Wednesday, March 12, 2008

And a word of advice, next time...tell the mom to keep the kids at home

Dear Preschool Director,

I wanted to write and tell you how much I abhorred the supposed "tour" you subjected me to at your "oh SO special" school yesterday. Abhorred, in case it's too large a word for you, means...detested. If I had known that part of the tour included torturing my two children, believe me, I would have prepared them for the BIG challenge you presented.

You see, it may be a new concept to you sitting on your ass in your Big Director's chair, but when you bring a 3 year old and a 4 year old into a play space filled with various delights and then tell them they can't stay and play and must keep moving on...well, that is a BIG PROBLEM. Let me just give you an example. Remember when my son eagerly ran over to the wet sand and immediately started playing with the dump trucks and diggers, and at the same time my daughter wanted to explore the playhouse? Well, I could see by the soured expression on your face that your little tour was not going as planned. But, really what did you expect? That they would just be content to hold my hand and walk from one area to the next like grown-ups? I was actually proud of my children for being able to move on at all. Well, if you call practically wrenching their arms out of their sockets and dragging their little bodies across the sand...moving on. And moving on and moving on. I understand that we "don't want to disturb the class that is going on and the teachers," but do you honestly think that a happy little boy and girl, quietly and appropriately playing, would have thrown off the equilibrium?

Thank GOD you let them test out the pulley rope. Perhaps the joy on their faces as they flew across the rope swayed you? Naaa. I don't think so. Because then you walked us past the open tub with water and floating boats in it, as if it wasn't even there. Of course they stopped. What did you expect? It was a beautiful, warm, sunny California day. A perfect day for dipping little hands in cool water. A perfect day to play. But, no, we had to move on. And so we did.

We went inside. By this time, my daughter had picked up on "the tour vibe" and was practically clinging to my leg, while my son made a beeline for the train table covered with little engines and tracks. He had just reached out his hand to touch one and then, well...we had to ...move on. Then you just had to show us the Pre-K/Kindergarten room. The room with the science area covered with feathers, rocks, marbles, and assorted parts. The science area that beckoned. Your science area that screamed "touch me, but OH..not there."

During this lovely little "tour," you made a BIG point of telling me what the parental obligations entail with your Co-op nursery school. And yet you didn't tell me one thing about the philosophy of the school or what makes your school different and/or better than any other preschool. The tour lasted a total of what? 30 minutes max. And I walked out not knowing much more than when I had walked in. Except that I did learn one thing. I will not be applying to your school. Not this week. Not next. Not ever. Perhaps you need to work on your tour technique a little harder. Perhaps you need to imagine what a child would feel like entering your wonderful space and then be told, "don't touch, you'll have to stay with me, you'll have to hold your mother's hand, No don't do that!..." No, I won't be putting ourselves on the waiting list. I'll be taking my children elsewhere. And a word of advice, next time...tell the mom to keep the kids at home.


An Incredulous Mom

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  1. Wow! Talk about your bad business skills. Since it is the children that would be attending you'd think part of the "tour" would be ABOUT them. Oy.

  2. It is such a shame that the director had the personality of peat moss, and the touring skills to match, because that place sounded like FUN! So much cool stuff to do. The teachers might be awesome, but no one would find out, because the stupid director's tours will scare them away. She probably became a director(rather than teach) because she secretly despises children. If you are having this much trouble finding a preschool, I am in serious trouble when I look, I know it.

  3. IT sounds like a great pre-school in terms of all the neat hands on activities, if only the kids were allowed to do them!

  4. I agree with everything Jen said. It would have been best if the director had you come alone, and there was a try-out day for the kids.

  5. I'm so angry that if I were actually talking I'd be sputtering. What a completely awful woman. I agree with Jen too, but I can't articulate it right now.

  6. I would be scatching that one off my list.

  7. That woman probably tortures her husband in the same way. (What?) She needs to learn some touring skills.

    Fantastic letter. If only you could send it.

  8. Oh, I was so sad for your children reading this letter. I can see why you are so frustrated/mad about this "tour" - I would have been too! Maybe you should just go ahead and send this letter!

    Have a good day - see you soon. Kellan

  9. I don't think that even *I* could have restrained myself from playing at the water table. What a shame that their people skills leave something to be desired.

  10. I'm often amazed at school directors and how "book" smart about the philosophy of education says and how this psychologist says this for tactile learners. BS Just let the kids play. They learn through play.

  11. Please tell me you're sending this to the school - it's brilliant and you'd be doing them a favour!

  12. Run!!!
    Some people should not me around young children--to direct a pre-school and be one of these people is plain scary!

  13. I had this happen once except that I was warned not to bring my kids by the administration. The only times they would do tours was when the other kids were not present and the didn't want us to bring kids becaus the kids had to be taught how the use the toys properly first. I actually liked the school and a lot of their philosphies, but I couldn't understand why my kids had to learn the proper way to play with a puzzle. It was montessori. My youngest would do well with that, I couldn't get past it.


  14. When we brought HRH for the tour, the Director used his playtime to tell us more about the school. I was the one trying to pull him along.

    Are you interviewing schools based on personal recommendations from friends/acquaintances? I found that to be by far the best bet.

    I say send the letter!

  15. Send the letter. Send the letter. That is insane. I would have wanted to stop and play too.

  16. Definitely send. It's well-written, specific & articulate.

    But what a bummer of 30 minutes.

    Better luck elsewhere.

  17. J, I think I can guess what school that was... although it has been about 5 years since I had to choose a preschool. I think it's HR?


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