Who’s Watching Your Children?

I’ve had a few issues here and there with Son’s schools, but most of the issues have been dealt with and we’ve moved forward.   I very much like Son’s teacher, as she is committed and engaged with the children and just the perfect amount of strict to keep Son on task.

After all, having a good teacher can make up for lots of poor administration issues.  Heaven help us all if Son ever gets a poor teacher, no matter how good the school is rumored to be.  I’ve noticed a few other teachers at this school that I’d not be happy with, and it has made me wonder about the availability of good employees, the level of  supervision by the administration and the involvement of the parents.  Do they know ???

There is one teacher in particular who has always concerned me.  I walk by her class every day, as her class is the only one directly off the lobby.  She always looks bored, disinterested.  As if she’d much rather be watching Jerry Springer.   She either has the kids watching a DVD, or she’s just sitting there staring off into space while the children (three year-olds) play on the computer.  I shake my head and walk on,  and get involved with what’s going on in Son’s  class.

Today when I was dropping Son off at school there was a little boy clutching his mother and sobbing.  The mother was dressed for work, tears in her own eyes as she tried to calm her son.  He just didn’t want to be at school today.   We all threw sympathetic looks at her, and I did a silent prayer thanking G-d that I didn’t have to put Son in daycare – that school is a choice for us.  The mother led her son into that class – the only one right off the lobby – and I left before she came out.

I came to pick up Son three  hours later, Nana in tow.  I’d just picked her up from the airport and she got a welcome every Nana wishes for when Son raced into her arms.  We were on our way out when I saw a boy, alone and  sobbing, trying to open a classroom door from the outside while pleading, “Let me in!”  He was trying to turn the knob, but the teacher – the same teacher I said always looks bored and disinterested – had her back to him and was not letting the boy in.  I glanced at the other mothers in the area and they all looked disturbed, and I walked over to that boy and put my arm around him and knocked on the door.

She opened the door and said, “He’s okay.”  Furious, I said, “No, he’s not.  You can’t leave him out here! It’s  cruel!  Let.  Him. In.”   She pulled him into the room while trying to reassure me.

“It’s okay,” she said,  “We do this every day.”

I was apoplectic with fury and disbelief at this point.  Talk about inappropriate punishment!  He was ALONE outside the classroom!!! Being excluded.  Crying.  I know, I don’t have to explain it to YOU…

I walked (stalked, really) over to the reception area, where the attendant (the owner’s daughter) was trying to explain school enrollment to a woman who was considering enrolling her child.  I interrupted to tell the attendant what was happening, and she  excused herself from the prospective customer and immediately went to “handle it”.

I plan to talk to the owner about the incident tomorrow.  The more I think about it the angrier I become.  In my opinion this is cause for termination.  I certainly hope that they will notify the parent of this incident, and if they don’t I’m seriously considering telling the parent myself.

That woman should not be permitted to work with children.  She compromised that child’s physical safety, and his psyche.  Add that to her general attitude of disinterest, and I’m thinking that perhaps she should just get a job where she can do no harm.  Perhaps a cemetery groundskeeper.  Or a port-a-potty cleaner.

It didn’t occur to me until I got home that this could have been the same boy that was crying this  morning.   I was honestly so horrified that I can’t recall.  But no wonder that kid didn’t want to enter that classroom.

No wonder.

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9 Responses to “Who’s Watching Your Children?”

  1. Good Fountain Says:

    Ugh! I’d get involved too. You never know if this is a pattern with this teacher or a singular event. Regardless, it’s inexcusable. Locking a THREE YEAR OLD out of a room while he sobs to be let back in. Ugh! I’m indignant with you.

    Go get ’em.

  2. funnyaboutmoney1 Says:

    Alas, too much of this sort of thing happens in schools, public or private. There just aren’t enough people suited for working with small children to go around.

    I absolutely would speak with the child’s parent as well as the owner. You’re gunna get yourself in trouble by making waves, though. They’ll probably ask you to take your own child out.

    It’s so frustrating. When I first went back to work after my son was born, I put him in a day care center that was reputed to be the best in the metropolitan area. Coincidentally, it was close to my workplace, which was a LONG way from home.

    From the outset, I was less than satisfied: the place didn’t seem very clean–the bathroom was filthy, really–and their excuse for a “nutritious lunch” was canned Spaghetti-O’s. Within a day after he landed there, he got sick, and he stayed sick the entire time he went there. Which wasn’t more than a few weeks, because….

    One day I arrived early to pick up my child. Walked into the preschool room just in time to see him climbing on top of a makeshift table made by slinging an old door across the backs of two of those tiny little kid-sized plastic chairs. Before I could reach him, the whole lash-up collapsed — right on top of a little girl who was huddled underneath it!

    That was the last time either of us set foot in the place. I took him back to the babysitters in our neighborhood, grandmotherly women who had raised their own successful children. He got over his chronic sickness and soon was back to his normal self.

    But the saddest thing about that whole episode is that as a young adult he told me that his first memory was of pacing back and forth along the chain-link fence, miserable and searching for his mommy.

    Two-year-olds, three-year-olds…they’re too young for institutional environments, IMHO. I wish he’d never seen that place.

  3. Dawn Says:

    wow…where do i start??? I am a preschool teacher and a good friend to you BeThisWay…so knowing your passion for the right thing …i can only imagine your fury when you saw this atrocity of an event with a toddler!
    I am responsible for a class of 2 1/2 year olds and I could not imagine leaving them in a chair by themselves (which is our WORST punishment imaginable in our class—- the RED chair!!) let alone left outside to cry!
    Children are so moldable during this time and our job is to mold the right thing…and encouraging self expression as well as imagination vs discipline…believe me— there is enough time for that!!!
    I applaud you for stepping up to what is right and what your heart feels…it may be uncomfortable…but we know all about that!!! risk isn’t cozy@!!! love you…sis!

  4. Mr Geek Says:

    I too am shocked at the treatment that child got and would have totally got involved too. I would have insisted on speaking to the owner for clarification of their policies and if I didn’t like what I heard I would not only have spoken to the child involved’s parents, but all the parents that I knew.

    Thankfully my experience with pre-schools has been nothing but wonderful (other than paying for them that is). Both of my children have absolutely loved it (They even attend the little reunions), and we have no hesitation over sending Maggie when the time comes.

    At the end of the day it is all about having a place that you trust.

  5. Patty Says:

    Ok that is so wrong! I have 8 year olds that I am not allowed to send out into the hall for a time out, how do you justify sending a 3 year old out into the hall? That woman needs to be fired.

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