Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Mothers Against Untrained Teachers I

When I thought that I would have more time for myself once The Little One is in school, boy was I so wrong!

Apparently at least 4 other mothers are upset with how the things are in school. I was invited to a meeting with them to discuss the school.

Because my Little One was crying so much the first two weeks, I had to spend some days with her there and could see how the school was run. Which made me quite angry really. Because what I saw was more of a babysitting service rather than a nursery. For AM's class there was no teacher, just two helpers. They spend the first 45 mins with freeplay with the toys downstairs. And then they are made to go upstairs to their "classrooms" which had proper tables and chairs. With AM's class they were given crayons to color, or puzzles to play with. There were about 4 object picture books in the class, no story books. And then there was "PE" where they were told to play and the Skate Park, an underground playground about 5 minutes walk away in then 42oC. What's the point in that when parents could themselves bring the children there after school? They should have water play or be making more crafts! Or even have a story read to them.

More alarmingly were the stories the other mothers were sharing with me. The boys were in 2 different "classes" then my Little One. They came home using the word "Stupid" either among themselves or their helper. Its a reflection the children have in school really. Either the teacher has used it on a child or have not stopped the children from using the word.

So we discuss our strategy on approaching the owner of the school. We have to make sure we are constructive. The owner, SH, has been described as a brick wall. Not a person normally associated with running a pre school. We would wish for someone with a lot more smiles, enthusiasm, passion for children and creativity. From what she tells us her background is teaching 11 grade science. So we listed some changes we would like to see, for example, we don't want the 2 year old children spending time in a classroom learning to write with a helper holding their hand and practically writing for them. Alphabet recognition is nice but not really necessary. Basically we want to see our children have more fun. Do more crafts. Read more. And improve their quality of play. Surely its not too much to ask?

Especially since we're paying a handsome sum for them to go there. It costs us $60 a day (in local currency) plus $500 registration fee. For the Little One who goes 3 times a week, it costs us $720 a month. For the children 2 and above who goes everyday, their parents pay $1,200 per child. Quite expensive for a babysitting service surely! Its about time we get some value for our money or we'll bring our business elsewhere!

There is a lack of flexibility in term's of a parent's choice in the nursery. For example, I had planned on sending my Little One just once a week and gradually increase her time there once she has settled in. But SH promptly told me that for her age group, its 3 times a week, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. There was no room for negotiation.

SO today is our third meeting. We decided to discuss our approach first before meeting her in the afternoon. Wish us luck! I will keep my thinking positive and I hope that SH will take our suggestions on board.

Failing which MAUT may come up with Plan B.

1 comment:

anasalwa said...

Sunflora,
That sound awful. Playing for children is a full time job for grown ups. Reading your entry upset me at how some people will do anything to make money. Obviously the owner doesn't have any insightful whatsoever about nurturing the children. What she does is actually cheating the her clients. That what she is, she is a thief in a broadday light. Hope you and your friends will find solution in a positive way.