WWYD? Preschool related. — The Bump
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WWYD? Preschool related.

Our current preschool teacher is being promoted to director next year. I love her and am so sad she won't teach my youngest for his second year. She has an early childhood degree, tons of continuing ed and lots of experience.

The qualifications of the woman they've picked to take over for her are as follows: art degree, worked as an assistant in a preschool for a time, taught art classes to preschoolers and toddlers out of her studio, and will take two early childhood ed classes required by our state.

I know this woman, and I like her OK. She's nice. She's good with the kids. But I'm not comfortable with her resume. I expect a preschool teacher to be able to spot potential red flags, come up with a curriculum based on a solid knowledge of developmental stages, etc. Nothing in her background suggests to me that she's qualified to do that.

What do you think, am I over-thinking it? I get that it's just preschool, really I do. But what if my son shows signs of dyslexia, or SPD, or something like that, and she completely misses it because she doesn't know what to look for? I don't want a babysitter, I want a professional. Would you be comfortable with this?

 


Re: WWYD? Preschool related.

  • I'm not sure but best wishes.
    What happened with that situation where the kid kept telling your son about his birthday party but you didn't get an invite? Just thought of that.
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  • My DS is in his first year of school (pre-k) and I don't even know his teacher's background.  So obviously it wouldn't bother me

    Also, it seems like you have a good relationship with the director, so could you address your concerns with her?

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  • image NandaB:
    Honestly, I think you are overthinking it. Its preschool. And it sounds like she has had relevant experiences. Do you know that she will be responsible for creating a curriculum? Or will she use what is already established? And as far as dyslexia, many common indicators of dyslexia in older kids include letter confusion [b/d is the most common] and writing letters backwards. Which are things that preschoolers often do anyway...because they are only in preschool. Do you have concerns about his academic abilities or development? Do you think she would miss evidence of serious issues? Enough to start over with a completely unfamiliar preschool?

    I don't know. I mean, she hasn't been trained for that sort of thing, which is kind of the point. As far as my son goes, he's doing very well this year but he does have some speech issues, and I'm concerned with his (lack of) letter and number recognition. Obviously, those are things I'll bring up with his pediatrician at his visit on his birthday, but it's nice to feel like you have someone who sees him daily who knows about this stuff, and what's developmentally appropriate and what isn't. In the second year, the teachers are supposed to make recommendations about kindergarten readiness and give assessments, and what does the new woman know about that? It was on the advice of our current teacher that we decided to hold my oldest for a year, because she presented such a compelling case for it, and clearly knew her sh!t when she was talking to us. I don't trust that the new teacher is qualified to make those recommendations.

    But you're right, switching schools (although I have a good one in mind) would mean uprooting him and taking him away from the friends he's made this year, which I hate to do. Also, it's much more inconvenient in terms of where my oldest will go to kindergarten next year. So there's that. 


  • Ditto Eagle (and you know how important learning is to me)

    I only know that my DDs teacher has been there for 15yrs (as the director has been) other than that- I got nothing- and I am ok with that. 

    So my line of thinking that your son's teacher is being promoted is a good thing- and she will hold to standards that she would- with the teachers that come under her.

    I am sure it will all be fine Mrs H.

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  • I hear you, Hizzo - and your concerns.  And I think they are valid.  But a little side point...the teacher isn't flying solo.  If you have a good school/program, she will have support, other professionals to talk to and who talk to her. There will also be other eyes on your son...including the director's.  AND there is a curriculum and teaching guidelines.  The teacher isn't just winging it or making it up as she goes.  She is teaching under guidelines defined by the school, accrediting organization, state, etc - so that in itself should help her know what she is looking for if something is standing out.  Also, we shouldn't compare kids, blah blah blah (I don't really believe that at all), having a class to look at each child against is a great tool to identify (a)typical.  If you trust the school and the program and the other people on site, and you feel pretty good about her, I think you would be ok for preschool.  On the other hand, if this other school is intriguing to you and your gut is telling you to go there, I can see how this is a strike against your current program.  
  • I understand your concerns, but I do think you are over thinking it a little. I agree with the PPs suggestion of discussing your concerns with the director since you seem to have a good relationship with her. 

    Also, I wanted to say, "Hi, Hizzo!" Long time no "see" :) Hope everything is great with you!

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  • image HAFranklin:

    I understand your concerns, but I do think you are over thinking it a little. I agree with the PPs suggestion of discussing your concerns with the director since you seem to have a good relationship with her. 

    Also, I wanted to say, "Hi, Hizzo!" Long time no "see" :) Hope everything is great with you!

    Heatherrrrrrrrr!!!!!!! How are you, hon???? And who is that beautiful little girl in your siggy? Look at Cole, OMG he's so big! What's been going on with you?


  • I'd think topics like developmental stages and what is and is not normal would definitely be covered in her required classes. Plus, the information will be fresh in her mind as she works with your LO. I'd give her a chance, and talk to the director if you have concerns.
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  • I'm with the pp. Don't worry so much.

    Also, speaking from experience, I work in an area of education I wasn't originally qualified. I did a lot workshops, trainings and day to day experiences to be able to spot issues. A sheet of paper saying someone learned something doesn't always prove much. I mean I work with complete idiots who have actual concentrated degrees in what they do and they miss stuff all the time. Like IMPORTANT stuff.

  • You're all probably right. The joke of it is, it's a play-based preschool, it's not like they're sitting at desks learning sums and stuff. I've just always loved how our current teacher plays these seemingly very simple games, but when I ask her about them she says "Three-year-olds still can't cross the mid-line, so doing this exercise is helping their brains tell the left side of their body how to work over on their right side" and things like that. Or how she said about my oldest, "See how he runs up to the other kids and roars like a a lion? It's because he really wants to engage them but he doesn't have the skills yet to do it in a more age-appropriate way, like starting a conversation or asking them to play. So lacking that, he just tries to get their attention in the best way he knows how." I've kind of come to rely on that. Maybe I've just been spoiled.

  • image hellopoppyseed:
    I'm not sure but best wishes. What happened with that situation where the kid kept telling your son about his birthday party but you didn't get an invite? Just thought of that.

    I explained the situation to the director and she sent an updated class list to everyone, mentioning that there had been several mistakes with addresses and emails. We still never got an invite, lol, but that's fine. I didn't care if we were invited, I just didn't want to get one and have the parents think I didn't have the good manners to respond to it. 


  • image Mrs.Hizzo:

    image hellopoppyseed:
    I'm not sure but best wishes.
    What happened with that situation where the kid kept telling your son about his birthday party but you didn't get an invite? Just thought of that.

    I explained the situation to the director and she sent an updated class list to everyone, mentioning that there had been several mistakes with addresses and emails. We still never got an invite, lol, but that's fine. I didn't care if we were invited, I just didn't want to get one and have the parents think I didn't have the good manners to respond to it. 


    That's strange of the kid though. Wonder if he even actually had a party.
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  • image hellopoppyseed:
    image Mrs.Hizzo:

    image hellopoppyseed:
    I'm not sure but best wishes. What happened with that situation where the kid kept telling your son about his birthday party but you didn't get an invite? Just thought of that.

    I explained the situation to the director and she sent an updated class list to everyone, mentioning that there had been several mistakes with addresses and emails. We still never got an invite, lol, but that's fine. I didn't care if we were invited, I just didn't want to get one and have the parents think I didn't have the good manners to respond to it. 

    That's strange of the kid though. Wonder if he even actually had a party.

    Who knows? Honestly, I don't really care. My son forgot all about it, I never heard anything about the party from other kids, and it was one less birthday gift I had to buy. 


  • image amy052006:

    How old is DS?  That might make a difference to me.  If this was the year before kindergarten, I might ask the director about her qualifications.  but in a 3s or 4s class, NBD.

    i think the most important thing is you trust and respect the director, so her judgment is probably good. 

    This would apply to next year, which will be Pre-K.  That's sort of why I'm worried. I've been emailing  back and forth with the director (our current teacher), though, just asked her how active of a role she plans on taking.

    The other thing is, they have a transition class for kids who are delaying kindergarten, and the teacher is absolutely phenomenal. My oldest is in her class right now. It's M-TR, and on Fridays she does a class for both the four year olds and the transition kids (it's optional). If I keep DS#2 there next year, he could do Fridays with her, and I really do trust her judgement. So I guess I could bounce things off of her, or just say straight out "I want you to tell me if you see issues with Clay" at the beginning of the year. We're pretty tight, so I know she would, and she sees all. 


  • image Mrs.Hizzo:
    image HAFranklin:

    I understand your concerns, but I do think you are over thinking it a little. I agree with the PPs suggestion of discussing your concerns with the director since you seem to have a good relationship with her. 

    Also, I wanted to say, "Hi, Hizzo!" Long time no "see" :) Hope everything is great with you!

    Heatherrrrrrrrr!!!!!!! How are you, hon???? And who is that beautiful little girl in your siggy? Look at Cole, OMG he's so big! What's been going on with you?

    I'm great! Just had a baby girl 4 weeks ago. It's been amazing watching Cole interact with Nora. They adore each other already :) Let's hope it stays that way. lol

    I can't believe how big your boys are getting! HOW is DS2 old enough for Preschool? Time flies!  

    I saw some FB pics of you from Andrea's wedding. Gorgeous!

     

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  • image HAFranklin:
    image Mrs.Hizzo:
    image HAFranklin:

    I understand your concerns, but I do think you are over thinking it a little. I agree with the PPs suggestion of discussing your concerns with the director since you seem to have a good relationship with her. 

    Also, I wanted to say, "Hi, Hizzo!" Long time no "see" :) Hope everything is great with you!

    Heatherrrrrrrrr!!!!!!! How are you, hon???? And who is that beautiful little girl in your siggy? Look at Cole, OMG he's so big! What's been going on with you?

    I'm great! Just had a baby girl 4 weeks ago. It's been amazing watching Cole interact with Nora. They adore each other already :) Let's hope it stays that way. lol

    I can't believe how big your boys are getting! HOW is DS2 old enough for Preschool? Time flies!  

    I saw some FB pics of you from Andrea's wedding. Gorgeous!

     

    The wedding was really pretty. Beautiful location. It was a very fun weekend!

    Congrats on Nora! Is Cole in kindergarten this year? 

    Who all are you keeping up with these days?


  • image Mrs.Hizzo:
    image HAFranklin:
    image Mrs.Hizzo:
    image HAFranklin:

    I understand your concerns, but I do think you are over thinking it a little. I agree with the PPs suggestion of discussing your concerns with the director since you seem to have a good relationship with her. 

    Also, I wanted to say, "Hi, Hizzo!" Long time no "see" :) Hope everything is great with you!

    Heatherrrrrrrrr!!!!!!! How are you, hon???? And who is that beautiful little girl in your siggy? Look at Cole, OMG he's so big! What's been going on with you?

    I'm great! Just had a baby girl 4 weeks ago. It's been amazing watching Cole interact with Nora. They adore each other already :) Let's hope it stays that way. lol

    I can't believe how big your boys are getting! HOW is DS2 old enough for Preschool? Time flies!  

    I saw some FB pics of you from Andrea's wedding. Gorgeous!

     

    The wedding was really pretty. Beautiful location. It was a very fun weekend!

    Congrats on Nora! Is Cole in kindergarten this year? 

    Who all are you keeping up with these days?

    I've been in touch with, or kept updated on pretty much everyone who has FB. I just went through and counted, and I have 59 DW ladies on my friends list! I didn't even think there were that many of us! lol It's so awesome how many of us have kept in touch and created real life friendships. And to think, it all started from a message board. Too bad no one is local.  Who have you kept up with? 

    Yes, Cole is in Kindergarten :( :::sniff::: He is a big boy now. Is DS1 in K, or is he in 1st by now? It seems like yesterday that we were all TTC.  

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  • image HAFranklin:
    image Mrs.Hizzo:
    image HAFranklin:
    image Mrs.Hizzo:
    image HAFranklin:

    I understand your concerns, but I do think you are over thinking it a little. I agree with the PPs suggestion of discussing your concerns with the director since you seem to have a good relationship with her. 

    Also, I wanted to say, "Hi, Hizzo!" Long time no "see" :) Hope everything is great with you!

    Heatherrrrrrrrr!!!!!!! How are you, hon???? And who is that beautiful little girl in your siggy? Look at Cole, OMG he's so big! What's been going on with you?

    I'm great! Just had a baby girl 4 weeks ago. It's been amazing watching Cole interact with Nora. They adore each other already :) Let's hope it stays that way. lol

    I can't believe how big your boys are getting! HOW is DS2 old enough for Preschool? Time flies!  

    I saw some FB pics of you from Andrea's wedding. Gorgeous!

     

    The wedding was really pretty. Beautiful location. It was a very fun weekend!

    Congrats on Nora! Is Cole in kindergarten this year? 

    Who all are you keeping up with these days?

    I've been in touch with, or kept updated on pretty much everyone who has FB. I just went through and counted, and I have 59 DW ladies on my friends list! I didn't even think there were that many of us! lol It's so awesome how many of us have kept in touch and created real life friendships. And to think, it all started from a message board. Too bad no one is local.  Who have you kept up with? 

    Yes, Cole is in Kindergarten :( :::sniff::: He is a big boy now. Is DS1 in K, or is he in 1st by now? It seems like yesterday that we were all TTC.  

    Finn actually won't start kindergarten until next year. He's a month older than Cole, but we were strongly advised to give him another year, lol. 

    Let's see, I talk to Andrea, December, Robin, Kristina, Julie, Nina and Laurie pretty regularly. We all flew to Boston summer before last and stayed with Kristina for a weekend. Michelle's husband was out here for work a couple months ago, and they came over for dinner, but it's tough to see people when everyone is scattered all over the country. I imagine you heard about Gina's husband. I haven't kept up with her at all, but someone told me about it and it made me just sick for her.


  • No, I haven't heard! 

    I've mostly kept in touch with Liza, Libby,Jenn (EditorJax), Amy (imamama) and a few others. They're all doing really good. Libby is remarried and just had her 2nd DS a couple of weeks ago. Liza is as bubbly and sweet as ever, and Gummy is doing great...and sooooo handsome!

    I was thinking Finn was a year older than Cole. I wish we had held him back a year, honestly. He is super bright (Reading at a 3rd grade level), but is behind socially. He's really struggled with making friends :(   Unfortunately, red shirting is not common practice here unless their bday is really close to the cutoff. Cole was born in July, and the cutoff isn't until Dec 1st. 

     

     

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  • image HAFranklin:

    No, I haven't heard! 

    I've mostly kept in touch with Liza, Libby,Jenn (EditorJax), Amy (imamama) and a few others. They're all doing really good. Libby is remarried and just had her 2nd DS a couple of weeks ago. Liza is as bubbly and sweet as ever, and Gummy is doing great...and sooooo handsome!

    I was thinking Finn was a year older than Cole. I wish we had held him back a year, honestly. He is super bright (Reading at a 3rd grade level), but is behind socially. He's really struggled with making friends :(   Unfortunately, red shirting is not common practice here unless their bday is really close to the cutoff. Cole was born in July, and the cutoff isn't until Dec 1st. 

     

     

    Finn is pretty much the same way. He could have handled the academic part, but he struggles with listening/following directions, not wanting to try anything he thinks he's going to fail at, transitioning between activities, etc. Redshirting is super-common here, though. He's in sort of a Jr. Kindergarten right now, and it's packed with kids who's parents are delaying. He's definitely going to be more emotionally ready next year, but his teacher has warned me that he'll probably be bored with the academics. So it's a trade off, you know?

    I'm sending you a PM.


  • image dairygirl19:

    I'm with the pp. Don't worry so much.

    Also, speaking from experience, I work in an area of education I wasn't originally qualified. I did a lot workshops, trainings and day to day experiences to be able to spot issues. A sheet of paper saying someone learned something doesn't always prove much. I mean I work with complete idiots who have actual concentrated degrees in what they do and they miss stuff all the time. Like IMPORTANT stuff.

    This is SO true!!  A piece of paper just says they're trainable, not that they're skilled and a proper fit for the job... I.e. the nurse that truly loves her profession vs. the one there for the paycheck...  Or any other profession.  I would rather have the teacher with real world experience that absolutely loves what they do and a natural born instinct than to have the one who is there for the check with tons of wallpaper. 

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  • I'm a former teacher, with a masters degree in elementary education from a top university in the country (certified PreK-6).  This would worry me.

     In my education program, we were trained on ALL KINDS of assessments to do with students to gauge learning and readiness for the next grade level.  I know benchmarks for letter name/sound recognition (as far as what is normal for what age), number recognition, concept of word, etc.  In addition to what was learned in school, I also have student teaching experience - I taught in a classroom, supervised by a veteran teacher.  

    It looks like I am in the minority, but I agree with you, Hizzo.  I would want to send me child to someone who was a professional, trained in that area.  I am also of the belief that early education is SO important.  Once a kid gets behind (especially if more than a grade level behind) it's SO hard to get them caught back up.

    I'd mention your concerns.  If you're paying for a quality preschool program, I think you should get someone who is certified to teach preschool, with adequate training in that area. 

     

    SAHM to Eli, born 11.26.11
  • image letranger:
    Eh. Does the director have an aa, BA or ma or phd for that matter?! They don't train education majors to find markers in children also it's a developed skill.

    Yes, she has a masters. 


  • you're over-thinking things. the teachers s/b following a state curriculum for K prep. is there an educational assistant on staff? also, you don't have to have higher education to teach PS age.  as long as they is communication btwn the parent and teacher on a daily or weekly basis about your child's learning you should be up to date on his learning curve. 

    it's tough to lose a good teacher, however, it sounds like you have est. a great relationship with the former teacher/new director and this is key. 

  • Is this a private school?

    My son's pretty k teacher has a degree in art, and they make the most authentic, child centered artwork I have ever seen in a preschool setting.

    Preschool is about learning how to be in school, working with other kids, etc. In my state, kids do not get referrals for special ed issues until kindergarten anyway. Excepting preschoolers to learn to read before kindergarten is unrealistic and not developmentally appropriate. I would give her a chance, quite frankly.
    DS1 - Feb 2008

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  • image nosoup4u:
    Is this a private school? My son's pretty k teacher has a degree in art, and they make the most authentic, child centered artwork I have ever seen in a preschool setting. Preschool is about learning how to be in school, working with other kids, etc. In my state, kids do not get referrals for special ed issues until kindergarten anyway. Excepting preschoolers to learn to read before kindergarten is unrealistic and not developmentally appropriate. I would give her a chance, quite frankly.

    Wait, what? When did I say I want him to read? I'm not looking for him to read, that's why he's in a play-based preschool. I'm also not looking for a special ed referral, I'm just saying that IMO, being an effective teacher requires a certain amount of education, same as any other profession. I look to my sons' teachers when I have questions or concerns about their development, because I know they have the education and experience to offer a valid opinion, that's all. I don't think that's an unreasonable expectation.


  • image Mrs.Hizzo:
    You're all probably right. The joke of it is, it's a play-based preschool, it's not like they're sitting at desks learning sums and stuff. I've just always loved how our current teacher plays these seemingly very simple games, but when I ask her about them she says "Three-year-olds still can't cross the mid-line, so doing this exercise is helping their brains tell the left side of their body how to work over on their right side" and things like that. Or how she said about my oldest, "See how he runs up to the other kids and roars like a a lion? It's because he really wants to engage them but he doesn't have the skills yet to do it in a more age-appropriate way, like starting a conversation or asking them to play. So lacking that, he just tries to get their attention in the best way he knows how." I've kind of come to rely on that. Maybe I've just been spoiled.

    THIS is why she's going to be the director of the program!! I don't doubt she'll be keeping an extra eye on this newly appointed teacher and perhaps grooming her in her style.

    FWIW, my MIL & I were having this discussion yesterday. In college, I was an education major (elem ed & special ed). There were some people in my program that were fabulously intelligent. They graduated summa *** laude, and excelled in the classroom as a student, however when taking over the role as teacher, they flopped- magnificently! Having the book knowledge =/= good teaching, just as good teachers may not have all the extensive collegiate knowledge.

     

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  • image Notwifezilla7:

    image Mrs.Hizzo:
    You're all probably right. The joke of it is, it's a play-based preschool, it's not like they're sitting at desks learning sums and stuff. I've just always loved how our current teacher plays these seemingly very simple games, but when I ask her about them she says "Three-year-olds still can't cross the mid-line, so doing this exercise is helping their brains tell the left side of their body how to work over on their right side" and things like that. Or how she said about my oldest, "See how he runs up to the other kids and roars like a a lion? It's because he really wants to engage them but he doesn't have the skills yet to do it in a more age-appropriate way, like starting a conversation or asking them to play. So lacking that, he just tries to get their attention in the best way he knows how." I've kind of come to rely on that. Maybe I've just been spoiled.

    THIS is why she's going to be the director of the program!! I don't doubt she'll be keeping an extra eye on this newly appointed teacher and perhaps grooming her in her style.

    FWIW, my MIL & I were having this discussion yesterday. In college, I was an education major (elem ed & special ed). There were some people in my program that were fabulously intelligent. They graduated summa *** laude, and excelled in the classroom as a student, however when taking over the role as teacher, they flopped- magnificently! Having the book knowledge =/= good teaching, just as good teachers may not have all the extensive collegiate knowledge.

     

    I totally agree with what you're saying. But, it's like how someone brought up earlier in the thread that there are nurses who are fabulous and committed to  their patients, and some who are terrible. But all of them went to nursing school.

    Anyway, thank you all for your thoughts, I appreciate it. It's given me some perspective. 


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