Thursday, January 26, 2006

moving on...

Back in October, I wrote about Micah not "clicking" with her new teacher. That's one word for it anyway. I was feeling very frustrated with the situation because the teacher CLEARLY did not like my child and if I could feel it, Micah could feel it. Micah began acting out. For the first time in the 3 years we've been in this center, I got a phone call at working regarding her bad behavior. She had become the class clown. In the afternoons when I would pick her up, I would ask this teacher, "So, how was she today?" In the two months that I put up with this poor excuse for a teacher, I got only 1 of 2 responses both coupled with a head tilt and shoulder shrug. They were either "Bad." - without explanation - or "Better..." - without explanation. She was also having mulitple accidents a day and one day the teacher told me that Micah had "peed on Miss A." She seriously told me this. What had actually happened is that Micah was wet and when the teacher picked her up, Micah told her she was wet.

Finally, just before Thanksgiving, I had had it with her (the teacher - Miss L.). I walked into the classroom and one little boy was marching around the room with a small pink purse in hand and as he passed another child, he would smack them in the head with the bag. I watched. and watched. and watched. and the teacher did nothing. Meanwhile, I'm searching in Micah's cubby for her glove. We have one - where is the other? So, I say to the teacher, "Have you seen Micah's glove?" "No..." And she starts helping me search the other cubbies. After a few minutes, I say, "Micah, do you know where your glove is?" "Umm... S. (a boy in her class) has it." "Are you sure?" "Mmm-hmm, S. has it. He wanted it." To which the teacher slams shut a cubby and says to her, "Micah! You have to tell me these things! (Insert audible sigh.)"

So, I pull Micah back by her shoulders, turn her around and look her in the eye and say - a little too loudly so that Miss L can hear me - "Don't worry, baby. It's not your responsiblity." and Micah smiles.

Meanwhile purse boy has continued smacking kids so I go and take his purse away and put it on the counter the teacher is leaning on. I tell the kid that it's not nice. Two minutes later, he takes back the purse, without a word from the teacher, and starts it up again. Some of the kids, by the way, are crying and fighting with the boy telling him to stop it.

Now, I sit down and start reading to Micah and before I know it, I have 5 kids in my lap. Guess who comes by and smacks one of the little girls with a purse? We finish the book. As I'm explaining that I'm not going to read it again, I watch one little girl push the other in the chest and girl 2 falls down backwards onto her bottom. I go to her and ruffle her hair and ask if she's alright. She says yes. She then brushes herself off and as she walks by girl 1, she shoves her right into the cubbies and they sway and rock and the girl says Ow. Still no response from the teacher. So we leave.

Next afternoon, I walk in and say hello to Micah, the class and the teacher. It's free play time and a bit chaotic as always. The room has absolutely no structure. This little girl, J, is banging 2 silver mixing bowls together. IT IS THE MOST ANNYOYING SOUND EVER!!!

So, the teacher who is about 15 feet away from her calls out, "J... Put the bowls away..." J keeps playing. BANG!BANG!BANG! (This little girl is ALWAYS in her own little world - she's the type of kid you have to make eye contact with for anything to stick. Now, if I as a parent can figure this out - surely her teacher - who is with her 40 hours a week or more - can figure this out.)

Teacher calls out a little louder, "J, put the bowls away." BANG!BANG!BANG! A bit louder - almost yelling - calls out again. J now hears and tries to pick them up but they are flipped over and she can't get her little fingers under the lid. BANG!BANG!BANG! Teacher yells, "J! Now!" Now at this point, J still hasn't registered that Miss L. is getting angry - she's been humming the whole time and hasn't missed a note. As she is walking them over to their designated spot (they hold the plastic play food in the shelf), they're still banging together (of course they are, they're metal bowls) BANG!BANG!BANG!

Now she's trying to stuff them into the shelf BANG!BANG!BA- when suddenly the teacher screams - J! - J literally jumps 2 feet in the air she's so startled and backs up until she hits the wall and is standing with her chin drooped to her chest. She stood there for a little while before she walked over to some other toys, with her chin still dropped. This teacher never once even looked in her direction except to yell. Never bothered to watch and see whether she listened, never even bothered to explain to J why she wasn't allowed to play with the bowls in the first place. (They are on the toy shelf afterall.) J doesn't consider them annoying, none of the children did. So, the next time J walks into that classroom she's going to think to herself, Hmm... I wonder what toys it is okay to play with? Why did Miss L. get mad at me? Is she still mad at me? etc... I was enraged.

I walked out (with Micah!) and went straight to the director and demanded that when we returned to school on Tuesday (after Thanksgiving) Micah be moved into the preschool room.

It's going really well! She's the youngest by far. All the other kids are 4, the last of whom turned 4 in early December and Micah won't be 4 until late June. But she's making work. And the director said that she's a different child. Quiet. Respectful. And she stopped having accidents the moment she switched rooms!** I'm amazed! Yeah for Micah! :)

**More on this but I'll save it for a later post.

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