Thursday morning when JL and I took NHL to school we chatted with the principal. Apparently they didn’t think that I was serious when I said we were going to remove NHL from the school soon. I explained my reasoning to her and told her that there was NO way I would keep my child in a room where he could not be successful and get positive feedback. His behavior in and out of the classroom has changed drastically since he started there and it’s frightening I told her that his providers have told me about things and I am not happy. I asked if I could observe the class, possibly Friday. She said she would talk to NHL’s teacher to find out there schedule and call me back ASAP with a time. She basically did not want me to go during gym or any other special. Fine with me. She called back and told me 9-10 on Friday would be good.
**Please note there were other parts of the conversation that I will spare you with, but suffice to say I lost a lot of respect for the principal Thursday morning.
So, you may ask why I wanted to observe the classroom. I mean we all know it won’t be exactly the same as it is when I am not there. True, but still it would give me a sense of how things worked within this Montessori school. I basically knew NHL would act different and assumed (this is NEVER a good thing to do) the teacher would be really sweet and supportive.
Friday morning I brought NHL to school and then went home. I got milk ready for JSL to have at temple for Sukkot. JL took the little guy and went without me. I went to the school and signed in. When I got there all four of the PreK/K classes (80+ kids) were in one of the rooms for music together. I waited and the teacher came and told me it was fine to go into her room and wait by the computers. I mentioned to her that Noah knew I was coming since I thought he’d be less distracted then if I just showed up.
About 5 minutes later the kids come back into the room. The minute Noah seems me he comes casually walking over and says the following to me: "Mommy let’s go home now!" These are words I NEVER heard at daycare. This child has been away from us for the last 3 years and nothing, now his attitude is completely different.
I told him to go and work I was there to watch and see how he does things. He was clearly distracted by me, but tried. Along with this the poor kid couldn’t stop sneezing. He worked with T, one of his providers, and then wanted to do a few of the Montessori based activities. This is where my eyes widened. As NHL went to try things his teacher was on his butt all the time. She did not do this with other children in the room. Imagine this – 20 kids doing 20 different things all at once. When he took something she told him to do it a different way, or do this, or that, and his name was used so many times my head was spinning. By this point I was up and over talking with T about things that she had previously seen. NHL was working with his teacher on something. I am not kidding here, but she NEVER told him anything positive. She never said good job or nice try with anything, just kept reminding him no feet here, no that way . . . . and on and on.
I told T that I was floored with this in front of me. She agreed and told me that I had to see it to believe it. I mean if this is how he’s treated with me in the room and with one of his providers, then how is it when none of us are there? I shudder to think about it honestly.
After observing for about 30 minutes I left when T was heading out. Rather than attempt to leave NHL there I took him with me (basically my plan anyway). The teacher got all sweet and asked if I was sure that he was welcome to stay. I told her it was better for everyone and I would take him home to get ready to meet JL at temple for the holiday. NHL basically skipped out of there.
So at this point we have an appointment to visit another school on Tuesday morning for about 20-30 minutes and we have the meeting with NHL’s providers on Thursday to get a game plan. We hope to get things switched over ASAP, but paper work will no doubt delay things.