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Learning at School > WWYD? Really need input!
Shonahsmom's Avatar Shonahsmom 02:46 PM 01-12-2005
Right now my dd (5 y.o.) is in a daycare/preschool that she's been at since she was 2 (I WOH full time). She's still there because her birthday is in late November, so she didn't meet the cut off date for kindergarten.

For the first 2 years that she was at this current school, I liked it a lot. I liked the site director, who was also my dd's head teacher and I liked the rest of the staff. I liked the curriculum a lot as well. They did a really fun fitness program with lots of singing and dancing a few times a week and they also had teachers from the Language Institute come in a couple times of week teaching Spanish and Japanese. And then there was all the basic learning, which I felt they approached well and in a fun positive way. They also have great toys and supplies... lots of instruments, lots of wooden toys and puzzles, a great wooden kitchen set, dress up clothes, etc... So I was pretty pleased for quite a while.

At some point pretty early on I met the owner/regional director (there are four sister schools) and she and I just clash in the worst way, but I pretty much just blew it off because she only came to the school for a few hours a few times a month as far as I could tell. But anytime I had to deal with her I found her to be rude, condescending, patronizing as hell and extremely defensive and argumentative about EVERYTHING. She talks down to me. She dismisses my concerns. She has implied and/or stated everything from that I am a lazy parent to a difficult parent to an over involved parent to an under involved parent depending on what my concern or complaint has been.

So, sometimes towards the end of 2003, so a little over a year ago, the site director, who dd and I loved, quit and I knew it was because of issues she had with the owner. A new teacher/director is hired. It takes me a bit to get used to her and build up a repoire with her, but once I do I like her a lot. A couple of short months later, a director unexpectedly ups and quits at one of the sister schools. The owner decides to take our new director and put her there and hires yet another director for dd's school, so this is now her 3rd teacher in less than a year. I liked this teacher to, but I really did not like the assistant teacher (also the 3rd of 4th one since the original director quit). Well, on Monday I drop dd off and there's a note to the parents in her cubby stating that her teacher was no longer teaching there effective the previous Friday. I find out that again, this was due to complications with the owner.

So the owner was there, filling in. She and I exchange some words regarding the revolving door that this school has been since the original director quit. She immediately starts arguing with me that it hasn't been that many, that I'm over exaggerating and that there's no need for me to be unfriendly, etc... I tell her I'm not being unfriendly or argumentative but that she should expect that parents are not going to be pleased with their kids getting a new teacher every few months and she basically replies that its not her fault (uhm, yeah, well actually, it seems like it is) and that she has worked in the past and will continue to work to make sure its a smooth transition for the kids (yeah... its real smooth when your teacher is there Friday and gone Monday and you don't even get to say a farewell). Then I hear another parent ask if they have a replacement and I hear her say that she will be spending the next few weeks at the school "training" the assistant teacher to become the head teacher/director and that she will be around a lot more for the rest of the school year. Okay, first of all... aren't there some basic educational or experience requirements necessary to direct and preschool? Second, the assistant teacher is nice enough but she's... how can I describe her.... she's not terribly bright from what I can see. I mean she uses TERRIBLE grammar. I constantly have to gently re-teach my dd to stop bad grammar habits that she's picked up from this “teacher”. That in and of itself is really reason alone that I don't want her teaching my dd. I also don't like her approach with the kids. She's very much in the school of thought of "You're a big girl. Big girls don't cry. Dry those tears up." I really, really hate that type of crap. I also think she's lazy. I rarely see her out of her chair and I often see her making the kids fetch things for her because she doesn't want to get up. I just don't think she has the energy for four and five year olds. She’s really into empty threats and time outs, etc….

I do not want my dd at the school. I do not want her around the owner on any kind of a regular basis. As patronizing and condescending as she is to adults, I shudder to think how she is with the children. But, this fall (in nine months) she will be going to kindergarten. So I really think it would be kind of awful for her to leave the school she’s been at for all these years, stick her somewhere new and foreign for nine months and then turn around and put her in kindergarten. She likes her school a lot. She has about 3-4 friends that she’s been with since she was two. And she likes the assistant and she likes the owner (which is so unsettling to me, but okay). But the thought of me having to deal with the owner on a regular basis literally makes my stomach hurt and makes me queasy. And the thought of this woman having regular daily influence on my dd makes me feel worse. Arg! I feel so frustrated. Should we just tough it out for nine months or should I uproot her, ultimately two times, in nine months? Which is less damaging? And if I leave her at the school, how do I deal with this woman? I am not over exaggerating to say that every single time she and I talk it is full of tension, arguments, rude comments (on her part), etc. We have very, very different ideas about children and how they learn and how they should be disciplined, etc… So different that I sorely believe she should have sought a different profession altogether. I feel so stuck right now. Help! Do we stay or do we go?

Kirsten's Avatar Kirsten 03:27 PM 01-12-2005
Go.

That kind of negative energy is not good for you or your dd! Kids are smart and pick up on this kind of thing. You can have playdates with her buddies weeknights or weekends.

She can adjust to a new environment. Learning that she can (adjust to change) is a great skill to have! Both my dd1 and dd2 went to different preschools for their 3s and 4s years (3 y.o. class, 4 y.o. class) and both did it without a hitch. We still play with their old friends. I made the switch because I thought it was best for them and me (we do co-op the first year of preschool, then graduate or step up to a classic drop off program the second year).

Do some research and find a new place. Have a great positive attitude when showing/talking to dd about it. She may have some sadness about leaving her friends - acknowledge it, schedule play dates, and move on to a better environment for her daily. Good luck!
chfriend's Avatar chfriend 05:10 PM 01-12-2005
I would pull her. Share a nanny with a friend for 9 months if you have to. That kind of daily bummer isn't worth it for you or her. Maybe start a thread in FYT for suggestions for someone in your area.

9 months is a reeeeeally long time when you're little.
camprunner's Avatar camprunner 12:34 AM 01-13-2005
I would pull her out immediately as well. I went through the same thing when dd was under a year old. We were lucky enough to find out that the daycare we had consider when we'd moved there less than two months earlier still had spaces available. We did let her stay with MIL for two weeks for a smooth transition.
Treasuremapper's Avatar Treasuremapper 12:43 AM 01-13-2005
Uproot her. Definitely. Something is very wrong. Trust the message your body is giving you. You can set up playdates and playgroups with the friends. Everything will work out well if you listen to your mama bear voice.
sarahmae1's Avatar sarahmae1 01:38 AM 01-13-2005
I agree. I would pull her out.
Kari_mom's Avatar Kari_mom 02:21 AM 01-13-2005
You go, of course. You can't be the only parent upset. If you talk around to the parents you trust, you might be able to send your daughter to a new school with a friend or two. Or possibly hire a nanny to share.

There is stress for you and your daughter whatever you chose, leaving seems the least stressful in the long run. I would love to hear what the director says when she is asked why so many kids have left in a few months.
mammastar2's Avatar mammastar2 02:00 PM 01-13-2005
Well, you're concerned about continuity if you put her somewhere else for only 9 months - BUT it sounds like there have already been major upheavals and continuity problems where she's at now, AND like there may be more in store.

I agree with the above posters - she's resilient, and if you find somewhere else that's more positive, and keep up with her buddies outside of school time, she'll be fine.
sweet tea's Avatar sweet tea 05:30 PM 01-28-2005
take her out...around here the public schools have a prek program, it costs money, but it runs at the same school she'd be going to kindergarten in. They don't advertise and I only found out about it from another mom with an older child in school...just a thought. then it wouldnt be an uproot, just an early transition.
Ellien C's Avatar Ellien C 07:12 PM 02-05-2005
What's the question? Take her out. Can you find out where the other teacher(s) went?

Talk to the kindergarten school and find out from the school if they know where anyone from next years class is attending pre-school. There's probably a mom of 3 kids whose youngest will be entering kindergarten and the school probably knows where some of there kindergarteners go to preschool. Then when she's goes to K, she might have a few friends.
Itlbokay's Avatar Itlbokay 12:37 AM 02-06-2005
I always trust my instincts even if I don't act upon them right away, pull her out is what I would do no question about it.
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