A Letter to my Son’s Preschool Teachers

12 comments

Dear Teachers,

Last night was preschool curriculum night at school…the night where you are supposedly showing parents what our children have been working on. We attended last year and appreciated the opportunity to say hello to teachers and families we only have brief interactions with at pick up and drop off.

 Max was really excited to attend. In fact, I thought the event was next week and he assured me it wasn’t. I should know to trust him on all things calendar related.  He was mostly excited to show his little brother where he goes to school every day, and Ben completely reciprocated that. They couldn’t wait to go to Max’s school.

 My first clue into how the night was going to go should have been when I had to ask you for a reminder of the details. Was the night in fact this week and what time did it start? Another reminder in the backpack yesterday would have been helpful for encouraging attendance. Once we got there everyone was nice enough (though I was surprised to see at least two teachers in what clearly were workout clothes) except for the one new teacher who hovered in a corner and didn’t speak to anyone all night…except to ask her assistant how to do the motions to Itsy Bitsy Spider. I’m surprised you can make it out of college with a teaching degree without knowing that.

 I would like to caution you as to what you say within earshot of parents. Upon leaving I heard Max’s teacher whoop with delight that this was to be her final curriculum night and also heard the principal mock begging families not to leave so she didn’t have to go to a school committee meeting…in front of teacher of whom she is supposed mentor and manage. It gave me the message loud and clear that neither one of them actually wanted to be there…that they didn’t really care about the families and kids who attended.

 Don’t be so eager to show your desire to leave. Instead of mingling with families and children, enjoying a cookie or two, you were packing up activities and getting ready to leave. In fact, many of you were in your cars and driving away before I even had the first kid buckled into his car seat. 

 The whole night just left me wondering if you even enjoy teaching my son; if his cries of not wanting to go to school from time to time stem from the fact that he’s sensing you don’t really want to be there so why should he? Instead of leaving with an affirmation that Max is in good hands at school, I left feeling glad that we’ll be moving soon and won’t even finish out the school year. If you don’t want to be there, can you at least pretend? Can you at least wait until the parents are gone before you speed out of the parking lot?

 I know that teachers work long days. I know that being in a class with 20 preschoolers all day can’t be entirely pleasant…especially when you have specialists and IEPs to deal with. I know maybe you would have rather been home, but this night meant something to me and more importantly to my kids. They were proud to show me school and their friends and teachers. It’s events and leadership like you who are giving public school a bad name.

12 comments on “A Letter to my Son’s Preschool Teachers”

  1. I am a preschool teacher. You have to understand that teachers have lives outside of work and they likely weren’t being paid to attend this event. It is not always about you just because you are a parent. Take care of 20+ kids everyday and then tell me it’s so easy.

  2. Dear Teachers and Principal is exactly what you should do. Tell them exactly what you think of your experience. How disappointed you feel and ask them what they are going to do so it never happens again.
    So sorry you have to deal with dead weights. It should never be like that in a school system.

      1. Oh, I am SO GLAD you sent a note! SO GLAD!!! It’s up to US to make the statement that we WILL NOT tolerate mediocrity anymore!!! Good for you, Mama!!!

  3. Oh Denise, that’s awful. I’m glad you were able to figure out what was really going on there. And Kris-Ann, I hope your new school is everything it should be for you guys!

  4. I’ve been in a bad Child Care setting before. When my son was three he changed classes at his daycare to the Pre-School room. He cried every day and I was told he was uncooperative and in the middle of the room she informed me that she thought he had ADHD! The crying and clinging got worse and worse until finally I drove away crying myself and begged my 3rd shift working husband to go pick him up!

    We went to a new daycare and had him tested for ADHD (at 4!) just to be sure. He was not ADHD!

    The new daycare was great and very understanding of a very timid, actually scared child who hid under the table at circle time. They were very patient and he eventually came out of hiding. There were never tears again.

    I found out later (from a teacher who had quit working at the old daycare) that they used to hold him down at nap time and restrained him during circle time. I called DCF and encouraged other mothers who had left for similar reasons to do the same. They closed 4 months later!

    This was an extreme case of a really bad daycare, they’re not all like that. However, we refrained from putting our daughter into daycare 8 years later.

    I’m glad you’re moving too. If he’s crying when you drop him off, something’s not right.

  5. (I should add…by “speak negatively” I of course mean in an unproductive sense- of course there are times and places where you need to correct things and bring things up that aren’t positive, and that’s fine…but the general complaint-speak is what bugs me)

  6. Ugh. I 100% know what you are saying. I am sorry this happened. It never, ever should. For the life of me, I cannot understand WHY there are teachers who are teaching who don’t WANT to be. I always joke with my husband that it’s the only profession where I can get a master’s and be lucky to make 50k at the height of my career. I’ve always thought there should be a rule that teachers cannot speak negatively at all within the school walls. Yes, in any job, there are negative points, but if you’re a designer and speaking about how mad a layout made you…the layout doesn’t overhear it. Kids do hear it, even when you think they don’t. Ugggggh. At least you’ll be in a new place soon!!

  7. I totally agree. I myself at one time wanted to be a high school math teacher, but I knew I did not have enough patience for certain students or their parents. So instead I became an accountant. LOL. I am happy to hear you will be in a new school system soon. Hopefully it will give you a peace of mind.

    1. My degree is in Elementary Ed…but I’ve never taught in a public school. As soon as I student taught, I knew it wasn’t for me. I know that education must be a lot different from when lots of these teachers first started out…but they’ve also chosen to teach special ed preschool.

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