Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Can You Spare a Couple of Pennies?

I have a bit of a dilemma. Perhaps you can help.

I want to say right off the bat that I do not dislike Mr. Personality's preschool teacher. While she and I do not necessarily "connect," I have nothing against her. Also, it may be a pertinent fact that the class he is in is comprised of seven boys. Yup, only boys. Not by design, just chance.

On the second day of school I was, being the overly anxious parent that I am, early to pick my son up. His teacher's M.O. is to keep the door of the classroom closed until she is ready for the parents to come and sign our children out. So, she opened the door. So far, so good. Then, she rounded back to her young charges who were apparently staging some kind of insurgency, for she shrieked, "GET BACK ON THAT RUG!" Then, realizing she sounded a bit on the shrewish side, toned it down a bit, but with good bit of exasperation said, "I have told you that you DO NOT get off the rug until I call your names!"

Now, is it just me, or are these kids just four? Wasn't it the first week of school, and the boys are not necessarily used to following her rules yet? It wasn't what she said so much as how she said it. I know because I recognized the sound of my own voice at times, one that is tired and frustrated to the point of almost breaking.

Then I thought, let's cut this lady some slack, shall we? Perhaps she had a really long day or personal problems of some sort. I chided myself for my uncharitable thoughts, but I really did not like her tone of voice one bit. But, I am more easygoing than I might seem, so I let it go.

That is, I let it go until Monday when I was dropping Mr. Personality off. The tables in the room, being for young children, are low. She had a frog in a terarium placed on the table, and one of the little boys was leaning the upper half of his body on the table to get a better look at the reptile inside. Can't say as I blame him.

The teacher, with me standing right there, barked at the boy, "GET OFF THE TABLE! I HAVE TOLD YOU THAT WE DO NOT LEAN ON THE TABLE!" and physically yanked him by the waist off the table. She did not injure him or anything, but I have to tell you I was shocked. What raced through my mind was that if she was so willing to behave like this in front of a parent, who knows what she did when no one was around? Again, the tone of her voice was that of impatience, annoyance and downright bitchiness. Like I said, I've been there.

My question is this: What to do?

I am concerned as this is only the second week of school, and if she is acting like this now, how is she going to be come February? Or even November 15, for that matter?

Am I making something out of nothing? Am I being overprotective? A helicopter parent who thinks that no one should talk to my baby like that, even though she wasn't even addressing him? I'm not sure what I would have done if that had been Mr. Personality that she grabbed.

I'm too new to this stuff, and I'm confused. My gut feeling says that this teacher is perhaps at the end of her proverbial rope, but I am puzzled as to why. I don't expect preschool teachers to be perfect at every second, but I think a little more patience is called for, and it is hard for me to describe her demeanor. Keep in mind that this is also a Christian school, so I had expected their standards for their teachers to be more, um, Christian. We won't get into what a Christian is or isn't, you know what I mean.

So, my friends, I would dearly love to hear your two cents.

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