television watching at school! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 03-30-2011, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was devastated to hear from my son (though he was very excited to tell me) that he watched "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and Winnie the Pooh at school yesterday and today! He is in a local pre-school. We have previously discussed our objections about watching movies - perhaps allow an occasional documentary...(if we must). I am struggling to understand WHY? It is a short school day 8-12h30 and beautiful weather. I am very disappointed with the system and plan to take it further ... when my anger subsides I will probably feel more bad about making a scene. 

Still this is very important to me. We limit and screen our 5 yr old sons dvd watching on weekends. So we are not purist. But I feel school is for play and learning through play ideally. It makes me so sad to think my son was probably called from playing outside or with cars to sit in front of a screen with 15 other kids to suck into tv.

Any thoughts to help me with this one? 

Thanks, 

Gauri

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#2 of 20 Old 03-30-2011, 12:30 PM
 
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I'd try to get some information or an explanation from the teacher and the principal before I went nuclear on them. Maybe they were caught short-staffed due to teacher illness, or an emergency with another student, or something else unexpected. If it was an unusual situation and not likely to be repeated, I'd let it go. 

 

However, if television is commonly used to occupy students at this school, and you've voiced your objections but they continue with it, then I guess I'd realize that our family isn't a good fit with this school's practices. If you've tried to change the situation by speaking with the teacher, the administration, the board of governors, and whomever else might influence the policy for in-class screen time, and if you've tried to get other parents to support you, but nothing has changed, then I'd look for another situation. 

 

 

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#3 of 20 Old 03-30-2011, 12:46 PM
 
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Well, I wouldn't be devastated. I understand your concern and I do feel the school should have informed you of a movie day before it happened. We've always been notified. My kids would usually have two such days in a school year during elementary for fun before long holidays and it's not big deal. We even did a movie/pajama/popcorn day at the preschool where I taught. At that age, it was more like a 30 minute book based animated short but we gave notice and it was never a big deal. If you don't want him to participate, just ask the teacher for notification in advance and you can pull him out.

 

I'm not suggesting you give up your values, only to put it all in perspective. This is only the first in several times that your child will be exposed to something you'd rather he not. Don't be devasted by this and certainly don't use up your good-will by making a scene at school. It was a hiccup in your plan but remain calm, ask for prior notification and move on.


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#4 of 20 Old 03-30-2011, 07:27 PM
 
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How often does this happen?  Was there a reason behind the movie watching such as earning it with a class reward system?  Watching a few movies over the course of the year wouldn't concern me, especially if the movies were done after reading the book that came before the movie.  If it was a weekly thing I would be concerned and I would mention that to the teacher.  If this was the first time they have watched a movie all year then I definitely think you should calm down and try to put this in perspective.  I really suggest that you avoid being known as the mom who freaks out when kids watch a movie once a year, especially if this is a district run preschool that is in the same building your child will attend elementary school because they will not take you seriously later on if you nitpick the really small things.  If this seems to be a frequent thing with them then I do think you should bring it up.  I don't think tv has any place in preschool and that is one of the questions I use to weed out bad childcare centers when I need care for my dd even now that she is in elementary school.  

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#5 of 20 Old 03-31-2011, 05:27 AM
 
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I would really ask some questions. When I worked in a preschool, we sometimes had movies on days when there was a substitute, or something along those lines. There was generally a reason for the movie watching, it wasn't just because. Sometimes it was a treat, but that was less common. 

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#6 of 20 Old 03-31-2011, 05:41 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post

However, if television is commonly used to occupy students at this school, and you've voiced your objections but they continue with it, then I guess I'd realize that our family isn't a good fit with this school's practices. If you've tried to change the situation by speaking with the teacher, the administration, the board of governors, and whomever else might influence the policy for in-class screen time, and if you've tried to get other parents to support you, but nothing has changed, then I'd look for another situation. 

yeahthat.gif

 

Like pp's, if it was once or twice a year I would be alright with it -  although I do not think it is necessary, would prefer they watch no tv in school and would want to know what they are showing ahead of time.  Everyone has a different level of comfort about what is appropriate.  For example, a couple of days after the tsunami, my children's teacher showed them CNN coverage of the earthquake/tsunami.  We were not notified ahead of time and I was very upset.  We are careful not to expose them to these horrifying scenes at home as I do not think they are age appropriate for six year olds.  They are difficult for most adults to watch and I am afraid they will simply cause distress, fear and a feeling of helplessness to children who are too young.  My sister, who also has a child in the class, and I were both told we were wrong and that the school feels it is important for first graders to learn about world events in this manner.

 

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#7 of 20 Old 03-31-2011, 08:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by gauriL View Post

I was devastated to hear from my son (though he was very excited to tell me) that he watched "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and Winnie the Pooh at school yesterday and today!


 

While I agree with the others that asking some questions is in order, I think being devastated is over the top. Devastated? Over the Winnie the Pooh? Really? Bigger things are going to happen in your kid's life. Getting your emotional reactions on par for what is happening is helpful to your child in the long run. If you get super freaked out over little tiny things, your child will quickly learn to keep you out of the loop because he'll figure out that you can't handle it.   (esp. things that make him happy that he knows you will disapprove of)

 

My kids have watched I think 2 movies this year that weren't related to course work. They've also seen movie versions of a couple of books they read. I feel the movie thing is in balance with the other things they do at school. Overall, I feel their time at school is well spent. Movies are occasional treats.

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but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#8 of 20 Old 03-31-2011, 11:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for feedback. Ok - upset and disappointed instead of devastated. Opened up communication with teacher (again) as its all ready been discussed... if she had kept to her side of communication it would have made the difference. Reason is ...end of term...they very busy with admin...somehow they connect the movie with curriculum goals. and yes - again today... so maybe next end of term I can be told about the movie watching...and maybe I will chose an alternative for those days. 

Appreciate your insights, 

G

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#9 of 20 Old 03-31-2011, 12:13 PM
 
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Our school does that at the end of the term too so the teachers can fill out grade cards. They call it "activity day" but the main activity is watching a movie.

 

If this is going to happen again, maybe you could organize some other parents and a few could go in and lead the class in an activity like playing on the playground or something? I'm sure there are other parents who aren't thrilled with it either and would be willing to help do something else.

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#10 of 20 Old 03-31-2011, 12:17 PM
 
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What kind of school is this? It is private with a certain philosophy?

 

I don't think videos or movies have any place in a preschool unless the children have them themselves.

 

That some really really lame education if they can connect busy end of term movie with "curriculum goals."

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#11 of 20 Old 03-31-2011, 04:00 PM
 
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I can totally get school aged kids having a movie/party day at end of term to wrap up grading and such, but 3 days of movies in preschool because of end of term just seems lazy on the part of the teachers.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#12 of 20 Old 04-01-2011, 06:30 AM
 
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That's true! I'm trying to figure out how much grading there would be at a preschool? My son went to an early intervention preschool and they did do assessments and give them a "report card." But they never had the kids watch movies while they finished their report cards.

 

Also, I would think Charlie and the Chocolate Factory could be scary for some preschoolers. Kids getting sucked up in tubes, blowing up into blueberries, etc. I always thought the old version was creepy when I was a kid.

 

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I can totally get school aged kids having a movie/party day at end of term to wrap up grading and such, but 3 days of movies in preschool because of end of term just seems lazy on the part of the teachers.



 

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#13 of 20 Old 04-01-2011, 06:57 AM
 
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Depends on the preschool. If it's a state run preschool, the paperwork per child is pretty extensive and has to be done "just so" for funding purposes. There are like 24 catergories you have to not just "grade" on but provide concrete details of how the child achieved it. It is extremely time consumming and far more detailed than anything you get as a parent in grade school. Twice a year, the head teacher is pretty much out of the picture for a week completing these. However, I agree that movies aren't the answer. During that period, most schools either hire a sub to help while the head teacher focuses on getting paperwork done.

 

I don't know how they got the kids to sit for 2 full length movies anyway. Like I said, I taught preschool and we'd have a special movie/pajama day before winter break. It was actually MORE work than a regular day and we only ever did 30 minute book-based animated stories like "The Cat in the Hat" (the TV cartoon not the live action movie.) That was about all they could really sit and be engaged in.

 

 

 

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Originally Posted by lindberg99 View Post


That's true! I'm trying to figure out how much grading there would be at a preschool? My son went to an early intervention preschool and they did do assessments and give them a "report card." But they never had the kids watch movies while they finished their report cards.

 

Also, I would think Charlie and the Chocolate Factory could be scary for some preschoolers. Kids getting sucked up in tubes, blowing up into blueberries, etc. I always thought the old version was creepy when I was a kid.

 

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#14 of 20 Old 04-01-2011, 07:00 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gauriL View Post

Thanks for feedback. Ok - upset and disappointed instead of devastated. Opened up communication with teacher (again) as its all ready been discussed... if she had kept to her side of communication it would have made the difference. Reason is ...end of term...they very busy with admin...somehow they connect the movie with curriculum goals. and yes - again today... so maybe next end of term I can be told about the movie watching...and maybe I will chose an alternative for those days. 

Appreciate your insights, 

G


Is it just this one teacher who shows movies? Or is it typical in all of the classes? This will help tell you whether the administration endorses lots of screentime as a class activity or not. Since you've spoken with the teacher and you aren't satisfied, have you tried discussing it with the principal? Even if it's connected with curriculum goals, that doesn't mean it's the best method to achieve those goals. Are the other parents upset and do they support you? You might be more successful in changing things if you have others acting with you. 

 

If, however, this is typical throughout the school and the other parents don't mind, I think choosing an alternative for movie days is the healthiest thing to do for your stress levels. 

 

 

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#15 of 20 Old 04-01-2011, 07:45 AM
 
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Yes, that's the kind of preschool my son went to. His "report card" had like 70 categories on it! But his class was very small (max size 12 but they only had 9) and there was a teacher and ass't teacher. So the teacher could work on assessments while asst did something with the children. I could see it being harder at a larger preschool.

 

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Depends on the preschool. If it's a state run preschool, the paperwork per child is pretty extensive and has to be done "just so" for funding purposes. There are like 24 catergories you have to not just "grade" on but provide concrete details of how the child achieved it. It is extremely time consumming and far more detailed than anything you get as a parent in grade school. Twice a year, the head teacher is pretty much out of the picture for a week completing these. However, I agree that movies aren't the answer. During that period, most schools either hire a sub to help while the head teacher focuses on getting paperwork done.

 

I don't know how they got the kids to sit for 2 full length movies anyway. Like I said, I taught preschool and we'd have a special movie/pajama day before winter break. It was actually MORE work than a regular day and we only ever did 30 minute book-based animated stories like "The Cat in the Hat" (the TV cartoon not the live action movie.) That was about all they could really sit and be engaged in.

 

 

 



 



 

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#16 of 20 Old 04-03-2011, 07:47 PM
 
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Our school does that at the end of the term too so the teachers can fill out grade cards.


That's bogus. I've never been given time DURING MY TEACHING TIME to prepare report cards. Teachers can do report cards outside of class, just like we do lesson planning and grading papers and everything else. We shouldn't do those things at the expense of learning time.

 

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#17 of 20 Old 04-03-2011, 07:52 PM
 
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That's bogus. I've never been given time DURING MY TEACHING TIME to prepare report cards. Teachers can do report cards outside of class, just like we do lesson planning and grading papers and everything else. We shouldn't do those things at the expense of learning time.

 


Agree. I think parking preschool kids in front of TVs is pretty egregious personally.
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#18 of 20 Old 04-05-2011, 09:36 AM
 
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I would also be very upset at my child watching tv at school. I could understand educational programming like a learning to read series or even songs and dancing, but Charlie and the Chocolate Factory??? Have you asked your child's teachers why they are showing those programs? I wonder what their explanation would be... perhaps it's something you haven't thought of? Like maybe they do it during nap time for the kids who aren't napping? Or maybe it's optional if kids don't want to go outside? I'm not sure either of those excuses would make it better, but at least you could understand why. Because I agree it's very odd.
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#19 of 20 Old 04-08-2011, 05:22 AM
 
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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was a book before it was a movie. I often show video clips of the book we are reading (To Kill a Mockingbird, for example) to help the kids get a visual of the book. I am not in favor of showing the entire movie, but it could be they were doing read alouds and she wanted them to "see" what was happening in the book.

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#20 of 20 Old 04-08-2011, 07:36 AM
 
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It's really normal at my kids school, which I love, to watch movies based on books after reading and studying the book. They sometimes doing cooking or art projects related to reading, too. And my 8th grader wrote a very nice paper comparing the book Wizard of Oz to the movie.

 

I think that film is an art form, and that watching and discussing it IS educational, if handled appropriately. Parking kids in front of screens for extended periods of time is obviously not handling it appropriately, and that really sounds like what was happening in the OPer's school.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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