Things That Preschool Teachers Won’t Say
Preschool teachers are the angels of elementary education, and they each deserve a gold star for the work they do.
These experts know how to gently herd and corral twenty-two four-year-olds, keeping them calm, disciplined, and safe. Preschool teachers are the peacemakers in their schools.
Most preschool teachers are also too diplomatic to say what they are thinking. The things preschool teachers won’t say include:
Show your trust in me by telling me from the beginning that your child
. . . has allergies/can’t tolerate something or is suffering emotional trauma, we can provide better support and care. We need to know who is permitted to pick up your child, whether he’s gluten intolerant, or isn’t potty-trained. Better communication between us will improve the quality and safety of your child’s preschool experience.
. . . is ill, so that we can send her home with you. That’s not meant to be a punishment for you. We aren’t a hospital or doctor’s office, and it’s not fair to expose the other children or us to an illness. A sick child should be with her parent.
Please understand that
. . . children do come to school sick sometimes. Parents might not realize that their child has a cold/scabies/chicken pox/head lice when they dropped him off at school. Sometimes the illness or infestation doesn’t manifest itself in visual signs until a few hours into the day. Sympathize with your preschool teacher; s/he catches the same illnesses.
. . . your child can do far more than you might realize. They can use scissors and pencils, put on their own jackets, and clean up after themselves. Stop doing everything for them, and don’t expect us to do it, either. Let your child take responsibility for his actions.
Growing up is messy, so you can expect your child
. . . to come home wearing a little mud, some paint, and maybe glue. Learning is about experiences. Sometimes we get dirty. We do the best we can to clean it off, but there may be times the expensive clothing you sent your daughter to school in aren’t practical for school.
. . . that there are two sides to every story. Your child will tell you about getting hit or bitten in school but may leave out the part about being the one that started the ruckus. Listen to our point of view as well as your child’s.
. . . and finally, that your child is doing the best he can.
So are we.