Is on my list today.
a large piece of my small mind…. because Day Care has this one bitch working there and today she made my baby cry. My baby who NEVER cries when I scold her, which should tell you something.
October 14, 2015
Dear All Saints Nursery and Preschool Staff:
I was relieved to find this school a year ago. I feel confident in my child’s academic and interpersonal development and take delight in staying after school to watch my daughter interact with the teachers and play with the other children. In general I judge the school grounds well maintained and the classroom environment engaging. When I have had a concern about a behavior, developmental stage or lesson Darla learned at school, I feel confident that I can come to Miss Linda for patient guidance. Miss Linda has also been witness to drop off experiences where Darla and I are not happy and stress free. Even on our worst and most hurried morning Darla has not broken down into a weepy, nose dripping emotional mess. I am pointing this out to give you a reference point to what I saw today, October 14, when I came to collect my daughter from day care.
I stopped just outside the gate this afternoon to greet Mr. Neal and could see the children playing on the equipment in the yard while Miss Briana carried a container toward the building. I rang the bell in hopes of being admitted. Although there was a teacher siting at the lunch tables, she made no move to open the gate. While I waited, the little children alerted Darla to my presence and she started to run to the gate but was called back to the teacher at the table. It was odd that the teacher chose to delay our greeting, I thought little of it and watched Darla approach the table as I went inside to sign her out. I took an extra moment to greet Miss Briana and then returned to the outside area.
Darla was still standing in front of the teacher seated at the table. Head bowed, shoulders slumped and hands rubbing against each other, my 4 year old daughter looked defeated. She was released from the conversation with the words “You better go see your mother” at which point she ran to me and clung to my sweater. I pulled away to see her shaking, teary eyed with mucus dripping form her nose. During the minutes I took to sign the log, Miss Rosie had scolded my child to the point of quaking and tears. When I addressed Miss Briana with my clinging child, she told me again and again about the children not collecting the toys for cleanup and reiterated how frustrating it was to not have the children follow direction. As we exited the gate Miss Rosie called out “Darla, I still love you”.
This is simply not acceptable. There is no situation in which I agreed to pay your school to berate my child until she cries. I understand that four children decided not to participate in clean up time. I also witnessed that my child was singled out and berated. There is no foul tactic that can be made better or acceptable by shouting “I love you” – not in day care or in any other human relationship. It took almost an hour for Darla to recover and stopped sobbing while repeating “She said I was bad.” Darla is not bad, her behavior may have been bad and I expect your staff to know and be able to verbalize the difference.
As I have stated, I regularly stay and observe the children play and interact at pick up time. I am fully aware that Miss Rosie sits at what we call The Time-Out Table and have mentioned to Miss Rosie and to other teachers that that her primary interaction with the children is to pull them into a time out. The other teachers with her engage in play with the children by painting on the tables with foam, helping them on the equipment, reading stories and building with the blocks and toys. Outside of Rubber Band Looming activities and throwing of paper planes, Miss Rosie does not have meaningful engagement with the children and reserves her energy for calling them to come sit with her and then instructing them to put their heads down. Occasionally she has forgotten that the child with her is in a Time Out because she kept them so long. The children are told to sit quietly and then told “Don’t do that again”, but there is no discussion of why the child made the choice that caught a reprimand and no examination of other behavior choices. There is no redirecting a child’s interest or focus to avoid the penalty of time out. I have secretly harbored the suspicion that my daughter is schooled with a very short band of hoodlums who require constant critique and reprimand less they come home with Crayola based tattoos.
Today was the first time I had seen this happen to my own child. I watched a happy child transform into an emotionally bruised child at the words of an adult who is trained and paid to protect her and enhance her early childhood years. I do not know the other children well enough to know if they are troubled children. We see them at play dates, the gym and birthday parties where they are loud but not in constant need of correction and Time Outs. During these encounters the other parents and I have compared notes and discussed our common observation that not all of the teachers move around with the children or enhance their play and that Miss Rosie in particular is hostile when dealing with any deviant behaviors. I chose not to speak out before because this had not impacted my child and I have not had to deal with the repercussions until today. While in the 1800’s it was common to own a Saint Bernard to babysit your children and bark at them to modify their behaviors (as illustrated by “Nanny” in Peter Pan), I am hoping for more than that from your staff.
Some members of your staff are exemplary. Miss Linda is filled with grace and is an excellent teacher. Miss Francis is fun and plays with the children as she teaches them from their developmental point of view. Miss Dana has taught Darla more about letters and the world than I expected her to understand at this point in her development. Miss Briana speaks with the children about their feelings and is always active in the children’s play, often redirecting them from poor or dangerous choices.
Please take this note as both a teachable moment to evaluate how the staff discipline the children and a chance to decide what you want the reputation of your day care to be.