Advice request - Kindergarten!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Advice request - Kindergarten!
4
Wed, 04-16-2003 - 9:12am
Today is Kindergarten Roundup.

We are in a very good school district - the best the county has to offer. I have heard nothing but high praise in every aspect of the school system except for one teacher.

We have a typical Kindergarten program here - - - and your location in the school district pretty much deems whether you will have morning or afternoon class. I live where the busses come for the afternoon. This also means that the one teacher I have hesitations about will in fact, be my dd's first teacher.

Why do I hesitate? Well, my nephew is currently in her class. He is in the free lunch program - which means he eats lunch before class starts. Not long ago, his mom sent him to school with some fresh-baked cookies for him to enjoy after lunch. Well, I guess he forgot to eat them in the cafeteria, and later in the day, the teacher found them in his bag and accused him of stealing them from the lunchroom. She did not call the parents, she harshly accused him, and told him he was not allowed in the lunchroom, in his words, "Ever again." Poor mom did not find out for a few days, her ds was coming home starved. He explained to her what had happened. She, of course was furious. She did contact the school, the teacher apologized, and that was it. I feel, that even if he had stole a cookie, she could have dealt with this in a much better way.

I also met this teacher when my niece was in her class, as I was picking her up every afternoon for scheduling reasons. I did not have a good impression of her. Whenever this particular teacher's name is mentioned around my neighbors who have had children in her class, they react with eye rolling and wishes of *good luck.*

This morning, I am fully prepared to request AM kindergarten just to avoid this teacher, forgo bussing, and provide my own transportation. I feel kinda silly basing this decision on *intuition* and the word of a six year old. Then again, I wonder if I do place her in this class, would I be more in a position to do something about her? She may in fact be an excellent teacher with bad parenting communication skills. Should I even give her a chance? My dd can't wait to get on the school bus with all the other children.

What would you all do?

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-04-1997
Tue, 04-22-2003 - 1:05pm
Hard as it may be, I would probably ask to meet with the teacher and tell her everything that you have told us -- that you are a bit concerned because you have heard x,y,and z (without getting specific) but you didn't want to pass judgement without giving her a chance to respond. Tell her most of your concerns revolve around anecdotes about the way children interpret her actions. Ask if you can come visit a class. Ask about what she likes about teaching and what she doesn't like. Ask her about what she expects out of students during the kindergarten year. Tell her your daughter is your first and only priority, and that getting her off to a good start in school is very important to you. See how she responds. If she is hostile, defensive, and refuses to treat your concerns seriously, look elsewhere. If she is open, concerned, and appears willing to work with you to allay your concerns, go from thee. If you condemn this woman without a hearing, you're pretty much doing what she is accused of doing to your nephew!
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 04-16-2003 - 1:34pm
I would go with my gut. That teacher does not sound acceptable to me.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 04-16-2003 - 11:12am
Maybe I'm missing something here, but it wouldn't be the first time that's happened (LOL). Does the actual situation boil down to there only being 2 kindergarten teachers and everyone you know has had problems with this same person? If so, I'd probably put my child in morning kindergarten and just avoid the problem.

If there are other afternoon kindergarten teachers, then ask to have your DD switched to another teacher. Some schools will do this, some won't, but you won't know unless you ask. When my mother was a principal, she would have switched your child in a heartbeat, simply because there was so much negative history already established. Not all principals would do that.

Someplace between the idea that this is a learning experience for your child, and your need to protect your child, and the school's need to have somebody in this lady's class, exists the best situation for your child. All you can do is consider the available options and go with whatever works best for you.

Avatar for tickmich
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 04-16-2003 - 10:57am
I have no experience in this area as my DS is still a baby but I would try to switch to the morning session. This teacher sounds awful.