Please help - Trouble with preschool - **UPDATED** post #31 - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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#31 of 37 Old 04-24-2011, 07:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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***UPDATE***

 

Sorry it's taken me so long to update. There has been so much going on between dealing with DS's issues and myself changing jobs, and it hasn't left much time for writing!

 

The director of DS's school made a feeble and misplaced effort at helping the situation by offering to have DH drop DS off with her in the morning to help her with some special task, and then she would take him to his class. This was meant to avoid the crying fit that would happen every morning at drop off. While it did help to ease DH's separation with DS, all it really did was delay the inevitable. The teacher claimed that she was going to try to give him more choices, and DS did tell me a few times that he "did numbers instead of papers" some days. While the improvement was slight, it still wasn't enough.

 

Then last weekend we decided to let DS try Sunday school for the first time. It looked like so much fun - free play, songs, stories, crafts, puppets... DS was scared, clung to us, didn't socialize with the other children, didn't look the teacher in the eye. That was finally enough for DH. He knew that that wasn't our son. The next day he told the director that we had done enough talking about it and he wanted DS in a different class. On Tuesday he went to another class and had a great day. Sadly, the director didn't even tell me, but DS told me about it that night. Even without knowing, I knew that something was different. His mood was so much better that evening. On Wednesday the director said that she wanted to put him in a different class (because the other class had more children in it and she was trying to even out the numbers). We allowed the SECOND change only because DS's best friend is in that class, and we thought that might be good for him, considering his previous issues. Also, the best friend's parents have actually come to like the teacher more as the year as worn on.

 

On Wednesday DS officially moved to that class. The teacher couldn't understand why he had even been introduced to some of the work he was doing, and stressed that his focus should be on sensorial works and practical life works right now. She asked me to give her until at least Friday to just observe him and get to know his needs, and that she would give me a report at that time. I was just so happy that FINALLY someone was even considering my son's needs in all of this.

 

The change that we've seen in this short 3 days has been staggering. He happily participated in karate this week, played soccer with his friends yesterday, has not hit me once or told me he doesn't like me. He is excited to go to school, has come right out and said he likes this teacher better than his old teacher, and the tantrums are *almost* a thing of the past. Obviously he's still 3 years old, and sometimes his behavior is less than ideal, but suddenly he's sweet again. He's polite. He's reasonable. He's generous. He's loving and affectionate.

 

He's only been in this class for 3 days. I can't believe it. It makes me that much more sad that we left him in that environment as long as we did, since it obviously had such an effect on him. Our plan right now is to leave him in this class through the summer and if we're not 100% happy with the teacher (we know the director won't cooperate with us, but a good teacher can make up for that) then we'll move him to a different school in the fall.

 

On a side note, his godmother is in a PhD program that requires her to take a preschool assessment class. As part of that class she did an assessment of DS several weeks ago (all play-based and observation). She told me that while he tested above average in almost all areas, he score extremely high for anxiety. As in, almost clinically high. That is just too sad. He never exhibited these behaviors before, and has been 100x better just this week. I will still be watching him closely, but have hope that our happy son is going to return to us. I didn't even realize just HOW bad that teacher was until he was no longer in her class. They passed each other in the hall the other day and she didn't even greet him. How ugly. I am just so surprised at how this has played out.


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#32 of 37 Old 04-25-2011, 07:58 AM
 
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Great update!

 


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#33 of 37 Old 04-25-2011, 01:22 PM
 
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I've got mixed feelings.

 

Well, first I'm 100% happy that your ds is in a better environment and is with his best friend and with a teacher who has a clue.

 

Where I'm conflicted is that I kind of  wish it was at  a different school. Because even though your ds escaped, his former teacher is still in her classroom screwing up the other children. And I think it may have sent a stronger message to the director if you'd been able to say "that teacher is so bad she is costing you money." OTOH, by staying with the school and gushing about how great the new teacher is and how she really knows Montessori and is great at observing children and meeting developmental needs and all those other education phrases from the school's own brochures you might make things easier on the new teachers.

 

I think your ds's old teacher should be given a choice between going through the Montessori training again and writing up an analysis of what she did wrong in dealing with your son or losing her job. I really don't see anything less getting through to her enough that she won't make exactly the same horrific mistake with another child.

 

 

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#34 of 37 Old 04-25-2011, 04:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post

I've got mixed feelings.

 

Well, first I'm 100% happy that your ds is in a better environment and is with his best friend and with a teacher who has a clue.

 

Where I'm conflicted is that I kind of  wish it was at  a different school. Because even though your ds escaped, his former teacher is still in her classroom screwing up the other children. And I think it may have sent a stronger message to the director if you'd been able to say "that teacher is so bad she is costing you money." OTOH, by staying with the school and gushing about how great the new teacher is and how she really knows Montessori and is great at observing children and meeting developmental needs and all those other education phrases from the school's own brochures you might make things easier on the new teachers.

 

I think your ds's old teacher should be given a choice between going through the Montessori training again and writing up an analysis of what she did wrong in dealing with your son or losing her job. I really don't see anything less getting through to her enough that she won't make exactly the same horrific mistake with another child.

 

 


I can definitely see where you're coming from. There's still a chance that we will leave the school, but with only a few weeks left in the year I hoped that a gentler change (classroom vs. school) might be what DS needs. My main concern is that I can't trust the director to even know what is in DS's best interest, even if I thought that's what she was concerned with. I also feel like I can't trust her to be 100% honest with me. I am putting a lot of trust in the new teacher right now because DS's bff's parents like her - and I sort of don't have a choice. Next week I'm taking DH to the school that I've considered moving him to for a long time. It's just extremely expensive (although not completely beyond our means, just mildly hehe) so I really need him to see all the reasons why it's worth it.

 

As far as sending a message to the school, the director is so clueless I don't even think losing enrollment would clue her in. And financially it wouldn't make a difference to her. I really have to just focus on what's best for DS right now. And somehow, some parents support the crazy teacher's methods. Unfortunately as long as those parents exist, she will have a job.

 

On another note, today DS was supposed to have a pull-out music class in the afternoon. He was tired after his nap - it was a very busy weekend - and said he didn't want to go. His teacher gave him a couple of opportunities to change his mind, but he didn't. She didn't make him go, and when he asked her to sing a song with him she happily did. I told her I was glad they didn't try to force him. I think in a few weeks when DS realizes that his voice is being heard and that he has some choices in his life again, he won't push back as much. And if a couple of weeks go by and he still doesn't want to do music (but is otherwise happy) we'll just take him out of that.

 

Anyway, I really appreciate your honest feedback. While we have had some great improvement, I'm still cautiously navigating the situation. I'm really looking forward to DH finally getting to see the other school (AMI school, goes up through Adolescent/middle school). We've talked about sending him there for elementary anyway, and for a variety of reasons it would make sense to make the switch now (like learning cursive first as opposed to print, etc.)

 


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#35 of 37 Old 04-25-2011, 08:37 PM
 
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I think it is great that the new teacher is so much better and I think you should point this out to the director.  You might consider sending her an e-mail the last week of the year if it is still going well and telling her you understand she needs to protect her employees but that your son is doing really well and that she should also think about finding ways to support the other teacher in finding ways to build better relationships with the children in her care.  I think the change in the school makes it clear that it was the teacher and not the child and that is good for the director to see if she uses it to make sure the teacher improves.

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#36 of 37 Old 04-25-2011, 11:01 PM
 
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I like the new teacher. The new teacher is what Montessori certification is supposed to guarantee.

 

I don't think you should have to pay for the first part of the year, but also don't see how you'd get a refund because that would require a director with a clue about why the teacher was so horrible and no one with a clue about that would've let things get as far as they did.

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#37 of 37 Old 04-26-2011, 07:51 AM
 
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I am glad to hear that things are on a better track with the new teacher. It sounds like the other school is a longer term solution, though I understand wanting to limit the changes in a isngle school year. As you see, though, your son has the ability to be resilient with the right support, so I am certain that whatever route you choose will be fine. It is ashame that the other teacher will probably continue what she is doing to other children. No child should be put in the position in which your son was put. How very sad and demoralizing for the children that are made out to be failures at such a young age.


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