Friday, September 05, 2003

Jonah's Preschool Teacher is Twisted and Deranged

At last night's parents meeting, I hid in the back row of the auditorium to avoid the glares of Jonah's teacher. Maddie hates me. I'm the evil complainy parent.

Last year began badly right from the beginning. During the first week of school, when I picked up Jonah up at 11:45, I would ask Maddie, "So happened today?" I wasn't checking up on her (at least not at that point). I only asked because Jonah would always say "I dunno" when asked the same question. With pursed lips, Maddie told me that parents got a letter at the end of the week. Parents weren't to ask questions. OK.

Then I complained when Jonah came home crying. All the other children got a sticker, but he didn't get one because he didn't put his coat on right away. Another kid didn't get a sticker because he wouldn't dance with the other children. Maddie would show me other kid's artwork and say "this isn't very good, is it?" Clearly, this teacher is sick and twisted.

There were lots of other problems. Maddie would get parents to take over the class, so she could take a vacation. The kids would spend an hour on the bus every morning. She would show up a half an hour late every day. There were no planned activities or curriculum. I did a lot of griping which did no good.

We pay a lot of money for this school. $5,000 for five mornings for nine months. Other than rent, preschool is our largest expense. This school is really our only option. Other pre-schools in the city cost more. One other neighborhood preschool charges over $7,000 for part time.

I hear from sister and my suburban buddies about their kids' cheerful teachers without sticker fetishes. Their children go to schools where they do art projects and sing songs at half the price. At our school, they just let the kids run aimlessly around a gym for an hour. It's just daycare for parents who are too busy to ask questions. These parents just need their kids tucked away safely, so that they can struggle to pay the rent. They can't afford to ask too many questions.

After studying school vouchers in the abstract for many years, I have learned a lot from this experience. Pre-schools in NY and NJ are private making it an excellent laboratory for studying vouchers. What I've found -- Competition among schools won't improve things, if there are not enough good teachers out there. If all the schools have bad teachers, then parents will have affectively no options. The only option is to move.

I learned another lesson from last year. Never complain. The teacher has the trump card -- your kid. Make the teacher's life hell, and she'll take it out on your kid. Never complain. Just suck it up and smile. After last night's meeting, I went up to Jonah's teacher for next year, Marcy, and shook her hand.

All this not complaining is killing me inside. It's not in my nature to be so freakin' nice. I want to seek revenge. Write letters to the board. Slash tires. Kill bunnies. But I've learned my lesson.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

< ? Redhead Blogs # >

< ? Blogging Mommies # >