I have a question about something school-related. My daughter just started preschool Monday and I'm already a little perturbed by a few things. My question is, do I write the teacher a note and have my daughter give it to him? Or do I wait until things smooth out as school literally JUST started?
These are the things that have bothered me:
-My daughter came home sock-less on the first day. They are nowhere to be found.
-I packed her a lunch and told them on the first day. They gave her school lunch AND her packed lunch (but didn't charge me because of the mixup). So the Lunchable she had eagerly picked out at the store with me was entirely ruined because she ate the school lunch instead.
-They wanted to put all the kids' naptime bedding (blankets and pillows) in a PILE TOGETHER. Is it just me or is this completely unsanitary?! Some of the bedding didn't look washed at all. So I told the teacher assistant on the first day, "PLEASE find another place for my daughter's bedding. I do not want it in the pile; that's unsanitary." I get told that's perfectly fine. When I pickup my daughter I find her bedding in the BOTTOM of a pile. They're working on building cubbies for them but in the meantime that's just gross.
-This school wears uniforms. We're to provide extra clothes in the event our child has an accident or gets dirty. So I packed an extra uniform as her extra. We were told on the first day that we could use regular clothes as the extra. So today I bring a regular old outfit and ask to have her extra uniform returned via her backpack. WELL... someone removed the extra clothes but didn't return the uniform?! What the heck?!
-My daughter is allergic to strawberries. She told me they gave her strawberries in her school lunch on Monday. It won't kill her; just make her break out into hives. BUT still, that's a pretty important issue. Food allergies should be taken seriously.
-I have no idea what my child does everyday. I don't have a letter sent home stating, "This is when we have lunch. And this is when we do circle time. And this is when we do reading time, etc., etc." Routine is so important to small children. I'm interested to know the class routine so we can try to stick somewhat to the same routine (for naps and eating) to make the transition easier. I'm just not getting any communication. But then again, it's only day 2.
So what would you do? I'm very new to this. I've never put a child in school before. Do I wait until things calm down this first week? Do I go to the principal and voice concerns (this is their FIRST year doing a preschool at this school so they obviously have kinks to work out)? Or should I just send her teacher and assistant a reminder that I need her uniform, missing socks and to please keep bedding separated (can we say gross germs, flus/colds, head lice)? I don't want to be THAT parent that is just always griping and unsatisfied with something. But I also want my daughter to have a healthy and safe year and I want to know what is going on in the classroom. HELP!
i do understand how u feel..ok i have worked in daycares for yrs...sit back this is long
1..all children sleep together..its usually the time teachers have their lunch..its safer and easier to watch the kids..no need to worry they watch the kids from a birdseye view..they try not to make any kids feel any different
2.kids loose socks alot..could just be in her blanky..never send her wit jewlery.
extra clothes are for uh oh's.but daycare teachers are so busy they cannot spend an 1hr looking for a sock..that means they are not paying attention to the other kids.
3.talk to the director of the day care and ask which teacher gives ur child lunch..speak to him/her and let them know she is allergic to strawberries..they should give u an allergy form fill it out date it make a copy..take one and leave one in her cubby..the teachers know what the cubby is.its where they keep her extra wipes and diapers.but its her on lil personal box.
4.most daycares do not send home anything of what they have done in school.what u can do is ask at pick up time for an brief oral summary of dat days activity.but once they focus on something like #'s or colors they tell the parents so u can rehearse it at home.
5.overall she had a normal day at school besides the berry mistake..they usually have a lunch menu for the week up at the school in the lunch area..and most schools"childcares" do not feed brung lunch.unless they are infants.its alot of work for the teachers and other kids tend to ask for the kids lunch which causes kids to fight..u are better off letting her eat at school..she will learn better table manners that way.
things that will happen at school..it may suck but it happens they are kids.
2.wrong shirt on.
5.bruses from falling
6.school calls just because her nose is too runny.
oh the blanket thing goes in her cubby as well..all by itself.the lysol the day care daily..and u are suppose to take there blanky home every friday to be washed and brung back on mondays..if u have any questions feel free to ask me.
I would go in and actually talk to the teachers. I definitely don't think you need to go to the principal quite yet. Not only the first week, but the first few months can be chaotic while the teachers, kids, and parents get into the routine. And honestly, their priority right now is making sure the children are adjusting to their new class with minimal trauma. It does sound like there's some kinks, but they are for the most part with a few exceptions, very normal kinks.
Here's my take on a few of your points-
~Your daughter coming home sockless- honestly, if she took them off (most likely during naptime), I can see how they'd get lost. They're actually probably in the sheets. If they were labeled, you'll probably eventually get them back. There are certain things teachers can't keep track of, and I feel this may be one of those things. It's very difficult for teachers to remember who was wearing what that day, especially in the insanity of the beginning of the year.
~ getting school lunch- I very frequently have children who get lunch from home but beg for school lunch. If we have extra, we give it to them. In this case, it sounds like a simple mix-up, and unless it happens again, i'd let it go. The first day of school is absolutely insane, especially meal/naptime. After a while, the teachers will learn who gets lunch from home and lunch from school.
~Naptime bedding- you are 100% right. It is exceptionally unsanitary. What if you provided a special bag for your daughter to put her sheets in- that way if it does make its way to the pile, it will be separate. Dealing with 15 sets of nap sheets can be a nightmare for teachers. My solution was to purchase nylon laundry bags for each child to put his/her own belongings in. The pile you describe is most likely a health violation, and if you bring up this concern in regards to state regs, they may be more conscious of your concerns. If you're worried about how to approach the subject, make up a story about how your friend's kid brought lice home because nap stuff wasn't separate, and you thought that the state's regulations was to make sure nothing was touching.
~extra clothes- honestly, you are expecting too much from them. Why can't you get the extra uniform out of her cubby? It takes 1 parent 1 minute to take care of simple things like that, but can take an assitant almost an hour to go through everyone's stuff, remember all of those special requests, etc... Especially in the very beginning, when so much of their efforts are focused on meeting the children, helping them feel comfortable with each other, etc... I got so tired of the poor assistants spending so much time doing things like that, and getting attitude from parents when things weren't perfect, that I changed our policies and it is the parents' jobs to take care of making sure backpacks are emptied, cubbies stocked, etc... It was absolutely impossible for them to remember all of the special requests. And as the classroom teacher, I was losing a valuable assistant for a large chunk of time while she scrambled to take care of things.
~Strawberries- you are 100% correct in your concerns. How do they handle food allergies? Have you spoken to the school nurse? Do they have a sign clearly posted in the classroom stating she has an allergy? Do you have documentation from your child's doctor regarding the allergy?
~Daily chart- this varies for each teacher. I used to do one religiously. The majority of the parents would throw them out, in front of the staff, without even looking at it. It was very upsetting to me. It takes a LOT of time and energy to do one everyday, and since good teachers often change their plans with the children's interests, this is often something that cannot be done in advance. Would you rather your child's teacher spend time reading with your child or spend time filling out a form that most parents don't even look at? When I was going to grad school for my certification in early childhood, my professor (who has published many many preschool curriculum books) was absolutely amazed that my old job required me to send home a daily sheet. He was dumbfounded and declared it a total waste of the teacher's time.
However, there should be a classroom schedule posted. Some classes will send home a weekly review or a monthly newsletter. There should be some communication about routine and curriculum- it may just be too early in the year. I traded down the daily sheet to a weekly sheet. Even that was tossed by most parents. I spent a LOT of time on them. It was also frustrating because i would include important reminders on it. This past year i switched to a monthly update, but we do post our weekly lesson plans. In addition, I always clearly display a sign showing what we are studying. In the first few weeks, our primary focus is on learning the routine and getting to know each other, so there's not much to post. This would be especially true for a 3 yr old classroom. The 3 yr old classrooms actually spend the first 2 months trying to get the kids through the day with minimal tears. I work in a model school- districts from around the state are constantly coming and touring to see how we do it. The teachers are all very highly qualified. But man, those poor 3 year old teachers go through h-e-l-l those first few months.
Something you can do to get more of an understanding of what's going on there- ask what they are focusing on so that you can maybe provide the class with some relevant materials or books. I can't think of any teacher that would turn down that offer.
i felt kinda old-school and b!tchy after posting, but saw that faith posted similar sentiments and feel a bit better. Don't get us wrong- we care about the parents. But our #1 priority is and always will be the kids. I used to be the teacher who catered to every parent's request. Then I learned that something has to give, and I refused to let it be the level of care and love I provided the children (yes, they do love the children).
This is not a daycare. This is a charter school that serves grades PK-8th grade. This is a full day preschool (8-3:30) so it is one long day. The classes are also very small. The school serves 10 grades of 200 kids so she only has about 10-12 classmates.
They don't have cubbies yet. In fact, I have no idea where they put her extra clothes. I put them in a clear Ziploc with her name across the front in large, permanent ink which I thought would be kept in her backpack. I went in this morning before school and asked that the clothes be switched out right then and there. The assistant just said, "Oh I'll do it, don't worry about it." So that's why I'm perturbed on that. She said she'd do it instead of just allowing me to do a quick switch. There were no kids in the room; they were at morning announcements.
She is also the one that told me she'd make sure bedding was separated. When I came to pick my daughter up she left her lunchbag in the classroom so we went in to get it and I found her bedding buried at the very bottom of the pile of bedding. I shudder thinking about it.
Thank you for your information on the daily events! I definitely care and definitely want to know their routine. I'll probably wait to ask about this until they're more settled into a routine. I just want/need to know for when she is home and on the weekends so that we can follow a similar routine.
But I think I must write a note about the bedding and the strawberry allergy! Those are the MAIN things I was concerned about.
I was a preschool "teacher" in high school. We were each assigned ONE child and it was a real preschool with one certified teacher overseeing everything. So I do know it can be hectic, but that was quite awhile ago. And this preschool is SO different from what we used to do.
faith- Her teacher did say they send bedding home on Friday to be washed! So you're right on that. They don't have their cubbies built yet. They were laying new carpet and doing repairs this summer so they probably just didn't get around to it. I hope they have it done by Monday.
And it is a regular school; not daycare. They are more than welcome and encouraged to bring food from home if they want. The teacher just tells them that if they brought lunch from home to get it from their backpack. The principal herself comes and helps the little ones with lunchtime, too.
I did fill out a form about the strawberry allergy but I want to bring it to her teacher's personal attention in case that paperwork didn't make it to his hands. I can't imagine keeping track of everyone's allergies and things. I don't even know if this school has a school nurse! They just don't tell you anything (and yes, I've forgotten to ask!).
Okay well i agress with you on the bedding. that is nasty. Maybe send a back pack that she can put her blanket in at the end of nap time, to that its not with everyone elses. I am sorry so many nasty things happen.
As for them feeded her things she can't eat. I would say something, Or if it would make you feel better. Pack her lunch. I pack Arianna's lunch every day for school and I have since Pre-K. I just know what my kid is eating. And it makes me sleep better at night.
As for socks. That is a bit weird. But I guess things get lost. And you hope they pop bakck up.
And as not sending home what they did that day. Depending how many children are in the class. maybe they just dont have time for it.
I know with my daughter. We have a note book I send back and forth between school and home. And if I have any concerns or questions they can be addressed.
But you would not be wrong for calling, or even sending a note.
Thanks Angella! I think I'll just send a note reminding them of the strawberry allergy. They get a menu every month but instead of listing what fruit they're having it simply says the main course and a side and then "Fruit, dessert, milk". So they never tell me what fruit is being served.
At our school, after nap time we have all the children, seperatly, place their things on their hooks or below them. As we dont allow them to be placed all together. So I absolutely agree with you on that one. But personally, it is the first week of school, so it can be a bit chaotic, with the little ones learning the routine, but if it doesnt straighten out within a week or so, as a concerned parent I would try to talk to the teacher again, but this time if it fails go to the principal.
Lunches, yeah, we try to make them stick to what their parents provided, but sometimes its just easier allowing them to eat the school food if they are insisting on it like their friends. So just talk to the cafeteria if you need to, usually they will listen, and I would figure in a school that size they should learn all the children in a few weeks and maybe the home/school lunch mix-up wont happen.
The allergy now I would try to go talk to the cafeteria director or if there is a nurse, them. And also kindly remind the teacher that it is very important that the child is not to eat allergies.
As far as the daily routine thing. We hand out daily sheets for all elementary ages(pre-k-5) that states behavior, homework, classwork, etc. and it is to be signed daily by the parent. And maybe that is something you could mention to the teacher and maybe she will like that idea, as that as easier than answering a ton of questions from parents, then they know daily what their child did.
And I dont think you are being unreasonable, before I starting working in the school, I was the same way, now that I am there all day with them, I am a little more laid back.
I also think that as a few weeks go by, you will see that teachers become more informative and you will see structure, it is just really hard to adjust little ones to a school-type environment.
Seriously, thanks! Your response has really helped calm me down. It is just day 2 and her teacher is new. The entire class is new to the school. I would be eager and willing to help provide information if they wanted on what parents were thinking and wondering about, things that would help, etc.
Because the teacher is new perhaps he just hasn't gotten around to it yet or hasn't thought about sending out a weekly report. It's a small class so I can't imagine this would be too difficult.
Your very welcome, and yes definately if you have any ideas of things that you feel would help you and other concerned parents, then by all means set a conference time with him and talk to him. Some teachers love to hear inputs on how to make things better for parents, themselves, and the students. And being that he is new I am sure he would love any advice or help he could get:)
Theres always the choice of home schooling. Just a thought.
Mothers have to keep in mind, no matter where our children are or who is taking care of them, in our minds it will never be perfect. No one can take care of our children better than us. Thats what all good mama's think. We have to adjust and learn to adapt to the school and teachers just as our children do.
I tried homeschooling last year. It's not for us. My husband was homeschooled his entire life and I went to public school my entire life. I think homeschooling might be something more appropriate for middle and high school, for us. But not for these younger years.
definitely remind them about the strawberries! if it's a charter school, i'd imagine that they have a nurse at least part of the day.
as for the sheets- try bringing a bag for them today. When you see the assistant, you can say something like, "i realize it's crazy when cleaning up from nap, so I brought this to help keep my daughter's sheets separate from the rest." This way you are addressing the issue but coming across as helpful and concerned instead of neurotic. By the way, like I said, you are 100% correct and not neurotic- I just suspect that they may not realize the validity of this concern if they truly threw everything in a pile.
this poor teacher must be overwhelmed, especially since he doesn't have all the equipment he needs like cubbies. In this respect, I am partly wondering if it would be worth you being an advocate and addressing certain concerns with the office. In a lot of cases, things like that stall until the parents start complaining to the office. Maybe ask him when they think the cubbies will be ready. If it seems like it's a long way off, you can ask if they think it would help if parents complain.
I sent a note this morning kindly reminding them of the strawberry allergy. And I also put one of those LARGE grocery-type bags in her backpack and politely asked that her bedding items be placed in the bag when they're not in use.
Perhaps they should just go to Walmart and grab a stack of those huge grocery sacks for each child until the cubbies are made. Heck, I'm willing to go grab some. It'd take them a little more time to pick up after naptime but at least the children wouldn't be at some health risk for lice or whatever else you can get from sharing bedding (bed bugs?!) until they have their personal cubby.
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