Thursday, September 30, 2010

A very short school visit.

This morning we visited WR Preschool, and like SJ is very nice, very new and very gray. The first thing we noticed is that you can't see inside or see any of the playing areas from the outside. We had scheduled a 9:00 a.m. appointment with the director a week ago. The director was not there and there was no one available at the front. We eventually just walked in and found out the director was not in, but one of the staff members took us to the 2 year old room to meet Teacher H and Teacher We Don't Remember Her Name.

First impression came from P who noted a hint of diversity, well, a huge amount given what we have seen so far. There were 2 African American girls, a biracial child, and possibly a Hispanic boy. Not sure about that last one, because we are going on his name, and we never got a look a him, just the back of his head. Since I have an Arabic name, my son has a Hebrew middle name, and my daughter has a Spanish first name (why we are SO @nal about the pronunciation, it's not English, it's not German), we know better than to make assumptions based on names.

Second impression was that those are the biggest group of two year olds we have ever seen. OMG, those kids must be on steroids, and their parents must be planning to eat them on Thanksgiving Day. Wowza! Third impression is that we were asked if SS was potty trained three times, before we were ever asked her name.

Teacher H asked SS to join the class for circle time, and although Director T made such a freaking big deal about how her school is accredited and thus superior to daycare, their routine was the same as the one at MU, with one big, and to us unnecessary difference. Since they are focused on academics (snark time) they have a card with each child's name and they go over the spelling with each child. The problem is that they had 23 children there (we counted 25 labeled cubbies) and that is a long, drawn out process for that many children to sit through. The children were antsy, getting up, whining and although the teachers did their best, maybe if they cut that name spelling part, they could move on to another task faster, keeping the little ones attention. Or they could do this when the children are in smaller groups, 4-5 to a table. But what do we know, we do have education degrees. SS was jazzed up about spelling her name, then was very disappointed that they did not have a card already made for her. We worried so much about the separation between SS and I, but what is really going to be difficult is the rude awakening that the center of our universe is not the center of the actual universe.

I do not think we had spent 20 minutes there when we noticed that SS was disengaged and then obviously withdrawn. SS was clearly uncomfortable, something that did not happen at MU or SJ. We think it was the class size, too many kids for her comfort. There was also a little boy who had a terrible time saying goodbye to his mother and that really stressed out SS. Then the coup de grĂ¢ce occurred, SS said (yelled) that she was BL super hero and the maybe Hispanic little boy said he wanted to be BL too. P and I got ready to intervene because SS bore a hole through the kid with her death stare, then made a move to get up. She is going to have such a rude awakening on Halloween, when we expect her to see a lot of kids in BL costumes. The social adjustment is going to be brutal for SS.

We had decided to end the visit before that aforementioned incident. SS just looked miserable and we did not want to prolong her discomfort, especially when she did so well in the other two schools. Director T was not there when we left and never called, and that is fine with us. When I called to schedule the visit, she made some comments that really turned me off, and P felt the same way when I relayed them. For example, she had forgotten our conversation about why SS s not potty trained, and when that came up she said "Well, not even trying? What's up with that?" Definitely needs to work on her delivery. She was also upset when she wanted us to make a decision on enrollment right after the visit. Lady, this is not used car sells, this is about a child and her emotional well being. By the time we made it to the van SS was in need of Mama and Baba time, and made it clear she did not want to be in her carseat. Something clicked in her, and we gave her the time to regroup, gave plenty of hugs, kisses and kudos for doing well at the school.

P dropped by MU to pay the enrollment fee and pick up the enrollment packet. He was wearing his work shirt with the company's logo, and Director D immediately noticed and told him about talking to me, and that she was aware of our visit. It seems that for now it is best for SS to be a big fish in a little pond. We would definitely consider SJ for K if needed (as in SS not being accepted into the Mandarin program). We are planning to start SS on October 13, I need next week to get our late riser up at 6:30 a.m. I hope she does not maul me.

We are glad we took this picture before the visit. SS was in no mood for pictures on the way out. when she saw me uploading this picture to the blog she became upset and yelled "NO!NO!"

SS remembered her cell phone camera and had fun taking close up pictures. We actually like the blurry ones because it is so SS, no time to slow down, stand still and shoot. Love seeing things from her perspective.

Pretty good for one with no assistance.

This one is our favorite, it has such a ghost quality.

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