Last Thursday I had Parent-Teacher Conferences from 8:00AM to 8:00PM. But I had to take time out of my 12 hour day to be a parent as well. I wish that I had done this sooner. . .but hindsight is always 20/20 isn't it.
I went to observe at Braden's preschool today. Not good. I am sick to my stomach about what I witnessed. I am kicking myself that I didn't observe there sooner. . .like maybe BEFORE I enrolled him!? I am a teacher for goodness sake. Why didn't I think to do that? Why? Well. . .because I'm human and I can't control everything that happens to my children no matter how hard I try.
What prompted the visit in the first place is that Jason took him to school on Tuesday and didn't like the chaos that he witnessed. Once he said something about it all of the little comments that our babysitter Kim and her husband had been making about what they were seeing at his preschool started to make more sense. Jason and I decided that I needed to go and see for myself, from the perspective of a teacher AND a parent, in order for us to make a more informed decision about whether or not to keep him there.
The very minute I walked through that door I knew that I wasn't going to allow him to return to that place. Not one person stopped me and asked me who I was, what I needed. . .nada. I sat there for 15 minutes before anyone even realized I was there! During those 15 minutes I witnessed the 4/5 year old's teacher screeching at them about stupid things, my son's teacher manhandling a toddler, screeching at the other kids, not having ANY control over her group, and not doing anything academic with them during "circle time." Then, my son got pulled aside to work with another teacher during a small group time, and she interrupted the other teacher to ask how to spell Braden's name!!! He's been a student there for a whole 1/4 and they don't know how to spell his name??!!
About this time, Braden notices me. He runs over and hugs me. Then the young teacher with him asks me if I'm his mom. When I say yes, she asks me how to spell his name! Can you imagine the body language that I was portraying at this time!? I walked over and sat down beside Braden while he worked on his "project." All it really was, was drawing his face. The "teacher" would ask the kids what colors they should use for their faces, and instead of having them find those colors in the crayon box, she handed them the colors! She passed up what could have been a review of the colors just to make the project take a shorter amount of time.
Once he was done he returned to the whole group where they were singing songs. It was very apparent to me that they were not used to doing many songs and that the teacher was just trying to impress me, because the kids HAD NO IDEA WHAT TO DO DURING THE SONGS! Needless to say, she couldn't have done much to impress me by this point.
Finally I had to say goodbye to Braden and get back to my conferences. It took all that I had to leave him there with those "teachers." As I was leaving, not ONE of them said goodbye to me, or thanks for coming...nada.
Do NOT send your child to Storytime Preschool and Daycare in North Sioux City, Iowa. The day that I observed was Braden's last day and I would rather NOT have him in ANY kind of preschool, rather than take him back there.
The director will be getting a visit from me today.