Thursday, January 3, 2008

Not My Place

When I entered Tree Faerie's classroom this morning to drop her off, the little girl that transitioned to the toddler room with Tree Faerie (let's call her L)was sitting in the floor screaming. I asked the head toddler room teacher, we'll call her Ms. J, if she was okay. Ms. J said she didn't know what was wrong with her and that she'd tried several things to comfort her, but nothing was working. Ms. J said when she tried to hold her to comfort her, L pushed her away and didn't want anything to do with Ms. J.

I felt bad for both of them, but I know that all babies have days like that. While I was snuggling Tree Faerie before leaving, I saw the head infant room teacher, Ms. D, looking in through the window.

Since I also know L from Ms. D's infant room, I know she has always taken a little longer to be comfortable with changes. She is 3 days older than Tree Faerie, however she's consistently hit all her milestones 2 months later than Tree Faerie. I thought that maybe L may need a bit more help transitioning.

I stopped by Ms. D's room before leaving, and Ms. D was really upset that Ms. J wasn't trying to comfort L. I came to Ms. J's defense by repeating what Ms. J had said to me when I asked, but Ms. D was still unsatisfied. She said that Ms. J doesn't like for them to peek in the windows or get involved with the care of the toddlers. From the way she was talking, it sounded like Ms. D was continually dissatisfied with the way Ms. J comforts the toddlers. Ms. D suggested that I say something to the director.

I refused for several reasons. 1) I'd much rather discuss things with the teacher first before taking it to the director. 2) I didn't actually see anything WRONG today. All babies have bad days, and Ms. J's assistant was running late this morning. Ms. J still had to take care of the other babies. 3) Since my first suggestion would be to possibly extend the transition period for L, I can't really make that suggestion since I'm not the parent.

On my way out the door, I stopped and peeked in the window. Ms. J saw me and gave me a look that I read to mean, "Is something wrong?" I gave her the biggest smile I could and waved.

I told DTTF about the encounter this morning, and he had pretty much the same perspective I had. While we were talking, it also occurred to me that part of the problem MAY BE the infant room teachers peeking in, especially in the first few weeks after transitioning. Maybe L is having a bit of separation anxiety from the infant room teachers, so when she sees them peeking in, she immediately wants to go to them. When that doesn't happen - meltdown. Part of the reason I think this may be a factor is because when Tree Faerie saw Ms. D this morning through the window, she wanted to go to Ms. D.

I will not be discussing this with the director at this point, though if I continue to see this happening with L, I may mention my thoughts to Ms. J, specifically the part about the infant room teachers peeking in. If Ms. D brings it up to me, I will definitely tell her my thoughts on it. I know the infant teachers love those babies, but when it's time for them to move on, sometimes distance is best after the child has transitioned to the new room, at least until the baby has adjusted to the new room.


Heather said...

I agree with you. It's just your place to discuss your kids (or any horrible/obvious abuse you may see to any other kids). Other than that, the teachers need to talk amongst themselves.

Colorado Writer said...

What a tough spot!

I haven't been cruising by my favorite blogs lately.

Holidays + 3 boys + busy!

Glad to hear the recap on a great year!

Happy holidays and all that jazz.


TTQ said...

Good for you! Happy New Year!

Monnik said...

I agree with you, but I also hate to think of a baby crying and not being comforted.

But you're right... it's not your place to get involved. So many people wouldn't take the high road like you did, though... so good for you!

Bastet said...

Transitioning can be really hard for some kids. But I don't think that seeing the other teacher would be bad...At our center, the teachers often stop by the rooms and visit. But they also transition slowly, especially for those who don't handle it well.

But I do agree that it isn't your place to talk to the director. And the teacher shouldn't have asked you to do that.

Kids are resilient and they do probably seemed worse than it was.

Good Luck!

carrie & troy keiser said...

I totally agree with you on this one. I would not want to be in your position, though. Good luck.