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As previously posted, we decided to not send our oldest to a Waldorf school for first grade. However we thought that our 3 year old would benefit from Waldorf preschool for just this year.<br><br>
My husband went with him the first day. The teacher asked that he come & stay with our son during outdoor play to get him acclimated to the environment. My dh was very disturbed when he came home after that hour. He told me that the teacher acknowledged Cody by saying hello. She made some random comments about his sneakers and how "they" prefer the kids have roomier shoes. She also commented about his shirt length...that it should be long so to cover his belly if he lifts his arms up. I don't know if these things are unique to Waldorf or just to this picky teacher.<br><br>
What my dh was really upset about was that the teacher never introduced our son to his class. He just went with my dh to the playarea and was basically completely ignored by the teacher as she sang songs and did other work. There were about three kids together playing in a sandpile but the other kids were scattered in the yard alone. My DH thought it was weird that she did not make an effort to interact with him. Is this typical of a waldorf teacher? Needless to say we aren't sending him back.
 

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Maybe I don't understand.<br>
It seems that the teacher was letting the children play on their own.<br>
That seems OK to me.<br>
Am I missing something?<br>
Waldorf kindergarten teachers are, in general, concerned about warmth, and think it is important for young ones to be covered while their physical bodies are young and tender. There is also probably a dress code at the school that deals with bare midriffs...this is mostly for the older children, but it seems equitable to start right from the beginning and have the rule apply to everybody, not just middle and high school girls.<br>
As for the sneakers...I'm stumped.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">She made some random comments about his sneakers and how "they" prefer the kids have roomier shoes. She also commented about his shirt length...that it should be long so to cover his belly if he lifts his arms up. I don't know if these things are unique to Waldorf or just to this picky teacher.</td>
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Waldorf early ed teachers do often worry about how kids are dressed, but this sounds about as tactless as it gets. "<i>We</i> prefer the kids"? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shake.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shake"><br><br>
In the preschool and kindergarten there's a lot of attention given to keeping the children warmly dressed, especially in the torso area. They think it's developmentally important, but still. . . Teachers need to talk to parents like they're partners, not temporary office help. Otherwise it just sounds peculiarly bossy, like, "We prefer you don't wear that plaid shirt with the paisley tie".<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">What my dh was really upset about was that the teacher never introduced our son to his class. He just went with my dh to the playarea and was basically completely ignored by the teacher as she sang songs and did other work. There were about three kids together playing in a sandpile but the other kids were scattered in the yard alone. My DH thought it was weird that she did not make an effort to interact with him. Is this typical of a waldorf teacher? Needless to say we aren't sending him back.</td>
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To be honest, the non-introduction sounds okay to me. At three years old, being formally introduced isn't exactly how they start socializing with one another, and it's often very uncomfortable for them. My own nieces and nephew would shrivel inside to be made the center of attention to a group of strangers, even for a few minutes. It would be awful for them.<br><br>
But it sounds odd that all but three children were isolated from each other. If this is free play time, the Waldorf teacher's I've witnessed didn't explicitly 'engage' them directly, but might busy themselves with things the child might imitate, like sweeping a path or feeding grass to the rabbit. But it's odd that so few of the children seemed drawn to one another.<br><br>
I don't know what to make of this. Typically, there might be a child or two who is cautious and watches from a distance, scoping things out maybe. But I think most children this age will be drawn together more than it sounds here. All the free play I witnessed was humming from all the social play.<br><br>
Linda
 

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I think perhaps the teacher assumed that your husband knew more about Waldorf preschool than he did. Yes, Waldorf teachers want the kids to be warm. I just heard one of the pre-k teachers here talking about little ones with exposed heads and bellies. In terms of playing, the idea is that the kids play while the adults busy themselves with other tasks. The adults are supervising, but not looking like they are supervising. It sounds normal, but it would have been useful to have a home meeting before the first day, to discuss philosophies and what to expect.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Kindermama</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My husband went with him the first day. The teacher asked that he come & stay with our son during outdoor play to get him acclimated to the environment. My dh was very disturbed when he came home after that hour. He told me that the teacher acknowledged Cody by saying hello. She made some random comments about his sneakers and how "they" prefer the kids have roomier shoes. She also commented about his shirt length...that it should be long so to cover his belly if he lifts his arms up. I don't know if these things are unique to Waldorf or just to this picky teacher.</div>
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I assume none of this was said in front of Cody. It doesn't sound like she went out of her way to engage him at all. After all, it was free play time so it seems she might have been able to take a minute to get aquainted with him. I agree with what everyone else here says about Waldorf teachers like to keep kids warm. The sneakers thing is strange - I think most kids wear sneakers in pre-k. Did your DH happen to notice what the other kids were wearing?<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">What my dh was really upset about was that the teacher never introduced our son to his class.</td>
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I'd have a problem with this too. I don't think it's traumatic to introduce a child - at least to one or two other children for the first hour - just in case he's shy. How did Cody feel about the preschool in general when he got home?<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">He just went with my dh to the playarea and was basically completely ignored by the teacher as she sang songs and did other work.</td>
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Sounds like a typical Waldorf teacher to me.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">There were about three kids together playing in a sandpile but the other kids were scattered in the yard alone. My DH thought it was weird that she did not make an effort to interact with him. Is this typical of a waldorf teacher? Needless to say we aren't sending him back.</td>
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Did your DH experience anything other than the free play time? Classroom activity at all? Just curious. Did he feel the kids were OK playing alone? It's pretty strange to me. I remember when my kids were young, I could take them to the park and in 15 minutes, they would make friends. Maybe this is what the teacher had in mind, but it doesn't seem to be working for the other kids.<br><br>
Pete
 

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I am by no means an expert but I can give you my son's experience at Waldorf preschool. He is 4 and had ALOT of trouble adjusting to the classroom. He would cling to me and cry everytime I took him and always said he didn't want to go. When I picked him up he would have had fun, but it was hard dropping him off. The teachers were wonderful. He really likes one of them and she always greets us at the door. She used to get down on Trevor's level and hug him and say she was so happy to see him this morning and would lead him off to an activity. She wasn't all "superbright, shiny happy bouncy teacher", it was all low key and friendly without being hyper (?) about it. Now I can drop him off while the door is still open to the classroom and watch him inside. He still has a little trouble transitioning to playing with the kids, but I do watch him as the teacher suggests things he can do to help set up activitites (such as placemats for watercolours, cutting up apples for baking snack, etc). He does the help alongside the teacher and other students who decide to help. I haven't seen either teacher introduce children to the class or make a big effort for the kids to play with other kids.<br><br>
In the yard I have gotten to watch them outside and the teachers get out buckets, shovels, things to dig with, etc but they don't PLAY with the kids. I haven't seen many kids playing alone, even my introverted son joins in other groups of kids playing. The first day when all the parents were there, the only kids who played together were the ones from last year. All the newer kids hung by mom or dad. Maybe it had something to do with the parents being there that none really interacted? I am pretty sure you won't find waldorf teachers playing with the kids, though I have seen the teachers guide children to an activity if they seem to not know what to do. Then they slowly step out of the picture.<br><br>
As for the comments about clothing. There is a dresscode at Trevor's school (it goes through high school) which I try to follow. No one ever said anything about shirts covering torso with arms lifted but it is in the code for girls in high school. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/confused.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Confused">: I have forgotten some things (like a change of clothes and rainboots) and they seem very passive-aggressive about it. They simply send part of the handbook home with Trevor and highlight what I am not doing. heh. They've never said anything directly to me. S'ok, I am new to preschool, and this school seems to have some trouble communicating the more mundane details to the parents (I also didn't realize he was supposed to bring a lunch the first two days! ugh).<br><br>
Anyway, that's my experience with our waldorf preschool. I would have a talk with the teacher about what your husband experienced. I would wonder why the children didn't play together on the playground (but not why the teacher didn't directly involve herself in everyone playing together, I would wonder why none of the kids in the class seemed to get along and had no interaction AT ALL with eachother?) and I would be a little irritated if the teacher said something about my son's clothes to me in front of the other parents and children.<br><br>
HTH a bit.
 

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I think that no matter what type of preschool it was (Waldorf, Montessori, traditional) if you or your dh got an icky feeling from it, you should listen to that and try to figure out why. People can give ou insight as to why the teacher might be doing the things she's doing, but only you know the "vibes" you get when you walk in the room.<br><br>
I've read about the whole warmth issue, so I understand that but agree that the teacher needs to be helpful and tactful in discussing this with parents, not accusatory or condescending.<br><br>
At ds's preschool (which is not Waldorf) they don't play with the kids either, for the most part. They don't get into their pretend play or block building, but do help guide the kids if they seem to not have friends or are looking for something to do. It's not just a fend for yourself type thing, but they do want them to play independantly or with other kids, not *with* the teacher.
 

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<b>Amen.</b><br><br>
momsgotmilk4two said:
I think that no matter what type of preschool it was (Waldorf, Montessori, traditional) if you or your dh got an icky feeling from it, you should listen to that and try to figure out why. People can give ou insight as to why the teacher might be doing the things she's doing, but only you know the "vibes" you get when you walk in the room.
 
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