy, traditional.  I remember being at a party when this guy gave me a hard time for being such a conformist.  I said, 'Dude, look around.  Who in this room doesn't look exactly like everyone else."  LOL  He had to admit I had a point.

 


ah yes the whole conforming to nonconformity thing.  wink1.gif


Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.
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