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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How would you feel if your DC's preschool teacher had her infant in the classroom?<br><br>
Would you be upset/ angry because the teacher would have less time with your child? Would you be happy/ excited for your child to have an extra lesson in nurturing/ human development?<br><br>
Would it make a difference if the teacher were new or established?<br><br>
Would it make a difference if it was a public school (free) or private ($$$$)?<br><br>
This situation has come up at my DCs' school and I have been stunned by some of the responses.<br><br>
I actually think it is fabulous. I'm thrilled that my kids will get a real life example of a mom working while taking care of her infant. This is the second time that this has been done at this school recently and IMO it is a win-win-win situation, the school gets to keep a great teacher, the baby gets to be with mom, teacher gets to keep a job that she loves.<br><br>
Am I missing something here?
 

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depends on the age of the children. the size of the classroom, will there be a helper, the temperment of the baby, mothers parenting style an temperment etc.<br><br>
while i think it is great for the mom and baby I also think a teacher should be able to focus on the needs of her classroom and having her baby in there might make that complicated. I think it could work (especially with an assistant in the classroom, or a very small class), but I also think they sould keep a close eye on how it is working.<br><br>
My concerns with the baby in the classroom is that she will be setting a parenting modle for the children that might not be acceptable to me. I don't want my chidlren to see formula, bottles, disposables, gadets, crying etc as the norm. but at the same time you can't say "babies in the classroom are great so long as they are parented this way" everyone has different opinions. I am sure some parents would have a hissy if she breastfed in front of thier child (and I say ignore that tantrum and it will go away :LOL). others would be offended if the baby was changed in front of thier child. Some are probably concerned that the baby will take priority over the classroom activities and that thier child will not get as much attention as they need. Some may be concerned that the baby will not be getting the attention that he needs.
 

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I have seen this done in many Montessori classrooms, and Montessori talked about it in one of her books as well - the baby lesson! All the Montessori teachers I knew also were breastfeeding and using a sling throughout the day, doing AP while also being great teachers. It was a very organic situation. In my daughter's classroom, there was also an assistant who brought a baby and the children were thrilled by it. Because of the lack of teacher-directed activities in Montessori, I think it's a little different than in a standard classroom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lilyka</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">depends on the age of the children. the size of the classroom, will there be a helper, the temperment of the baby, mothers parenting style an temperment etc.</div>
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There are 20 kids in this class, ages 3-6 with 1 teacher and 1 assistant. The baby seems to be pretty easy-going. Teacher is organized and calm, treats even the challenging kids (mine included) with respect. No CIO, baby is BF on demand so no formula or bottles, just a (very discrete) nature lesson <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> . From what I have seen, while she is usually holding the baby, her attention is almost always on the kids in her classroom. I've seen her give lessons to students with the baby draped over her leg, it didn't look disruptive at all. I don't think the baby is changed in front of anyone-- she is using an adjoining storage closet for a porta-crib and I think the baby is changed in there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
flyingspaghettimama-- I'll have to read about the baby lesson. My knowledge of Montessori is based more on experience than in-depth research <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/bag.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Bag">: , but to me it seemed like a very natural fit.
 

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I'm a homeschooler but this post caught my attention on the main page... I just wanted to say I think this is so awesome! If I did in fact send my kids to school, I would be thrilled with this type of situation. However I DEFINATELY have to agree with one of the other posters that brought up the opposite end of the spectrum as far as bottles, sposies, CIO etc being a daily example of the norm to my little one... this would bother me most likely but I still think I would rather see mama with baby and have my kiddo witness that situation as normal. I guess that would be an opportunity to really point out why we live the way we do and why it's good etc...<br><br>
Fortunately it sounds like a good set up with the example of parenting in your favor.
 

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I think with an assistant in the classroom it would work our very wel for everyone. that way mom could tend to the baby of she needed to and the children ae still well attended.
 

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Overall, I think this is great. One of my DS's teachers has her 6mo baby with her in the classroom some afternoons, and DS loves it. It's definitely a "baby lesson" for him -- which is fab, b/c we have #2 on the way!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lilyka</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think with an assistant in the classroom it would work our very wel for everyone. that way mom could tend to the baby of she needed to and the children ae still well attended.</div>
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Yes, I think this is the way it is in most Montessori schools - one teacher and one assistant? And a ton of kids! :LOL Maybe not - but it's the only thing I've seen.
 

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I was teaching (older kids, not preschool) at a small independent school when I got prgenant with dd, and was lucky enough to have the opportunity to move from a teaching position to a part-time adminitrative position at the school. I job-shared that first year with another mom, and both of us brought our babies to work. It was a win-win situation. We had our own little office, all babyproofed. We had privacy when we needed it, but were otherwise very visible. The school felt that it was a positve thing for the community to have our babies there. I felt that I was setting a positive example of mothering and working (and babywearing, bfing, bfing very, very distreetly in professional situations, etc), and loved involving dd in school/work life. Dd benefited immensely in many ways. The students adored her, and she and they both enjoyed lots of nurturing interactions together. My job-sharing partner left after that first year, and I worked the next two years with dd in tow. It was wonderful.<br><br>
I did not have the option of being a teacher with a baby in tow (I did substitute teach a few classes, and a collegue of mine taught a few classes in the school as a specialist with her baby in tow, but the school would not have been open to a full-time teacher having her baby there). For me personally, even if it had been an option I would not have been interested. Perhaps I would have felt differently if I were working with preschool aged kids. As it was, I did not feel I could have been the best teacher or best mother I could be if I tried to do both; I'm sure both my students' and my dd's needs would not have been satisfactorily met too much of the time. I would not have had the attentiveness that I would have needed to closely observe and monitor the classroom all the time. There would have been plenty of times when I would have been distracted by crying, diaper changing, feeding and otherwise tending to my baby, and I do not feel that that would be fair to my students. I was happy to juggle work and baby when work was something I could put aside when I needed to. I had the flexibility to stay late to finish a task that I couldn't get done because my dd was needier than usual, and felxibility to leave my office for a quick walk to put her to sleep, etc, during the school day. I loved being part of the school community, and I think the community benefited from having a baby and being part of her growth. However, if I had not been able to cut back on my hours and responsibilities and take a position where I was not responsible for a classroom of students, I do not think it would have been so positive. At the very least, if there are parents opposed to it, your teacher will be set up for a divisive situation and might not have the support she needs to make it a positive experience. She does not need to battle parents' criticism every day as she tries to mother and teach, two very demanding jobs!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>fizzymom</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">There are 20 kids in this class, ages 3-6 with 1 teacher and 1 assistant. The baby seems to be pretty easy-going. Teacher is organized and calm, treats even the challenging kids (mine included) with respect. No CIO, baby is BF on demand so no formula or bottles, just a (very discrete) nature lesson <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> . From what I have seen, while she is usually holding the baby, her attention is almost always on the kids in her classroom. I've seen her give lessons to students with the baby draped over her leg, it didn't look disruptive at all. I don't think the baby is changed in front of anyone-- she is using an adjoining storage closet for a porta-crib and I think the baby is changed in there.</div>
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I'm a homeschooler, but I caught the title of this thread on the main page.<br><br>
This sounds awesome. What a great thing for children to see -- mama with baby while working! It sounds great, I would love for that to be the norm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
MountainLovinMama- just curious, was the school that you worked at a montessori? I can definately see this not working in a traditional teacher-led setting, but in my experience, montessori is set up very well for just this type of integration.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Milkymommi and RedWine- Interesting that this is catching the eyes of some homeschoolers. If I had not found this school, I'm pretty sure I would have homeschooled.<br><br>
When we were checking out the school, another teacher was pregnant and planning to have her child in her classroom (6-9 yrs.). I was really impressed with the their willingness to work with different situations. The directress also had her child in the classroom when she taught years ago.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>fizzymom</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">MountainLovinMama- just curious, was the school that you worked at a montessori? I can definately see this not working in a traditional teacher-led setting, but in my experience, montessori is set up very well for just this type of integration.</div>
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The school has a Montessori preschool program, and transitions to a more traditional (though still a little "out of the box") program for first grade up. I was working in middle school, so more traditional and more teacher led than a Montessori classroom. I can see where the Montessori model is well-suited for this type of arrangement, but I still think it would take support from all quarters to make it positive for everyone and to make sure that all the bases are covered during the times when the teacher's attention was on her baby. I personally could not have done it well, but then I am not a preschool teacher and I know that I could not do that well *without* a baby in tow!
 

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My dd age 12 is in an AMI accredited Montessori, It has preschool and elementary classes with an "Erdkinder" as well, which is the middle school, 7th and 8th grade. The Directress of this Jr. High, had an infant last year and for this age group, it was an amazing benefit for the classroom. Many of the children do not have younger sibs, and this was their only chance to know a young babe up close and personal. Mom and babe taught 1/2 day mornings and Headmaster taught afternoons, some of which were spent "going out". Our family is delighted, and grateful for the opportunity that this fantastic woman shared with us so generously. AMI Montessori ROCKS!!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>fizzymom</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Milkymommi and RedWine- Interesting that this is catching the eyes of some homeschoolers. If I had not found this school, I'm pretty sure I would have homeschooled.</div>
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Slightly OT, but...<br><br>
If we weren't homeschooling, our dds would be placed into Montessori programs. I love the philosophy, and our house has MANY Michael Olaf materials!!<br><br>
Anyway, I restate my opinion that a baby in the classroom is a really good idea, for many reasons.
 

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wow ... that is pretty cool. I would have no issues at all if one of the Teachers had their child there. It would help the kiddos know how to treat a child and such. I think that it is awesome .
 

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That's really cool... I wish more people were understanding that if you do it right, babies can fit in in the workplace!! I fantasize about someday bringing my babies to work with me (if I ever find an awesome alternative school here in NJ to work at *snort*)<br><br>
I just want to comment on the "sending bad parenting messages" that some of you mentioned, eg CIO, formula, etc... I don't think a mama who is attached enough to her baby not to want to put her in daycare would be that kind of parent. Plus, there is no way the situation would work if the baby was hysterical crying all the time because mom let her CIO. And any small differences would be a good lesson for the child-- "Ms. Soandso uses a different kind of dipes for her baby because everyone gets to choose what they want to do" kind of thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Would anyone who has knowledge of a teacher or school who has had infants in the classroom be willing to give me contact info of that teacher/ school? DS's teacher is planning to do a workshop on this topic and would like to speak to others who have done/ are doing this.
 

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...having worked in traditional preschools for years I would have some concerns as a mother and teacher. I would think the baby would be exposed to alot of germs and viruses. I would be concerned that the baby could get hurt by the kids. Also as a teacher who has taught this age group that is alot of children in a class even with an assistant. In schools that are accredited I am pretty sure that would be over ratio. I believe it is 1:9 but I could be wrong. I think it could make it hard for the assistant as she may end up doing more work.
 
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